freeline-25 - Page 48

All Change?
by Keith Jenkins
o the angling world was
informed of a monumental change for angling in
England. Whether this
will be for better or
worse remains to be
seen, although most of the doommongers on the angling forums seem
pretty convinced it will be the latter.
I’m not so sure. I think it will certainly
shake things up and there is no doubt
that the fishing on certain lakes may
well be in jeopardy, but on the other
hand there will also be lakes and fishery complexes that will benefit from a
change of ownership. The general
opinion is that the direction of the
angling side of Cemex has stagnated
in the past few years, and it’s only
been due to the vigilance and hard
work of the small band of office staff,
bailiffs and willing helpers that a few
lakes have survived, and even pros-
The end of an incredible era.
‘A statement from CEMEX UK
Operations Limited 19th March 2012
A difficult decision has been made to put CEMEX Angling up for sale. As part
of the regular and ongoing business reviews, we have decided that angling
is not core to our operations and in the current economic climate we have
limited resources and capital to develop the business in the future. We will be
honouring existing tickets sold and will be selling tickets for this season only.
CEMEX Angling was started in the 1960s as part of the Halls Aggregates
business and has been an important part of our company, providing an excellent and sustainable after-use of the quarried land, much valued by anglers.
CEMEX UK Operations Ltd’
Rumours abound of who, what and
how much Cemex will be selling the
angling for, or to whom, but I would
think that it is more likely that they
will sell it as individual lots rather
than one whole package, and that
could help seal the future of
some of the country’s most
historic waters. The history
of these waters goes back a
long, long way, but it wasn’t
until 1967 that Hall and Co
decided to redevelop the
many gravel workings that
were coming to the end of
their use, and turn them into
wetlands, thus actually giving something back to the
land they had sullied. The
Hall’s Angling Scheme took
many of these waters in the
south of England under its
wing, and without that management who knows where
we would be today? In the
mid-seventies the name was
changed to Leisure Sport
Angling and remained that
until the early nineties, when
Ian Welch took over the running of it from Jack Ashford
and vowed to make it pay, as
well as provide great sport
for many anglers. As the
company was now known as Ready
Mixed Concrete, Ian changed the
name to RMC Angling, to underline
the change of direction. By the time
that Cemex bought RMC in the last
decade, the angling side was thriving
and providing quality angling across
most of south and east England. But
then the moneymen took over and the
wheels came off.
‘If you have a fifty-man syndicate,
and fifty on the waiting list, why don’t
we make it a hundred-man syndicate?’ Questions like this were rhetorical, really, and pretty soon Ian could
see the writing on the wall and was
away. Sadly, Cemex couldn’t even see
the wall (although they probably provided the materials for its construction) and within half a dozen years we
find ourselves at this point.
Some strange figures are being
bandied around at the moment, none
of them with the benefit of hindsight,
foresight or any other sort of sight.
Best not to make prophecies, just wait
a month and see what actually happens, but in the meantime let’s be
realistic about it. The chance that one
or more of the Cemex waters may be
lost to angling is highly likely, and
that will be very sad indeed. Talk of
some of the fish going ‘walkies’ is so
fraught with disaster that it beggars
belief that people would even con-


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