FREE-LINE 01.pdf - Page 167



In Search of Monster Carp
it with a mallet, and that was the end
of that.
One day I received a phone call
right out of the blue. The company
who controlled the site for what was
then Blue Circle (now Lafarge) is a
company by the name of Caxtons. I
had a phone call from the head bloke
at Caxtons, and he said that Blue Circle were a little bit unhappy with
Gerry Savage. They said he was not
abiding by the rules of the licence; he
wasn’t always paying his money on
time, and would I be interested in taking it on. They said, “Put it like this – if
you don’t take it on, we’re going to
give it to someone else,” so I thought
well, I’ll take it on. I must admit Gerry
and I had a bit of a falling out, as he
had run the lake for something like 15
years, but as I explained to him, it
wasn’t my fault, as they had made up
really worked hard at their business.
Well, going back to the fishing side
of things, Cotton Farm was still being
run by Gerry Savage, but by this time
Gerry had moved down to the West
Country, so we were running the lake
on his behalf. To be perfectly honest
with you, much as I liked him as a
person, all he was worried about was
getting the money in every year. If
you needed a pair of chest waders for
a working party for example, he would
never lash out and pay for them.
Then, I think it must have been about
the mid 1980’s, Blue Circle decided to
build a new ferry terminal over by the
Dartford Crossing, and as a result,
they back-filled the lake down to
about six acres, which is what it is
now, and they spent millions of
pounds landscaping it – there’s a little
red bridge on it, and gravel beaches.
It was quite funny as well, as on the
entire site there are sprinkler systems
to water all the flowerbeds, and I can
remember on the first night of the
season, the first year where it had
been landscaped, one quite well
known angler by the name of Garry
Harrow had his bivvy set up, and
around about 1am, he heard a noise in
the back of the bivvy, shone his torch
down there, and this black thing came
out of the ground and started spraying him with water. Obviously he beat
(Top) On the way to the final of the
BCAC.
(Right) Colne Valley brace.
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