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Deal & Walmer Angling Association: Club History

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Secretary: Mr. Douglas Pettit
Hon. Treasurer: Mrs S. Pettit
108 Blenheim Road
Deal, Kent CT14 7EY
Telephone 01304 365617
Email pettitsandou@aol.com

Founded in 1904
- and -
Affiliated with the Angling Trust


Articles


Deal & Walmer Angling Association

President's Office

  1. Alderman Frederick Herbert John Haywood (1905 to 1907), Mayor of Deal (1903/4) died 1928
  2. Rt Hon Lord George Francis Hamilton P.C. D.C.L. LL.D. G.C.S.I. J.P. (1907 to 1925) died 1927
  3. William 7th Earl Beauchamp K.C. P.C. K.C.M.O. T.D. (1926 to 1930) Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (1913 to 1934) died 1938
  4. Sir Gerald Woods Wollaston K.C.B. K.C.V.O. (1931 to 1957) Garter King of Arms (1930 to 1944) died 1957
  5. Sir Alexander William King Bart. (1957 to 1961) died 1969
  6. Alderman Albert Ernest Moreton Cavell J.P. (1962 to 1966) Mayor of Deal (1954/5)
  7. John Alistair Lawton C.B.E. C.C. J.P. (1966 to 1970) Mayor of Deal (1966/7)
  8. Harry Charles William Lilley (1971 to 1976) died 1986
  9. Major (Rt) Albert David Bowman M.C. & Bar (1977 to 1980)
  10. John Anthony Heath (1981 to 1984) died 1984
  11. James William Emmerson (1984)
  12. Dr Robert Everard (1985 to 1990)
  13. Len Hughes (1991 to 1995)
  14. John David Barrett (1995 to date)





Sir Gerald Wollaston as Garter King of Arms at the coronation of George VI in 1937

The Daily Express, Thursday 14 December 1905

Deal Angling

Some of the Attractions of Winter Sport

All Sorts of Fishing

The many angling competitions which are being held now in sea-angling, in which both men and women take part, shows the sport to be a growing attraction.

The time was, not so many years ago, when the fresh-water angler, proud with memories of fighting trout or plunging pike, affected to think that neither skill nor art need be exercised in salt-water fishing.

But his opinion, like all opinions founded on insufficient knowledge of the subject, has undergone change - a change which is as revolutionary in its character as it is enthusiastic in its nature.

The fresh-water angler can, it is true, look back to a holiday spent on the banks of some quiet stream and view his "takes" of roach or dace, chub or barbel, as red letter days.

The sea-angler can do more than this. He can fish in the happy knowledge that all is food that comes to his creel; that the "bag" is invariably measured not by ounces, but by pounds, and that all the time he is pursuing his sport he is breathing ozone.

We take so many holidays in the summer that we are apt to forget that it is in winter that we need them most !

There can be no more health-giving holiday than a few days' sea-angling; and there can be no more delightful centre from which to fish than Deal.

An Unrivalled Spot

Fish of all sorts, cod, whiting, soles, plaice and other flat fish, congers, skate, pollack, mullet (when in season), with an occasional bass or turbot, are caught from the pier and from boats in quantities that no other place on the coast can rival.

Those who form their opinion of sea angling from the small catches of the "cold-blue" anglers usually to be seen in winter on the piers round our coasts (and who generally fish with hand-lines) may envy the patience which rises superior to results, but must form a very poor idea of the quality and quantity of fish to be taken by rod and line.

For disillusionment they should visit Deal, and have a day (say) off the south-west Goodwin, by the Brake Buoy, or in Sandown Bay - to say nothing of the pier, and they would quickly alter their mind.

What do such casual observers know of the splendid exhilaration of a battle with a sixteen-pound cod?

Or again, take a day's whiting. Arrived at the ground, the lines are baited with herring or sprat or lug, as the case may be, and are no sooner stopped over the side than two and sometimes three fish eagerly seize the morsels. Only the other day two visitors to Deal took in two or three days fifty-nine score of whiting and seven cod and codling scaling 45 lbs., besides several pouting, eel, and dogfish.

Heavy "Bags"

On another day recently all the boats that went out came back averaging six to eight score of whiting per boat, besides codling, eel, pouting, and other fish.

And here, as a general note, let me give a hint to intending anglers where to fish. If you are after big cod or conger or dogfish, go to the Brake Buoy, south-west of the Goodwins, near the Patria wreck. For whiting, either the old wreck at Sandown or (at low water) 150 yards in a bee-line from Deal Castle, or three-quarters of a mile west of Walmer Castle, taking it, as a rule, when the north-east wind blows, and make all speed to the Goodwins.

Nor is the pier fishing to be despised, and will be found a capital hunting-ground indeed.

This pier-fishing deserves a word to itself, for it offers scarcely less attraction than boat fishing, and nearly as heavy fish are often caught; from it.

A light, stiff rod, not too long, about seven feet is sufficient; a four-inch winch and 100 yards of good line, not too thick, with two or three leads - or weights - of four, eight, and ten ounces respectively; two or three yards of good gut, some hooks of various sizes, and, save for bait, the pier fisherman's "tools" are complete.

Best Bait For Cod

For cod the best bait is generally considered "hermit crabs", commonly called "soldier crabs", a soft crab inhabiting whelk shells, from which it drives the unfortunate owner, but which are not always easy to procure; and then lug worms (red worms dug from the sand at low water), which indeed is the universal bait, are used.

Of these there are two kinds - "yellow tails" and "reds" - sold by the local boatmen. Failing a supply of "lug", herring or sprat answers the need. I have seen over thirty large codling taken by one angler in a day, and sometimes as many as five score of whiting fall to a single rod in a few .hours' fishing, not to mention dabs, or pouts innumerable.

Spinning for pollack is another capital method of angling from the pier, and many fine fish are captured.

Since the formation of the Deal and District Angling Association a great impetus has been given to the fishing, and much has been done to bring the merits of Deal as a fishing station before the public. Taking it all in all, Deal may be pronounced the ideal fishing ground of England.

A. M. Y.


The Daily Express, Friday 19 January 1906 at page 6

Fair Sea Anglers

Nothing is more striking than the way ladies generally have taken to the sport of sea angling. Only a few years ago one rarely saw a man - and never a woman - fishing with rod and line on our piers, and now at nearly every seaside resort on our coast ladies are to be seen fishing side by side with the men – aye, and frequently beating them at their own sport!

At Deal, so enthusiastic are the sportswomen that the formulation of a ladies sea-fishing club is discussed. in connection with the Deal and District Anglers Association.

Should such a branch association of lady anglers be formed, it will follow the example set by Great Yarmouth, where a ladies' sea angling club has already been formed, and is the only one of its kind yet in existence.

The great stride that sea angling has made is well instanced in this as in the formation of a National Council of Sea Anglers, and the great increase in the institution of clubs, societies, and associations round our coasts.

The heavy seas have prevented boat fishing recently, but several very excellent days' sport have been had upon the pier.


The Daily Express, Saturday 20 October 1906

Sea Angling Competitions

One of the principal events of the sea angling season will be a competition to be held on Deal Pier today and tomorrow under the auspices of the Deal and Walmer Angling Association.

The competition will be open to all members and affiliated members of the association, and will begin at 9 a.m. and finish at 5 p.m.

Prizes will be given for the heaviest weight of fish taken, the largest specimen fish and the greatest quantity of any individual kind.

Lord George Hamilton has presented a challenge cup value £15 15s. to be fished for by members of the association. It will be known as the Deal Castle Cup, and is to be held for one year. It carries with it gold and silver medals, and when won three times in succession becomes the property of the fortunate angler.


The Daily Express, Monday 22nd October 1906

Triumphant Woman Angler

Miss Allison Wolff carried off all the honours at the two days' pier angling competition of the Deal and Walmer Angling Association which began on Saturday. She caught the largest cod, the heaviest flatfish and the largest pout. There were fifty competitors, seventeen of them being women. The fish were shy and the catches were very light. Miss Wolff's total catch for the two days weighed only 5 lbs. 11 ozs.


Deal & Walmer Angling Association
Pier Fishing Match, 1907


Penny Illustrated Paper (1907)

Daily Express, Thursday 1st August 1907

Sea Angling for the Holidays

Prospects of Sport for the Amateur Fisherman at Deal

Although the weather during last month has been anything but kind, and the sea has not yielded up its usual complement of finny prey, yet the prospects for August holidays, especially on the east coast, are better than they have been.

The steady increase in the popularity of sea angling has never been more marked than it is at present, and local preparations are going busily forward to deal with an anticipated "rush" of enthusiastic anglers - men and women, for the latter have taken roost kindly to the sport in towns where only a few years ago the average amateur fisherman was represented by a hopeful little boy and a piece of string.

Nowadays the sport of sea angling numbers its votaries by hundreds of thousands, and annually some hundred of thousands, and annually some hundred of tons of fish are taken out of the sea by rod anglers alone. Men and women not only go to the seaside to lounge on the front or parade the pier, but to fish, and thus get the full benefit of both the muscular exercise and the fine life-giving sea air.

Deal, being one of the first angling stations in England, naturally comes in for a large share of this attention.

Possible Catches

Nor are visitors this August likely to be disappointed; for among the fish which may be taken are mackerel and there is no more delightful sport than mackerel spinning from a boat, bass (from the Kingsdown Rocks), cod (which are already "coming in", and afford one of the finest specimen fish caught on the coast), conger (out by the Bank Buoy), eels, dabs, flounders (towards Pegwell Bay), herrings, skate (10 to 16 pounders), whiting and whiting, cole or pout, generally in great numbers, with an occasional sole, a fine turbot, pollack, and plaice, to say nothing of crabs and lobsters, which, although they play havoc with one's bait, nevertheless afford compensations when caught.

Nor need the sport prove an expensive one. A half-guinea rod, a sea-winch, a hundred yards or so of good stout line, with a few odd leads from 4 ozs. to lO ozs., and, roughly, the equipment is complete.

Bait - lug worms, mackerel, herring, etc - costs but a few pence a day, and if one wishes to dispense with the expense of a boat, there is always the pier or some rock or groyne from which, at high tide, fishing can be successfully carried on.

Very good sport can invariably be had at Deal from the beach, either from near Sandown Castle or towards Walmer.

This year sea-fishing competitions will be well to the front, and the arrangements for the forthcoming festival indicate that the policy of "Forward", which has been the watchword of the Deal and Walmer Angling Association since its inception, has been well maintained. Of these the principal events take place in September, October, and November.

Good Summer Sport

Some surprise may be expressed that these festivals are not set earlier in the season, but the reason why they are held on this part of the coast somewhat later than those of many angling associations is that the finest cod, whiting, etc., are generally more abundant in October and November, though it is true much good sport may be had throughout the summer, especially among the mackerel, pollack, and flatfish.

Moreover, the fine seaworthy boats and the magnificent seamanship of the famous Deal and Walmer boatmen render the sea angler less dependent on the weather than at other resorts, and act as a continual guarantee for both the safely and comfort of the deep-sea angler.

The splendid fish caught on these occasions (some of the cod taken last year scaled nearly 30 lbs.) prove not only the value of these fine fishing-grounds, but also the wisdom of the committee in fixing these competitions in conformity with the natural features of the sport. The great success which attended the ladies' angling competitions of last year has naturally resulted in a similar fixture being held this Season.


The Daily Mirror, 25 September 1908 at page 14

Sporting News Items

The following were the winners in the ladies' sea-angling competition at Deal yesterday: Miss Band (heaviest weight), Mrs. Goodwin (heaviest weight of whiting), Miss B. Walker (heaviest catch of cod), Miss Todd (heaviest weight of flat fish) and Mrs Hyde (greatest number of flat fish).


The Daily Express, Saturday 23 October 1909 at page 2

Cult of the Rod and Line

Sea Fishing

Boisterous, weather has prevailed of late along the south coast, and on many occasions the boats have been unable to go afloat.

The piers, however, have done very well, and those anglers have been rewarded with excellent baskets of cod, congers, pouting, and flatfish.

Codling are now plentiful at Deal, and in two days members of the local angling society secured over 400 lb. of these fish.

Mrs. Rowe, fishing in the ladies' pier competition at Deal, killed a conger of 8½ lb …


Deal & Walmer Angling Association

Juniors Pier Competition 1911

1st prize for the heaviest fish caught in the 1911 Juniors Pier Competition was won by John Hugh Gough (1902-1987) age nine years, the son of sculptor William Drinkwater Gough (1861-1937).

"4th November, 1911: The 7th annual Pier Festival was held on Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th and Monday 6th October, and drew a record entry of 258, and although the results in themselves were disappointing, yet the aggregate of 1,102 lbs of sizeable fish caught compares most favourably with returns from some other angling centres, which goes to show that the effects of the gales upon angling returns have been less evident here than in most parts."

The Club is most grateful to Damian Slater, John Henry Gough's grandson, for providing this information and the three images of the trophy. For completeness of the record, John Henry Gough also became an accomplished sculptor, no doubt encouraged by his father and inspired by the trophy he won aged 9 …


A blast from the past

By Dave Chamberlain

Not that many people remember the late Jim Hurd [1]. He owned the Foc'sle tackle shop opposite Deal Pier for what was a lifetime before his death. He was a great inventor of tackle design and his products were meticulously made. One of his innovations was fishing rods. It must be remembered in the early 60s there was a changeover from solid glass to hollow glass. This was a major breakthrough and was the forerunner of today's carbon fibre. To own a J.B. Hurd rod in those days was the ultimate tool. Their design and quality outshone any factory manufactured item.

Needless to say I could not afford one in those days and I have always regretted that. However, having sourced one from France I had to wait three years for the guy to return to England so I could purchase it. After 50 years it was in a sorry state, although complete with the original rings and not much damage to the cork handle. My intention was not to use the rod for fishing, but to restore it to its original finish for display. It took two weeks of loving work to strip, re-whip and varnish. I must admit my finish is not as good as Jim's original; however, at long last I own a 12' Foc'sle rod.

After 50 years the rod was still complete Age had dulled the varnish
After refurbishment The rod is ready for display

[1] Jim Hurd was also a prolific winner of D&WAA pier, shore and boat trophies over the period 1946 to 1960.

Copyright © David Chamberlain 2014


The people's café on Route 1

Kent Online 14th February 2015

A proposed cyclists' café on Deal seafront has been granted full planning permission. The former Deal & Walmer Angling Association HQ on Beach Street will now be turned into a café and cycle repair workshop. The project is the brainchild of Platform 1 owners Nick and Andy Stevens, along with Deal Tri chairwoman Yvonne Hankin and vice-chairman Gary Holmes.

Nick Stevens said:

"The public support for this project has been overwhelming. With planning permission granted the project team is looking forward to transforming this prime site building on Deal's seafront into a café to cater for the ever-increasing cycle market and provide a cycle technician service. Deal is a mecca for cyclists, both club members and people who just enjoy cycling for fun. Our cycle café concept will be the first of its kind on the south east coast and, of course, will be creating job opportunities for the people of the town, too. It's not just for cyclists, its a café for everybody."

It hopes to create 12 jobs initially and this number could grow during the busy summer. The café also hopes to become a hub for community events that take place along the seafront.

Planning permission, given by Dover District Council, is subject to a few conditions, including that no music is to be played on the premises at any time. There will also be no outside seating unless this is approved by the local planning authority. Deal Town Council had objected to the plans for a seating area as this would be located on the main walkway along the seafront.

The developers must also submit samples of the materials to be used in the construction of the development and decking area and details of the cycle hoops. These must be approved by the local planning authority before the project can start.

Last week the Mercury reported that the public consultation period had seen an overwhelmingly positive response.


Deal's greatest angling ambassador

By Dave Chamberlain



Above the south-facing window of The Foc'sle

Throughout the autumn of 1963, there were a group of anglers who frequented the south corner of the bottom deck on Deal Pier most evenings. They were taking advantage of the prolific cod stocks that the previous cold winter had revived. One such man excelled in the task and managed to find more and larger fish than most. Born in January, 1900, Cecil James Barber Hurd was always recognisable in his duffle coat and black beret. He was at all times known as Jim and was the proprietor of the local tackle shop, The Foc'sle, which was situated opposite the entrance of Deal Pier.

In 1925 Jim Hurd had married the previous owner of The Foc'sle's daughter, Margaret Marshall, who was also a keen angler. Eventually he took over the running of the shop, which had been established in 1909, until his death in 1978. They had a daughter, Alison, who was born in 1930.

Throughout his life he had dedicated himself to angling and the promotion of Deal as being the Mecca of angling. He joined the Deal and Walmer Angling Association (founded in 1904 and one of the oldest clubs in England) as a young man and was vice-chairman by 1927; finally becoming chairman for a period of 18 years.

As chairman, Jim Hurd took a keen interest in angling politics and was elected onto the standing committee of the National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA) which, at that time, was developing and taking over from the previous governing body, the British Sea Anglers' Society. He helped formulate the rules and regulations being used by the Federation that has only recently been made defunct and is now incorporated in the Angling Trust.

In 1950 he instigated that the Deal and Walmer Angling Association hold a tope festival (tope is a small shark which frequents the Goodwin Sands). At the first festival 89 anglers participated and caught 12 large tope. This event became popular and anglers from all over Britain came to Deal to enter.

The Deal and Walmer Angling Association honoured him with a life membership in 1952 and a vice-presidency in 1955. It would have been the same year that the national body, the NFSA, also awarded Jim the tribute of becoming a life member and two years later vice-chairman and vice-president of their organisation.

Jim Hurd's tireless enthusiasm made Deal the centre of angling - and him an ambassador of the sport. Local boatmen, hotel keepers and shopkeepers made a good living from the fishermen that came to Deal. He wrote up-to-date reports for the Fishing Gazette, a national angling paper, which was read by anglers all over Britain. From his tackle shop he invented many kinds of tackle that improved the anglers' catches and was way ahead of his time in rod design. To own a custom built rod by JB Hurd with The Foc'sle transfer on it was the ultimate in angling equipment.

It is doubtful that the small group of anglers who clustered around their rods under the dim lights of Deal Pier in the autumn of 1963 had realised all the good work that this large man, attired in his duffel coat and beret, had done in the past … if they did they would have felt it a privilege to have known Jim Hurd.

Copyright © David Chamberlain 2014


The D&WAA 110th anniversary - the early years

Report by Dave Chamberlain

One of the oldest and still active sea angling clubs in Britain is holding its 110th anniversary this year. Formed in 1904, the Deal and District Angling Association comprised a group of fishers who wished to hold competitions from Deal Pier, the beach and boats. At their first AGM they boasted a membership of 165 and elected Percy Edgar as their chairman. Mr Edgar was also owner of the sprat canning factory in north Deal.



End of the pier pavilion for the weigh-in always attracted a crowd …

With a growing membership of 217 in 1906 the members changed the club's name to Deal and Walmer Angling Association. The thriving society held many dinners, dances, smoking lectures and concerts to raise funds. These were very popular and it was noticed in one of the monthly meetings that the hire of the Royal Marines Band for an event was £3.0s.6d (approx £3.3p). The club had access to a cabin on the pavilion end of the pier where members could bait-up and hang their coats. This was kept clean by the Association's cabin steward. Unfortunately the cabin was destroyed in gales and the anglers had to wait for another to be built.



Ladies fishing festivals were very popular …

By 1911 the membership had exceeded 400 with many of the anglers coming from London and the Home Counties. The numbers that were fishing in the angling festivals and competitions warranted the Club to request that the South Eastern Railway reduce fares and alter timetables to accommodate their members' travelling arrangements. All the festivals were held as three-day events and 50 boats were recorded as being launched from the beach in the 1911 boat festival. These competitions were not only for the men - the Association also held an annual pier festival for women. The women's event always attracted over 50 female competitors.



The competitors display their club badges in this pier competition held on 30th October 1909 …

Fishing in those days was not as high tech as it is for the modern day angler. Rods were usually made from heavy greenheart wood with pulleys or fragile agate-encased top rings. The reels, or winches as they were known by, were also made from walnut. These 'star back centre-pin reels' were so-called because of the brass framework that held the reel securely to the rod. With thick cutyhunk line the outfit was not meant to be cast any distance. Dropping over the side of the boat or pier would suffice.

During the First World War, membership declined although the Association still tried to maintain the its functions and competitions. In 1916 they organised a fishing match on Deal pier for wounded service men who were convalescing. This was noted as the first of its kind held around the English Coast and even elicited comments from King George V who expressed his appreciation for the Association's efforts. As the competition progressed, the invalid soldiers were inundated with gifts of cigarettes, tobacco, sausage rolls and meat pies. The proprietor of the Clarendon Hotel donated a cask of ginger wine to fortify the men against the chilly northerly wind. Of the 150 men who fished only 43 managed to catch fish - dogfish, congers, codling, soles and pouting. The Deal and Walmer Angling Association made sure that all of the competitors won a prize. The winner, Private Borthwick, with 2 lb 13 oz, was presented with the main prize by Lady Haig and General Neville White.

Copyright © David Chamberlain 2014


Daily Express, Friday 27th October 1911

IZAAK WALTONS IN SKIRTS

SEVEN HOURS' ORDEAL ON A PIER

"Express" Correspondent

Deal, Thursday, October 26th.

The wettest place in England today was undoubtedly Deal Pier, where three-and-fifty ladies fished all day in the annual sea-angling competition.

At least, there were fifty-three ladies until one timid competitor caught a peculiarly repulsive dogfish, and abandoned her rod and her chances in feminine horror.

Then there were fifty-two, and they, clad in gleaming black oilskins and sou'-westers, braved seven long hours of the rain and wind-swept day. The gallants whose knightly duty it was to impale nasty red worms on fishhooks made an early flight before that riot of rain, but, with chilled hands grasping their rods, the drenched but doughty ladies kept their posts.

By twelve o'clock curls had become dank, dripping tresses. One o'clock brought a kindly steward of ceremonies down the thin black line to wring out the fringes of rain-soaked skirts, but still the anglers watched their wind-blown lines, fishing for fame and a pair of silver-backed hairbrushes.

Mrs. Percy Edgar, who organised the competition, was ahead early in the day by the capture of a big cod and, encouraged by this success, she went home and changed her clothes.

Mrs. Edgar looked an easy winner until about three o'clock in the afternoon. Then Mrs. Rose landed another corpulent cod, and promptly wrapped it in a wet cloth so that it would not lose any weight by getting dry.

An experienced angler, this Mrs. Rose. "I would not let any one breathe on that fish" she confided to me, "for fear they might blow a scale off it. It all counts in the weighing in."

So all through the day the oil-skinned anglers re-baited their hooks and cast their lines, while sheets of rain smote the boards, and the. waves thundered among the ironwork of the pier-head. At four o'clock the rain ceased, and at half-past four a whistle sounded, and the lines were drawn in.

Then, carrying their precious catches, the anglers gathered in the pavilion where they made a group that looked like Mr. George Edwardes' idea of a musical comedy lifeboat crew - a laughing crowd of young women in shining oilskins, their wet hair tumbling out from big sou'-westers over wet, rain-beaten faces.

The weighing in was a solemn affair, but in the end Mrs Edgar scored a very popular victory. She only caught one fish, but it weighed four pounds five and a half ounces.

So Mrs Edgar wins the pair of hair brushes and Mrs Rose, whose fish weighed 3 lbs 12½ ozs., carries off the fishing-rod which is the second prize.

The total weight of fish caught was 21¼ lbs., which works out at less than half a pound of fish per angler.


Women's Fishing Championship
Women anglers competing on Deal Pier for the deep sea fishing championship of the United Kingdom

"Deal and Walmer Angling Association: a history from 1904 to 1990" (2002) Marcel Baut at pages 21 to 48

The Dawn

In the latter part of 1903 a few very keen Deal anglers were fishing off the beach of Deal, when the idea came to them: why not form an Angling Club and this is where it all began. So enthusiastic were they, that they started to have discussions with other interested parties, and having gathered many keen anglers like themselves, together they decided to hold a meeting. Their very first meetings were held at various locations in Deal.

In early 1904 the Club was formed and it was decided to call the new Club the "Deal & District Angling Association" - to be changed later to its present title.

In 1904 committees were formed and competitions were held right through the year …

22nd August 1905 - A.G.M. held at the Town Hall

(Mr Percy C. Edgar, Chairman) considered that if the Association went on as it had commenced, it would not be very long before they would be able to affiliate with the British Sea Anglers' Society. A great many of those who had become members of this Association were already members of the B.S.A.S. They all knew that Deal derived a great many benefits from that Society, which helped in many ways. This being the headquarters of the B.S.A.S., where a vast number of the members came, the local Association ought to get a good number of them as members, if only to have a place where they could leave their rods.

21st November 1905

It appears the first Pier and boat competition fully recorded was held on the 30th November and the 1st December 1905. Although many competitions were held on the beach, Pier and boats in the previous year, only short references are made. As already stated, in the early part of the Club's life, they use to have regular meetings every week, sometimes twice a week and even each day prior to a competition, in their eagerness to get things right on the day. Great credit goes to these pioneers, for what they eventually achieved.



The Daily Express, Wednesday 22 November 1905

At this particular competition, the Executive Committee met each evening during the ensuing week at the Club's Hall, and refer to a top prize, one rod at 8/6 (42½p). They stipulated that the competitions would only be held if 10 anglers for the Pier and 20 for the boats were available.

The question of outstanding subscription: it was mentioned that the Secretary should draw up a list of names of those who had not paid, for the inspection of the committee, so the members could assist in the collection, also for the Secretary to write to all these members if not paid by a certain date.

"I always think it is a pity that the Association has this extra burden forced upon them."

The Deal and District Angling Association was affiliated to the British Sea Anglers' Society, 4 Fetter Lane, London EC in the latter part of 1905.

THE ANNUAL SEA ANGLING FESTIVAL

Held on the 30th November, the 1st, 2nd & 3rd December, 1905. Great local interest was evinced in the first open sea angling festival. The weather here was all that could be desired, the sea smooth enough to tempt the least venturesome member to embark, and the greatest boon of all, the fish were fairly plentiful in deep water. Though a somewhat dense fog prevailed on the Saturday morning, this did not deter anyone from venturing afloat, implicit confidence being placed by all members in the skill of our local boatmen; each boat being also provided with a compass, so as to make assurance doubly sure.

Mr. George Field from St. Leonard's fishing from the Pier made a somewhat remarkable start, his first capture being a Yacht's copper riding lamp in good condition, and this incident was productive of much good natured chaff.

The manner in which the festival was conducted from the start to finish, must stand out greatly to the advantage and prosperity of the Deal and District Angling Association.

The best thanks of the Association are due to all those gentlemen who assisted at the various functions, some of whom gave up the best part of several days in the interest of the Association.

13th August 1906

At a Special General Meeting it was decided to change the title of the Association from the Deal & District Angling Association to the present day's title "Deal & Walmer Angling Association".

28th September 1906

The first A.G.M. held at the Town Hall under the Association's new title.

… Mr. P. C. Edgar (Chairman) mentioned that now the Association was affiliated with the B.S.A.S. that members were by this means entitled to the privileges offered by that Society. Amongst these privileges were the use of the Society's rooms in Fetter Lane, and the recognised B.S.A.S. tariff for boats, bait, hotels, boarding houses etc., throughout the seaside towns and angling resorts of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Committee wish to draw attention to the alteration made in the title of the Association at a special general meeting, held on August 13th. In making this alteration they hope it will be productive of much support to the Association and be the means of bringing the two resorts into nearer touch in the interests of angling.

The membership now numbers 217.

The President, Alderman F.H.J. Hayward, referring to the recent incorporation of the name Walmer in the title of the Association, though they all felt pleased that they had joined hands, thus making these united towns the finest places for sea angling. He much preferred to see the two working together than independently.



The Daily Express, Wednesday 3 October 1906

12th October 1906

… It is interesting to read in the old reports the cost to insert an advert for our festival programmes, where a half page in the "Anglers News" under the heading "In the Swim" for £2 and the same space in the "Fishing Gazette" for £2.10.0 (£2.50p).

It appears during its early life the Association went in for a lot of social life such as dinners, dances, smoking lectures and concerts to raise funds. The concerts were held at the Theatre Royal. On these occasions they had the services of the Royal Marine Band of 13 members for £3.0.6 (£3 02½p). The artists were paid the following: soprano £3.3.0 (£3.15p), tenor £1.1.0 (£1.05p), bass £1.14.8 (£1.78p) and accompanist £1.1.0 (£1.05p).

… I notice in March 1906 we were in correspondence with the "Walmer District Council". Out of interest I checked up and found this Council ended 7th March 1935.

3rd November 1906

The arrangements for the second annual festival of this Association, takes place on the 11th and 12th November and show a very comprehensive programme, the prizes are numerous, handsome and valuable, and the large number of entries which have been secured assure a meeting that must do much to enhance the popularity and reputation of Deal and Walmer as being in the foremost rank of sea-angling resorts. 13 silver challenge cups, 3 gold, 13 silver and 4 bronze medals, besides other desirable prizes, are to be competed for, and they will be presented at the annual dinner of the Association on Monday November 12th, at the South Eastern Hotel, when the Rt. Hon. A. Akers-Douglas M.P., our member, has promised to preside. Cheap Friday to Tuesday tickets will be issued in connection with the festival.

There are the Walmer Challenge Cup and Gold Medal scheduled for the heaviest one day's catch of whiting, the Borough of Deal Silver Challenge Cup and a silver replica of it, which becomes the property of the holder, goes to the captor of the heaviest weight of sizeable fish on any one day in the boat competition.

The Deal Castle Cup, given by Lord George Hamilton, the Association's President, goes to the boat competitor landing the heaviest fish.

Among the Pier competition prizes is a cup given by the Pier Company. Also a special prize for the Lady landing the heaviest fish.

The Prizes are on view in Mr. Oatridge's window.

24th November 1906

For the second year in succession the D & W.A.A. had taken advantage of the annual competitions of the British Sea Anglers' Society at Deal to entertain their visiting brethren to the gentle craft.

… The Mayor said he was only too pleased to do anything he could in the interests of the anglers, which was also in the interests of the district. He had thoroughly enjoyed the evening and he felt sure all who had been present had done the same. There was one thing left he might as well do and that was to join the B.S.A.S. which he would be very pleased to do.

21st December 1906

It was the first time they discussed the matter of insurance to cover all cups, and the Secretary was instructed to put the recommendation of the committee into effect.

The many trophies, shields and medals seem to appear as from the middle of this year, they refer to shields and silver bands having been fixed to the plinths.

At the same meeting they mentioned that all trophies in those days were duly sent to the respective winners by rail and insured. When not personally delivered, the railway company would not accept responsibility unless these items were insured and sent carriage paid.

What a nice gesture on the part of the Club, who notified the donors of the trophies and other prizes, and informed them of the names of the respective winners. They also took photos of each cup and these were given to the winners. I suppose this was instead of a replica.

20th March 1907

… The Secretary produced a list of the patrons for inclusion in the Book of Rules, which I have already listed in the book.

"With the numerous famous names, I feel it is like reading Debretts."

4th September 1907

… In the year 1907 the list of membership was as follows:

From 1907 onwards the Club progressed and gradually got it on to a very high standard and a sound basis due to the groundwork done by the very efficient committee members. Their reputation must have got around, as members came from faraway as Bucks, Essex, Newmarket, Surrey, Sussex and London, from Thanet and all along the south coast as far as Eastbourne.

30th September 1907

… The work which had been done by the Association was certainly a very valuable one and there was no doubt that it was a very great influence for the good in the district. A great many who engaged in angling came amongst them, and not only spent their holidays here but came here as residents. He was quite sure that the advertisement given to the town through the Association was of great benefit. The publicity given through the announcement of the competitions had a wide influence in making the town known, especially to anglers, all over the Kingdom.

The support that had been given to the Association by those who were members and by residents who had the welfare of the district at heart, was shown by the large number of cups that had been given for competition. He should think that very few angling associations had such an array of cups offered for competition as they had in Deal. That, he thought, showed the interest taken in the Association by the townspeople.

28th September 1908

… it was gratifying to see the membership had reached 325.

The Pier Company had helped them considerably in giving them facilities, and the Cabin had largely helped.

The Association unquestionably did a vast amount of good to the district. It was surprising how great a distance some of the anglers came from. We had members from the Continent, America, Canada and all parts. The local and daily press had assisted them greatly, and the Telegraph had said that this was the finest deep-sea angling resort in the Kingdom. If the Telegraph said this, we must not contradict it.

27th September 1909

… Few clubs in the country possess such a silver cupboard as the D & W.A.A. I very much doubt if there is an angling association in England which can show the trophies which are submitted by this Association for annual competitions.

This position is largely due to the generosity among its friends, and I can only hope that, as years pass on, the success which has characterised the early years of the Association may still stick to it.

… The Chairman said the present membership standing at something like 425, if they continued at that rate and there was no reason it should not, he believed they would have not only one of the largest angling associations - they had that now - but some day the largest in the United Kingdom …


"Deal and Walmer Angling Association: a history from 1904 to 1990" (2002) Marcel Baut at pages 49 to 75

14th October 1909

The fourth ladies angling competition organised by Mrs. Percy Edgar, the wife of the Association's Chairman, has been looked upon as an annual event of much interest in angling circles, this took place on Deal Pier on Thursday, was held under the most auspicious conditions of weather and water, the spring tide providing an abundant flow of water. The number of entrants reached a total of 53 …

Mrs. Percy Edgar organised the first ladies competition in 1906.

1st November 1909

I quote from the East Kent Mercury. From the formation of the Deal & Walmer Angling Association, the direction of its affairs has been characterised not only by energy, but by originality and the latter quality has been exhibited in many directions, among them was the happy thought which led to the holding of a festival dinner on the Pier where anglers so persistently exercise their skill, and the Pier Pavilion proved well adapted to a purpose for which it had never before, we believe, been used, since nearly 60 years ago, when the first pile of the Pier was driven.

Mr Percy Edgar, the chairman at the festival dinner, referring to the increase in membership said, the increase surely was phenomenal for a local association. A great number of changes had taken place since this Association had been formed, and at least 25 new coast associations had been formed during that time, a number of which had written to the Association asking for advice and for a copy of its rules. The framing of the rules was a very difficult matter, but they had never had any serious trouble over their rules, and if they had not been on the whole satisfactory, they would never have had nearly 500 members.

24th January 1910

This Deal & Walmer Angling Association, which has done so much to popularise Deal as a sea-angling resort, has the further claim to the thanks of residents in that it has provided a number of most enjoyable entertainments for the pleasure of the members …

25th July 1910

… The appointment of a cabin attendant has proved of very great advantage, both cabin and bait-room being now kept perfectly clean, and in order. The committee therefore consider that the extra expense entailed for this purpose is thoroughly justified.

24th July 1911

… The report they had before them showed that the society was in a very good position financially, considering the large expenditure which had to be made by reason of the ravages of the sea upon their premises on the pier …

18th November 1911

… Mr. C. J. Watson, son of the ex-Mayor of Sandwich, had a curious experience with a 9 lb cod. He got the fish to the top of the water, but his tackle unfortunately gave way, and the fish made off with a three quarter pound lead weight. Trying again with new tackle, Mr. Watson had another bite, and to his surprise, the capture proved to be the cod he had just lost, with the tackle and lead weight still attached to it.

15th July 1912

… The committee are pleased to notify that the membership continues to increase, this year's total 424.

The competitions held during the season have been better attended than ever before, the record competitors for the last three years being 614, 714, 807.

… The Chairman said he ought not allow this opportunity to pass without saying that the existence of the Association, and its flourishing state, were a splendid thing for Deal. It was one of the greatest assets Deal had as an attraction. He had mentioned the pleasure felt by members in looking forward to the sport they were likely to get during the season, that had been in many cases a potent inducement to people to come to Deal, and it would be so in many more cases if it were only more advertised and known.

Mr. McCann said there is the important question of advertising. Since the death of Mr. Richardson, who gave the whole of his time really to reporting angling events for the "Anglers News", "Fishing Gazette" and other London papers, they had had no one to give the time needed to do the great deal of work involved, in doing as Mr. Richardson did. He did not think it was the place of the Association to pay anyone to do that, but he suggested that those who benefited in the Town might see to it, and that if tradesmen or boarding house keepers would pay a small sum weekly, they could afford to have a report sent up.

12th August 1912

Visitor's Angling Competition

The Boys took all the prizes in this special competition for juniors under 15 years of age, on the Deal Pier, on Monday, though one competitor of the feminine persuasion came within a quarter of a pound of a prize-winning weight.

So pronounced was the success of the event, and so great the interest, that a further junior angling competition has been arranged for August 27th, when the mere males are not to take all the prizes, but awards are to be offered for both boys and girls.

This event was the first of a three day competition, and were not in connection with the Deal & Walmer Angling Association, so that the rigid regulations of the Association as to sizeable fish did not apply, and all fish taken could be weighed in.

10th October 1912

The annual ladies angling competition was held on the Deal Pier, which is now a popular feature of the season, took place on Thursday 10th October in exceptionally brilliant weather, and Mrs. Percy Edgar, the organiser of the gathering, is to be congratulated upon the success.

Bathed in brilliant sunshine, and gaily bedecked with flags, the promenade deck presented a gay and animated scene all day.

Of the 68 entrants, many came from London and the Southern Counties, their ages ranging from nine to sixty years.

During the day a peculiar incident occurred, when one of the competitors hooked up a lady's gold watch, lost in the corresponding event some two years ago, but as this unusual catch was not classified in the prize list, no award was given.

The entire length of the promenade deck had been set apart for the exclusive use of the competitors, and deck chairs had been thoughtfully provided for each. Considerable amusement was caused during the morning as individual anglers, as well as groups, were being photographed by representatives of the Daily Graphic, Daily Mirror, Daily Sketch, and the Sporting and Dramatic Illustrated Press.

2nd November 1912

The 8th Annual Boat Festival was held on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th instant, proved a record success, the results exceeding the most sanguine (hopeful) anticipations of the committee. 1400 lbs gross weighed in during a three day competition for which the total entry was 135, may be regarded as a record not only for Deal, but for the coast. Our neighbours at Ramsgate in their festival, held on the same dates, had an entry of some 800 competitors, and the gross total reported is some 850 lbs., so that with little more than a sixth of the number of entries, the Deal aggregate is considerably more than half as large again as that at Ramsgate.

The result is one of which the Association, the competitors, and the Town, may justly feel proud.

Another record has been broken too, in the matter of individual aggregates. Mr. Reynolds' fine aggregate of 61 lbs 6 ozs. last year was a record of which we were justly proud, but even this has been surpassed, and the Borough of Deal Challenge Cup this year is secured by a lady, Mrs. F.V. Murmann, whose aggregate is no less than 68 lbs., a record, certainly for a lady, and a record, too, for any sea angling competition of which we have seen the returns.

One of the features of the competition was the daily excursions made by various officials of the Association, who, in the fine motor launch "Star", of the North Deal garage, visited each competing boat in turn. Special interest was attached to Sunday's trip, as the occupants of the various boats and their fish were photographed by the British Colonial Kinematograph Co., the films of which will be shown at the Queen's Picture Hall, Deal.

Those present in the "Star" on Sunday were: Messrs. J.R. Dixon, P.C. Edgar, G. Bowbyes (Secretary), G.R. Roberts, G. Band, Ed. Flood, G. Turner, Dick Roberts, J. Dixon, Junr. Master J.R. Dixon, J. O'Neal Farrell (representing British Kinematograph Company), Mr. Sykes (Manager, Queen's Hall) and C.U.R. Cavell (Deal Mercury).

In one of the boats, Mr. Dan Matthews, (a blind angler), with F. Bailey, caused special interest, and the only regrettable circumstance is that Mr. Matthews will not be able to witness what a really fine picture he and his 15 lb cod will make on the screen.

I wonder where these films and photos are, if still preserved.

Having completed their inspection, the committee boat steered a course for home, and as a final picture, a photo of the entire party aboard the "Star" was taken.

9th November 1912

… On Sunday a very fine mackerel was caught - a most unusual thing for pier fishing …

14th July 1913

The committee had pleasure in presenting the statement of accounts of the Association, made up to the end of that financial year (duly audited by Messrs. C. Holdstock and A.L. Rosenthall) showing a balance in hand of £68.11.4. (£68.57p) and they are confident that all members will consider the same, highly satisfactory.

The committee was pleased to notify that the membership has been maintained. The record of competitors for the last three years 714, 807, 921.

A special cabin for the lady members has been provided on the Pavilion deck of the Deal Pier, and it is hoped that this may tend to increase the number of lady members …

The committee wish to express their hearty thanks to those patrons and members who have so generously assisted by giving donations and prizes during the past season, to which has been largely due to the increased success of this Association.

… Mr. McCann, said that as a result of communications with the Pier Company, the difficulty that had arisen owing to non-competitors fishing on competition days, would in future be avoided as a certain part of the pier would be allocated to competitors only. The Pier Company had also allowed the Association to use the broad portion of the pier deck at the end for all their competitions, which would allow room for more rods.

4th October 1913

The first of two special two-day Pier Angling Competitions, organised by the Association, took place on Deal Pier on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October, under conditions most disappointing to the competitors and the organisers of the event, the fish taken on both days being so scarce and small that the task of the officials at the weighing in table proved ridiculously easy.

The explanation put forth for such paucity (fewness) of fish of all classes was the extreme mildness of the weather and water conditions, yet, by a very strange coincidence, the day previous to, and the day after, the competition, some excellent results were obtained by pier anglers.

There were, nevertheless, some amusing incidents during the competition, which, in a measure, made up for the lack of sport.

Mr. Elliott, one of the competitors, was fortunate enough to hook and successfully haul on to the deck, a rod which was discovered floating down by the tide, whilst Mr. Hards, who had momentarily left his rod unattended, had the whole lot carried away by the thoughtless act of some youths, who, in a doublesculling skiff ventured to pass under the pier through the network of lines. Fortunately for Mr. Hards, Mr. George Band, who was fishing in the next position, very smartly hooked the rod up, minus the trace and a quantity of line.

The lower deck competitors had their "little joke", when Mr. A.T. Collis, in a short space of fifteen minutes, struck a good patch, reeling in one sole, then two plaice in one cast, and, more tantalising still, two further flats, whilst his companions on either side could not get a "touch". Unfortunately for Mr. Collis, his captures did not quite reach the standard weight.

On the first day 70 competed, the majority of whom were ladies, whilst on the second day there were only 58 entries …

22nd November 1913

Deal's claim to the title of the premier angling resort round the coast was never better vindicated than on the occasion of the 9th Annual Open Boat Festival held in the Downs on November 22nd, 23rd and 24th. The festival established a record not merely on account of the extraordinarily large number of entries, but also because of the remarkable quantity and quality of the fish taken during the three days set apart for the competition. Never before has an angling festival at Deal yielded such an abundance of prime and sizeable fish, so much so that anglers, for the moment setting aside their apparent preference for Deal as an angling centre, may justly exclaim "Has Deal a rival?" We think not. That Deal has broken her own record - and her records in seasons past have been the envy of other angling centres is sufficient proof that her claim to rank as pioneer in matters piscine is unassailable.

During the competition 127 boats were necessary to accommodate the 231 competitors who desired to fish, and the aggregate gross weight actually brought to the scales was 2822 lbs, figures which would have been considerably higher had all the fish been weighed in. Not withstanding this the 1654 lbs. passed as sizeable fish, constituted another record.

An unfortunate incident occurred. As the attendent boatman was getting the monster conger hooked by Mrs. Murmann into the boat by means of the "gaff", the creature gave a jerk, with the result that the spare hook on the trace naturally a large one caught the back part of his hand, and the more he struggled, the further the hook was forced into the poor fellow's flesh, so serious was the situation, that the party had to come ashore, and Mr. Stanton was immediately driven to Dr. Hulke's surgery, where the hook was skilfully extracted.

This unfortunate mishap had a considerable bearing on Mrs. Murmann's chance for the top place.

Thanks to the kindly and thoughful act of Mr. W.J. Reynolds and his colleagues at the scales, a "Hospital box" which took the form of a large zinc bath, prominently placed on the weighing in table was daily patronised by the competitors, who, after weighing in their catches gladly parted with some of their fish for the benefit of the patients at the Deal Hospital …

29th November 1913

The Association brought their season's festival to a close on Monday 29th November, when the ninth annual three-day Pier Competition (open to members of any recognised angling club), terminated at 5 p.m.

The event this year attracted a much larger entry than usual. On the opening day there were 118 entries, the total amount of sizeable fish weighed in being 35 lbs 3 ozs. On Sunday the number of entries fell to 95, but by a strange coincidence, the weight of sizeable fish recorded on this day proved the heaviest during the three days, 53 lbs 10 ozs being the amount weighed in. On Monday there were 111 entrants, the amount of sizeable fish being 43 lbs 11 ozs.

Codlings, whitings, and poutings were the chief specimens taken throughout the competition, whilst, for once, all the prizes in the flatfish class were disposed of. The heaviest single fish taken in the festival was a Conger of 3 lbs 12 ozs, caught on the last day by Mr. W.H. Purkis, who thus won the special prize (a gold medal), for the heaviest fish.

The festival was favoured by fine weather, and the arrangements throughout were carried out in a manner that gave general satisfaction.

1st December 1913

The Festival Dinner of the Association was held at the Masonic Hall, Sondes Road, Deal on this Monday evening. The tables were very attractively set out, and the room presented a pleasing appearance on entering the room, which had the further adornment of the handsome and valuable cups and other excellent prizes offered for competition at the festival.

An excellent menu was well served by Mr. Oatridge, whose catering gave every satisfaction to the company.

The Mayor (Cllr. C. Hussey), who wore his chain of office, presided over the gathering of about 80, supported by Mr. J.R. McCann (Chairman of the Association). The Mayor was attended by the Town Sergeant (Mr. J.D. Philpott), who acted as Toast Master.

Speeches were kept within due limits, and were all to the point, while the most enjoyable musical programme was carried through promptly. The evening altogether was perhaps the most successful and pleasurable of any of the annual dinners of the Association.

Mr. J.C. Watson, in a short appreciative speech, proposed "The Ladies".

Violin solo, "Meditation" (Scassola), by Mr. W. Vernon.

Submitting, in well-chosen words, the loyal toast, the Mayor referred to His Majesty as one of the best sportsmen in the country, one of the best game shots, and he was not at all sure that the King was not one of the best anglers. The toast was accorded musical honours, the solo of the National Anthem being taken by Mr. George de Orfe.

21st March 1914

The enterprise of the D & W.A.A. in acquiring more extensive and elaborate premises wherein to conduct their business and to meet the needs of a rapidly growing membership, is a venture that should appeal and one that should receive the support of the angling fraternity. For some time past the "Angler's Hall" in Beach Street has been inadequate to supply the requirements of this popular society, and in order to cope with their present needs, and with a probable increase in membership, the committee of the Association have wisely rented more commodious rooms at 14, King Street, Deal. Here the society will enjoy rooms suitably furnished, capable of accommodating some fifty persons, and more important still, situated in the very centre of their scene of operations. The new premises are, we understand, to open daily to the Association members, who will thus have the privilege of enjoying cosy and comfortable quarters and reading the current piscatorial papers and periodicals.

13th July 1914

The Chairman said it will be seen from the report the Association is in a most flourishing condition, both as regards finance and membership. The accounts were duly audited by (Messrs. C. Holdstock and A. Biggs), showing a balance in hand of £78.1.2. (£78.7p). The membership at the present time constitutes a record 436.

The competitions held during this season have been attended by a larger number of competitors than ever before, the record of competitors for the last three years 807, 921 and 1047.

Then the storm clouds started to gather on the other side of the Channel and this changed the face of things.

5th September 1914

In consequence of the present crisis, the committee have regretfully decided to abandon the three October competitions. For the present the other festivals and competitions stand good, and should circumstances permit, this committee hope to carry them through at a later period …

19th October 1914

The committee of the Association met on this Monday evening to discuss the desirability of holding their annual open three-day Pier and Boat Festivals and, after very careful consideration, the committee felt that as no altered conditions in connection with the war were likely to interfere with fishing in the Downs, it would be desirable to carry out both events, as previously arranged. The dates fixed for the Pier Festival are November 21st, 22nd and 23rd, and those for the Boat Competition November 28th, 29th and 30th.

In arriving at their decision the committee look with confidence for the earnest support and co-operation, not only of their own members, but of members of the various associations around the coast. The committee also hope that those members who have not already paid their annual subscriptions and locker dues will kindly remit the same at their earliest convenience to the Secretary, at the "Anglers' Hall", Deal, to enable them to meet their liabilities in the current year.

24th October 1914

The Ladies Pier Competition is open to any lady from 17 years of age, upwards and is to take place from Deal Pier on Thursday, November 5th. The competition this year is organised by Mrs. Cordrey, and is holding the event expressly in aid of one of the local funds to aid the bereaved or distressed through the war. Numerous and valuable prizes are being offered, and the entry fee of 1/- (5p).

26th December 1914

Extract from the "Mercury" of events of the previous weeks.

Whatever else appears likely to happen, anglers, apparently are determined to continue to fish, from both Pier and boats, especially when their inclination to do so is increased by the gratifying knowledge that, judging by recent events, there appears to be an abundance of sport, and fish for some time to come.

On Sunday the first portion of the day was agreeably fine, and many anglers were out.

Notable among the day's visitors were an eminent London physician - Dr A.F. Bilderbeck Gomess, Mr C.A. Bungey and a friend, all three of whom, in the physician's words, came to Deal for the "greatest restorative for mind and body - Deal air and its fishing, Dr. Bilderbeck Gomess had only recently enrolled himself a member of the local angling association (D & W.A.A.) and, when, in response to his request, our fishing representative dispatched a message to London that sport at Deal was now good, the Doctor and his party decided to pay Deal a visit next Sunday, the party left Deal heavily weighted with the "spoils of the day", fully convinced that Deal, as a health and fishing resort, could scarcely be beaten. In fact, before leaving, Dr Gomess told a "Mercury" representative that so favourable were his impressions of Deal that he should certainly use his influence for the benefit of the Town and for Deal & Walmer Angling Association, of which society he was glad to be a member. Sport all round on Sunday was decidedly good.

Mr. Peter Seaton - a prominent London Police Officer, who, together with Mrs. Seaton, was down for the week-end, was fortunate in landing a magnificent cod of nearly 15 lbs weight, and was naturally so elated over his success, that, upon invitation, the local angling association became the richer by another member enrolled on the spot.

Strangely enough, Mr. Seaton was fishing from that position of the pier where it is almost impossible to cast or even keep a line clear, but having once hooked his quarry, he skilfully brought his fish to the surface, guided him into the landing net, and successfully hauled him on to the deck, a very fine capture, the heaviest pier fish we believe, so far, taken this season. In taking so fine a specimen, Mr. Seaton had an element of luck, for no sooner had the cod poked his nose into the landing net, than the slender gut trace broke, but the greater portion of the fish was already in the net, and the remaining portion naturally followed.

An Angler's Anxiety

During Sunday afternoon an angler, fishing alone from a small boat only a short distance outside the pierhead, had a somewhat anxious time. The lonely fisherman, as seen by those fishing from the pier, had been having some fine sport for upwards of an hour, bagging several fine cod and getting them inboard by means of the gaff. Suddenly one of the patrol tugboats was observed steaming quickly in. The boat took a wide turn and appeared to be coming into the pier. Still travelling fast she shaped a course near the punt. The position as viewed by those on the pier appeared that the small boat must be cut down. Realising his predicament, the angler ceased his fishing, and apparently alarmed, stood upright in his boat to attract the attention of those on the tugboat. As the boat did not stop, the alarmed fisherman ran for'ard to slip his painter (a rope attaching boat to anchor). Uncertain what to do, he came back aft, and actually placed both hands against the steamboat, which had then slowed down. It was skilful handling on the part of the crew of the tug, but it was nevertheless a period of considerable anxiety to the lonely fisherman. What actually transpired between the angler and the crew of the tug cannot be ascertained, but several of the men on the bow of the tugboat hove a line to the man in the punt, and as they were seen to pull something in, it is surmised that a little transaction in fish took place.

23rd October 1915

The "Mercury", containing a weekly record of fishing in the Downs and from the Pier, may be posted to anglers direct from their office on Friday evening. Annual subscription, including postage, 6/6d (32½p), half yearly 3/3 (16p).

12th July 1916

The Annual Meeting was held at the Town Hall, Deal, on this Wednesday evening … The Secretary … read a letter from Mr. Stanbrugh suggesting that an angling competition for wounded soldiers should be arranged, and offering a donation towards the cost. The matter was referred to the committee.

Presenting the 11th annual report and balance sheet of the Association, the Committee regret that, through the prolongation of the war, and other causes, there is a reduction on the last season's balance sheet of £17.15.4. (£17.77p).

This unfortunate circumstance has been occasioned by a further decline in membership, 287 being the present number as against 312 last year, and, in consequence of many members being away on active service, and absent from other causes, the members Pier and Boat Competitions, together with the Open Pier and Boat Festival, which your committee considered advisable to carry out, did not, from a financial point of view, realize the amount hoped for and expected. As soon as your committee realised that a decrease in the balance was inevitable they immediately met and discussed every possible method whereby to further curtail the expenses of the Association, despite the fact that already a considerable saving had been effected in many items of expenditure. After careful deliberation, it was decided to approach Mr. Jennings the landlord of the Association's headquarters with a view of obtaining, if possible, a reduction in the rental. This interview proved both satisfactory and encouraging. Mr. Jennings generously offering to accept £12 rental for the ensuing season in lieu of £25 as paid hitherto, this reduction, which, needless to say, was readily accepted by your Executive, took effect from the 25th day of March last.

The committee appeals to its members, not only to renew their donations but to persuade others to join the Association, which during the war was the only society round the coast to risk holding its competitions and festivals, thereby giving an opportunity to lovers of sport and fishing to meet and contest for the prizes offered, and so may retain its proud and unique position as The Premier Angling Association round the coast.

Undoubted the tit-bit of the past season was the competition for the wounded soldiers, which took place from the Pier on Thursday 9th September last. Never has such a novel or a more interesting event taken place in Deal, and since it was the first of its kind ever held round the English coast, your Association is to be congratulated upon the unparalleled success which attended the venture.

The initiative so ably and so energetically taken by your committee met with an enthusiastic and spontaneous response from residents and visitors alike, with the result that rods, and even prizes for each individual competitor, were readily forthcoming, whilst the Pier authorities kindly admitted the men free, allowed them to fish gratis and provided chairs for their comfort. At the close of the contest, unprecedented scenes marked the weigh-in, and the distribution of prizes within the pavilion by General Neville White terminated an event which will for ever be regarded as a "red letter day" for Deal.

He was told that their Association was the only one that held its competitions last year as usual. This spoke volumes for the way in which the committee had looked after the Association's interests and for the support which anglers taking part in the competitions had given it … The competition for wounded soldiers was a fine inspiration on the part of the committee to help to get the men well as quickly as possible after the terrible times they had passed through on the other side. He was very pleased that a similar competition to that of last year would be arranged.

The Mayor said a vote of thanks was quite unnecessary, as he looked upon it as a duty to help in any way he could, in view of the great benefit the Association had undoubtedly been to the Town. In the past it had brought what they might term a winter season to them, and anything that could be done to encourage ladies and gentlemen to come into their midst during the winter, deserved the fullest support.


Deal's history as a sea angling centre

Introduction

Deal has no indigenous industry and relies heavily on tourism for much of its employment. Since the inception of sea angling as a sport in the late 19th century Deal has welcomed sea anglers as they provide the town with regular and reliable income throughout the year regardless of weather and sea conditions. Indeed, there can be few coastal towns which enjoy a holiday season which extends into the autumn, winter and spring months. Accordingly, the relationship between Deal and sea angling has been, and remains, very close as is recognised in the AGM minutes of the Deal & Walmer Angling Association (the third oldest sea angling club in the world) relevant extracts of which are included below.

Mayor's Banquet, Deal, Tuesday 24th November 1903 as reported in the East Kent Mercury (Saturday 28th November 1903)

"The suggestion in regard to the institution of a fishermen's feast, to be to Deal what the famed oyster banquet is to the Essex town, is well worthy of consideration. Year by year Deal increases in popularity as a fishing resort, and the hospitable entertainment of our angling visitors in this way would tend to cement the ties which attach them to our town, and would, as Mr. Russell urged, be a good advertisement for our Borough. We hope we have not heard the last of this proposal, and we would commend it to the attention of the powers that be."

By way of further example, until recently it was traditional for the chairman of the D&WAA to be the Mayor of Deal [4] and the Association's annual general meetings were held at Deal town hall:

[4] As appears from the first full officers and committee record in 1905, the Club President in that year was Frederick Herbert John Hayward, His Worship the Mayor of Deal.

21st August 1920

The Mayor … felt that the Association was such a good thing for the town and the neighbourhood that, as Mayor of therough, he thought it right that the Association should have recognition and thanks for the work they were doing from that quarter. He also personally believed that the Association was doing far more good than was generally recognised. It was the means of bringing a lot of people into the town, who perhaps otherwise would never come to Deal.

41st Annual Festivals 1952

FOREWORD by His Worship the Mayor of Deal, Councillor F.F. Potter, C.B.E., J.P., C.C. It is a great privilege and pleasure to me to be invited as Mayor of Deal to contribute a foreword to this Festival Handbook, for I regard Angling and Anglers as one of the permanent assets of this pleasant coast town.

Deal's long-standing reputation for sea angling

From as early as the 1890s, regular shore and boat sea angling competitions were hosted in Deal by the British Sea Anglers' Society (B.S.A.S. - defunct since 1945). These competitions continued and increased in number and frequency after 1904 following the formation of the Deal and District Angling Association (now the D&WAA) with a membership of 450. The British Open Shore Sea Fishing Championship has been held every year in Deal since its inception in 1893/4.

"Dover as a Sea-Angling Centre" (1900) Deputy Surgeon-General Charles Thomas Paske at page 99

Having such a formidable competitor as Deal, this made the matter still more urgent, for there we find a developed organisation. Instead of sneering at anglers and treating them as if belonging to a misguided set of individuals, they lay themselves open to encouragement of every sort - bait obtainable on its pier, reliable gillies to be had when wanted, advice and assistance to those new to the place, as well as great courtesy all round. These are the lines on which to make a place popular, and bring anglers to the front, not the noli me tangere, keep your distance, sort of air so conspicuous in this place (Dover) …

"Modern Sea Angling" (1921) Francis Dyke Holcombe at pages 264 & 265

The English and Welsh Coasts … Deal has been very closely associated with sea angling for at least a quarter of a century, or longer; and the autumn competitions of the British Sea Anglers' Society, which were commenced soon after the Society was founded, were held there regularly every year down to the outbreak of the war. The fishing is not now so good as it used to be twenty years ago, but the autumn fishing for whiting and cod was excellent; and at one time there were a good many pollack around or under Deal pier …

"Sea Angling Modern Methods and Tackle" (1952) Alan Young at page 135

Sea Angler's Encyclopaedia … B.S.A.S. … The British Sea Anglers' Society was founded in 1893 to promote the interests of sea anglers and all that remotely concerned them. In this it was successful, and the work carried out by the society is beyond all praise. Its members were interested in both the practical and scientific aspects of fishing and fish, and many world-renowned anglers and famous scientists spoke at its periodic meetings. Its journal, "The British Sea Anglers' Society Quarterly", contained a wealth of information and material which could with advantage to all be collated and published today. Its headquarters were in Fetter Lane, in the City, and the records of the society were kept there. The building, which also housed the society's museum, was completely destroyed by enemy action during the war, and the society, to the regret of all sea anglers who knew it before the war, has faded out of existence …

For more on the B.S.A.S. go to www.hagstone.net

The following historical references to Deal as a sea angling centre are taken from Deal and Walmer Angling Association: A History from 1904 to 1990 (2002) by Marcel Philipp Leopold Walter Baut.

12th March 1906

The Chairman mentioned, he thought it would be a good idea to promote an "Entente Cordiale" between the French Anglers and our Association. He had unofficially sounded Mr. Payton the British Consul at Calais who was a member of the Calais Angling Club, and he was sure this would be taken up by both sides.

Mr. Fisher suggested that the main line railways, especially those running into Deal, should be asked to extend the time for the return tickets issued at a cheap rate to Anglers, so that they might be available at the time of our open competitions. If this was so the Anglers could come earlier and get back later.

9th August 1906

"Entente Cordiale" - it was suggested that the event should take place at Deal on the 15th October, 1906 and at Calais on the 22nd October the same year. It was proposed the competition held here to commence at 9 a.m. and the weighing in should take place at 4.30 p.m. and the dinner to be held at 6 p.m.

The Mayor and Corporation presented to the Deal & Walmer Angling Association (Ed: note the new title) with a handsome Challenge Cup, handed over at a meeting of the Town Council. The Cup, which was supplied by C.R. Darracott, Esq., bears the Borough Arms, and an engraved inscription of very artistic workmanship.

28th September 1906

The President, Alderman F.H.J. Hayward, referring to the recent incorporation of the name Walmer in the title of the Association, thought they all felt pleased that they had joined hands, thus making these united towns the finest places for sea angling. He much preferred to see the two working together than independently.

4th September 1907

The authority was going to close the pier as from the end of September for repairs but the Club's chairman saw the Mayor of Deal and the Piermaster. The Mayor on behalf of the Council wrote to the Board of Trade asking that an interim would be granted, and pointing out to them the seriousness of closing the pier.

The Board of Trade have since informed the Pier Company that they would sanction promenading and angling to take place on the pier during repairs.

30th September 1907

The support that had been given to the Association by those who were members and by residents who had the welfare of the district at heart, was shown by the large number of cups that had been given for competition. He should think that very few angling associations had such an array of cups offered for competition as they had in Deal. That, he thought, showed the interest taken in the Association by the townspeople.

The first ladies angling section formed in the country (1906-1907): see page 43

28th September 1908

Few clubs in the country possess such a silver cupboard as the D&WAA. I very much doubt if there is an angling association in England which can show the trophies which are submitted by this Association for annual competitions.

24th January 1910

This Deal & Walmer Angling Association, which has done so much to popularise Deal as a sea-angling resort, has the further claim to the thanks of residents in that it has provided a number of most enjoyable entertainments for the pleasure of the members …

15th July 1912

The Chairman said he ought not allow this opportunity to pass without saying that the existence of the Association, and its flourishing state, were a splendid thing for Deal. It was one of the greatest assets Deal had as an attraction. He had mentioned the pleasure felt by members in looking forward to the sport they were likely to get during the season, that had been in many cases a potent inducement to people to come to Deal, and it would be so in many more cases if it were only more advertised and known.

Mr. McCann said there is the important question of advertising. Since the death of Mr. Richardson, who gave the whole of his time really to reporting angling events for the "Anglers News", "Fishing Gazette" and other London papers, they had had no one to give the time needed to do the great deal of work involved, in doing as Mr. Richardson did. He did not think it was the place of the Association to pay anyone to do that, but he suggested that those who benefited in the Town might see to it, and that if tradesmen or boarding house keepers would pay a small sum weekly, they could afford to have a report sent up.

12th August 1912

Visitor's Angling Competition. The Boys took all the prizes in this special competition for juniors under 15 years of age, on the Deal Pier, on Monday, though one competitor of the feminine persuasion came within a quarter of a pound of a prize-winning weight. So pronounced was the success of the event, and so great the interest, that a further junior angling competition has been arranged for August 27th, when the mere males are not to take all the prizes, but awards are to be offered for both boys and girls. This event was the first of a three day competition, and were not in connection with the Deal & Walmer Angling Association, so that the rigid regulations of the Association as to sizeable fish did not apply, and all fish taken could be weighed in.

10th October 1912

The annual ladies angling competition was held on the Deal Pier, which is now a popular feature of the season, took place on Thursday 10th October in exceptionally brilliant weather, and Mrs. Percy Edgar, the organiser of the gathering, is to be congratulated upon the success. Bathed in brilliant sunshine, and gaily bedecked with flags, the promenade deck presented a gay and animated scene all day.

Of the 68 entrants, many came from London and the Southern Counties, their ages ranging from nine to sixty years.

During the day a peculiar incident occurred, when one of the competitors hooked up a lady's gold watch, lost in the corresponding event some two years ago, but as this unusual catch was not classified in the prize list, no award was given.

The entire length of the promenade deck had been set apart for the exclusive use of the competitors, and deck chairs had been thoughtfully provided for each. Considerable amusement was caused during the morning as individual anglers, as well as groups, were being photographed by representatives of the Daily Graphic, Daily Mirror, Daily Sketch, and the Sporting and Dramatic Illustrated Press.

2nd November 1912

The 8th Annual Boat Festival was held on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th instant, proved a record success, the results exceeding the most sanguine (hopeful) anticipations of the committee. 1,400 lbs gross weighed in during a three day competition for which the total entry was 135, may be regarded as a record not only for Deal, but for the coast. Our neighbours at Ramsgate in their festival, held on the same dates, had an entry of some 800 competitors, and the gross total reported is some 850 lbs., so that with little more than a sixth of the number of entries, the Deal aggregate is considerably more than half as large again as that at Ramsgate.

The result is one of which the Association, the competitors, and the Town, may justly feel proud.

Another record has been broken too, in the matter of individual aggregates. Mr. Reynolds' fine aggregate of 61 lbs 6 oz. last year was a record of which we were justly proud, but even this has been surpassed, and the Borough of Deal Challenge Cup this year is secured by a lady, Mrs. F.V. Murmann, whose aggregate is no less than 68 lbs., a record, certainly for a lady, and a record, too, for any sea angling competition of which we have seen the returns.

… In one of the boats, Mr. Dan Matthews, (a blind angler), with F. Bailey, caused special interest, and the only regrettable circumstance is that Mr. Matthews will not be able to witness what a really fine picture he and his 15 lb cod will make on the screen.

14th July 1913

… Mr. McCann, said that as a result of communications with the Pier Company, the difficulty that had arisen owing to non-competitors fishing on competition days, would in future be avoided as a certain part of the pier would be allocated to competitors only. The Pier Company had also allowed the Association to use the broad portion of the pier deck at the end for all their competitions, which would allow room for more rods.

22nd November 1913

Deal's claim to the title of the premier angling resort round the coast was never better vindicated than on the occasion of the 9th Annual Open Boat Festival held in the Downs on November 22nd, 23rd and 24th. The festival established a record not merely on account of the extraordinarily large number of entries, but also because of the remarkable quantity and quality of the fish taken during the three days set apart for the competition. Never before has an angling festival at Deal yielded such an abundance of prime and sizeable fish, so much so that anglers, for the moment setting aside their apparent preference for Deal as an angling centre, may justly exclaim "Has Deal a rival?" We think not. That Deal has broken her own record - and her records in seasons past have been the envy of other angling centres is sufficient proof that her claim to rank as pioneer in matters piscine is unassailable.

During the competition 127 boats were necessary to accommodate the 231 competitors who desired to fish, and the aggregate gross weight actually brought to the scales was 2822 lbs, figures which would have been considerably higher had all the fish been weighed in. Not withstanding this the 1,654 lbs. passed as sizeable fish, constituted another record.

13th July 1914

The Chairman said it will be seen from the report the Association is in a most flourishing condition, both as regards finance and membership … The membership at the present time constitutes a record 436. The competitions held during this season have been attended by a larger number of competitors than ever before, the record of competitors for the last three years 807, 921 and 1,047.

26th December 1914

Notable among the day's visitors were an eminent London physician - Dr A.F. Bilderbeck Gomess, Mr C.A. Bungey and a friend, all three of whom, in the physician's words, came to Deal for the "greatest restorative for mind and body - Deal air and its fishing" … Deal, as a health and fishing resort, could scarcely be beaten. In fact, before leaving, Dr Gomess told a "Mercury" representative that so favourable were his impressions of Deal that he should certainly use his influence for the benefit of the Town and for Deal & Walmer Angling Association, of which society he was glad to be a member.

14th July 1915

The Mayor said there was no doubt that the Association was a very great attraction to people outside the Town, the Association offered them many prizes in their festival in order to try to induce them to come into the Town. He had a letter before him received from a gentleman who inquired whether any restrictions were placed on persons with regard to fishing from the shore or pier. Of course, they knew there were restrictions but, for all that, there was no reason why Deal should not have a very successful angling season. If the restrictions did not prevent fishing, it was his intention to come with his family to Deal.

That was only one proof of the good the Association did to the Town.

12th July 1916

He also read a letter from Mr Stanbrough suggesting that an angling competition for wounded soldiers should be arranged and, offering a donation towards the cost, the matter was referred to the committee.

The committee appeals to its members, not only to renew their donations but to persuade others to join the Association which, during the war, was the only society round the coast to risk holding its competitions and festivals, thereby giving an opportunity to lovers of sport and fishing to meet and contest for the prizes offered, and so may retain its proud and unique position as the premier angling association round the coast.

Undoubted the tit-bit of the past season was the competition for the wounded soldiers, which took place from the Pier on Thursday 9th September last. Never has such a novel or a more interesting event taken place in Deal, and since it was the first of its kind ever held round the English coast, your Association is to be congratulated upon the unparalleled success which attended the venture.

The initiative so ably and so energetically taken by your committee met with an enthusiastic and spontaneous response from residents and visitors alike, with the result that rods, and even prizes for each individual competitor, were readily forthcoming, whilst the Pier authorities kindly admitted the men free, allowed them to fish gratis and provided chairs for their comfort. At the close of the contest, unprecedented scenes marked the weigh-in, and the distribution of prizes within the pavilion by General Neville White terminated an event which will for ever be regarded as a "red letter day" for Deal.

He was told that their Association was the only one that held its competitions last year as usual. This spoke volumes for the way in which the committee had looked after the Association's interests and for the support which anglers taking part in the competitions had given it … The competition for wounded soldiers was a fine inspiration on the part of the committee to help to get the men well as quickly as possible after the terrible times they had passed through on the other side. He was very pleased that a similar competition to that of last year would be arranged.

The Mayor said a vote of thanks was quite unnecessary, as he looked upon it as a duty to help in any way he could, in view of the great benefit the Association had undoubtedly been to the Town. In the past it had brought what they might term a winter season to them, and anything that could be done to encourage ladies and gentlemen to come into their midst during the winter, deserved the fullest support.

September 1916

Forthcoming Angling Competition for Wounded Soldiers

The second annual angling competition for wounded soldiers, specially organised by the Committee of the D & W. A. A., will take place from the Pier on Thursday next, September 14th, when it is hoped some 140 men drawn from the various local Red Cross Hospitals will compete.

Fishing will start at 11 a.m. and finish at 3 p.m. The numerous prizes which have so readily been given, will be presented at the close of the weigh-in by the Commandant of the R. M. Depot (Brigadier-Gen. H. S. Neville White, M.V.0.).

The Committee of the Angling Association specially appeal to anglers for the loan of rods for the men's use. All rods should be handed in to Mr. A. E. Rose, at his outfitting establishment (exactly opposite the Pier), where the prizes are now on view.

Any further information in respect of the competition may be had from the Secretary, Mr. C. U. R. Cavell, Anglers Hall, King Street, Deal.

14th September 1916

The second competition for wounded soldiers took place on this Thursday, 14th September, on Deal Pier, and aroused very wide-spread interest. The King (George V) on being informed of the event, sent through his Private Secretary, a message expressing his appreciation of the efforts of the Association to interest his wounded soldiers, and recalling the similar event held last year.

Lady Haig presented the first prize, Earl Beauchamp, (Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports), and Lord George Hamilton, were among other eminent donors of prizes. Among hundreds of interested spectators who visited the Pier during the day, were the Countess Loreburn, Lady George Hamilton, and Lady Sargant. The two little daughters of Sir Douglas and Lady Haig, Miss Alexandra and Miss Victoria Haig, themselves ardent Pier Anglers, were busily engaged during the day, among others, in baiting hooks, and otherwise helping men whose injuries precluded them from doing so themselves.

Unfortunately there was a strong wind from the north-west and a rather heavy sea, which was not conducive to good sport, but the 150 competitors, who were drawn from the R. M. Infirmary, St. Anselm's, the Canadian War Hospital, the Grange Hospitals, 1, 2, 3, 4 and Sholden War Hospital, entered into the sport with great enthusiasm, despite the fact that the contest was of that unique character, where there was a prize for every competitor, whether he was successful in catching fish or not.

Positions were drawn for, on the previous evening, and rods and chairs, (kindly lent by the Pier Company), were placed in readiness for each man, with bait supplied, and fish bags labelled.

At 11 o'clock, they went to their allotted stations, most being able to walk, though some were in bath chairs, and others had to depend on the aid of crutches. Among so many, were many varied dialects, the twang of the Canadian mingling with the brogue of the Irishman, the burr of the sturdy northerner, or the softer speech of the town-bred southron, and the eager comments as some fortunate contestant secured a bite were very amusing to overhear.

For the first hour the fish were not much in evidence, but as the day advanced, bites increased, and dog fish, congers, codlings, soles and poutings were taken, and it was found at the "cease fire" at 3, 43 men had fish to weigh in.

During the day the men were provided with refreshments, by the generosity of various friends. Not long after fishing commenced, Mr. J. Pinder, of the Clarendon Hotel, kindly sent out a cask of ginger wine, which, owing to the keen northerly wind, was very acceptable. Shortly after mid day, hot soup was taken round to the competitors, by the stewards and lady helpers connected with the Association, and at intervals during the competition, sandwiches, sausage rolls, meat patties, cakes, fruit, mineral waters, and an unlimited supply of cigarettes and tobacco, were handed round. By the thoughtful generosity of Mr. R. B. Marston, editor, and readers of the "Fishing Gazette", packets of 20 cigarettes each, were distributed among the competitors.

During the afternoon, by the kindness of Col. Fitzmaurice, and Officers, the pipe band of the 10th Scottish Provisional Battalion, under Drum Major Spence, gave an excellent programme of Scottish airs, which were greatly appreciated, not least by the competitors hailing from the other side of the Tweed.

The band were entertained to lunch by the Committee at Oatridge's Restaurant.

The prize giving ceremony was presided over by the Mayor (Ald. W. H. Redsull) who was supported by Lady George Hamilton, Lady Sargant, Mrs. Fitzmaurice, Mrs. Backhouse (sister in charge of Winchester House), Mr. Arthur Hill and the Chairman (Mr. J. R. McCann).

The pavilion was packed to its fullest capacity for the prize distribution ceremony by Brigadier General H.S. Neville White M. V. O., R. M. L. I. The Mayor introduced General White, who presented the prizes to 43 who had taken fish, the remainder of prizes generously given, being allocated by lot to the others who had taken part in the competition.

Pte. Borthwick, who took the first prize, a silver watch in case presented by Lady Haig, also received the handsome cup presented by Mr. C. Walker, of Walmer for the heaviest single fish, and Pte. Crouch and Pte. Boyce received the Special prizes to the value of 10/- (50p) each given by Mr. C. E. Merrin, for the largest round fish and flat fish respectively.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the Mayor heartily thanked General White for coming and presenting the prizes. He was sure they had all appreciated the prizes, judging by the ovation they had given as each was presented, and their value was added to by the fact, that they had been presented by so eminent an officer as the General. He hoped that this competition for the wounded soldiers would not be an annual event. It was about 12 months ago since a similar contest was held, but he sincerely hoped that before this time next year came round they would be living in very much happier and more peaceful times.

General Neville White said he was very pleased to come to distribute the prizes, and he was still more pleased at the reception they had given him. He did not expect to have "For he's a jolly good fellow" sung or to be received in this way, and fully appreciated it. He did not know whether many of them were fishermen, but if they were they knew what fishermen's luck was. He believed more fish had been caught this year than last. Fishing was a very pleasant occupation and it was very nice to have ladies attending on them and giving the benefit of their experience in baiting hooks and providing refreshments. It was very nice, too, for all to win prizes, and he thought that form of competition belonged exclusively to Deal and Walmer Angling Association. At any rate he had not heard of one like it elsewhere. They knew, of course, why this entertainment was given them. It was because the people of Deal and Walmer appreciated what they had done at the front, they sympathised with the men in any sufferings they had undergone, and they were proud of them for what they had done. They knew that if it was their fortune to go again to the front they would behave with equal gallantry, and that was why this entertainment had been given.

Thanks to the Mayor were voiced by Mr. Reynolds, and accorded with three cheers, and the National Anthem brought the interesting proceedings to a close.

21st October 1916

The Mayor said that the Committee are to be congratulated upon arranging and successfully carrying out another competition in war time, thereby enabling many anglers from London and else-where to visit the town, and, in addition to the enjoyment afforded, to enable many of the competitors to return to their various spheres of labour, not only re-invigorated and benefited by their brief stay in Deal, but heavily weighted with bags of fresh fish - an article of diet now so scarce in London.

1st December 1916

Once again the Association have been the means, not only of bringing a large number of anglers into the town, but what is more important still, of supplying the community with the welcome luxury of over 3,000 pounds of fresh fish, a commodity that has been highly appreciated in these expensive times of war.

11th July 1917

The Mayor said the very comprehensive report given by the Secretary left very little for him to deal with, it was highly gratifying to know that the Society had maintained its position, when one considered the restrictions now obtaining in connection with fishing. He thought they had done remarkably well.

He understood that during the Boat Fishing Festival, something like 3,000 or 4,000 lbs of fish were taken - that was remarkable. His Worship also referred to the assistance the society had given towards supplying food for the country.

In thanking the Mayor for his attendance that evening, and for his continued interest in, and support of the Association, Mr. Dixon said that when the war was over, he hoped the Association would hold a big rallying meeting, having as their object the creating of increased interest in fishing.

Mr. Dixon referred to the great benefit the Association had been to the town, by increasing the residential population, and also the need for a stronger local backing, pointing out that a large number of members lived outside the town.

30th August 1917

The Fifth Annual Juvenile Angling Competition held on this Thursday, attracted a record entry of 170, which considerably surpassed the entry for this contest in any previous year and was much larger than the organisers anticipated: a fact which was particularly gratifying to them as showing the popularity of such an event. That so large an entry should have been attained in war time is especially noteworthy.

The first prize, for girls and boys respectively, were given by Countess Beauchamp and Lady George Hamilton, and in all there were 51 prizes, all of which were allotted.

The rather long and tedious task of allotting stations to so unexpectedly large a number of competitors, threw no light burden on the organisers, but very soon after whistle-blow, the children were all in their places, and set about their task with keen delight. A liberal supply of sweets, minerals, cakes, fruit and other comestibles (eats) dear to the heart of the young folk was available, but disappeared with even greater rapidity than the bait. If the appetites of the fish had been as keen as those of the youngsters in the exhilarating sea air, a glut of fish must have resulted. The scene on the promenade deck was a very animated one, stewards and stewardesses, together with many of the competitors' parents and friends giving the Pier quite an old time height of the season appearance.

Many who sent gifts for the competitors, came from the local trade people, a hearty cheer was given when the Countess Beauchamp arrived to present the prizes. Little Miss Sybil Orman, presented a bouquet to Countess Beauchamp, who with a kindly word and handshake for the little competitors, charmingly presented the prizes.

Mr. C.U.R. Cavell expressed the thanks to the donors of the prizes, Countess Beauchamp and Lady George Hamilton for giving such handsome first prizes. He was sure the boy and girl who had taken the first prizes would value them, particularly as coming from the ladies who resided in the two historic castles of this district.

He thanked the Pier Master and the Pier authorities for their help, and Lieut. Watson for the loan of the pavilion, as well as his colleagues on the Committee, who had worked very hard.

31st July 1918

The Mayor … congratulated the Association on the satisfactory … increase of membership largely, he understood, from those residing a long way from the town, who came amongst them year by year, to enjoy the fishing in Deal.

21st September 1918

The Association opened its season's fixtures with a three-day Pier competition on Saturday 21st, Sunday 22nd and Monday 23rd September. There is abundant evidence of the wide-spread popularity of these angling competitions, for the event (which was open to members only) attracted a much larger entry than last year, the total number of entrants covering the three days being 148. Many of the competitors came to Deal expressly to fish in the competition, whilst several anglers on holiday here enrolled themselves as members of the Association in order to participate in the contest, one of the new members being Lieut. L.G. Highnote, of Texas, U.S.A. Those who purposely came from London and elsewhere to fish, looked particularly weary and war-worn, and many of them expressed their appreciation and thanks to the officials of the Association for providing them with a little relaxation during these anxious and troubling times.

10th October 1918

Naturally the idea of holding fishing competitions for ladies only gave cause for a little sensation at the time, especially as Deal was the first town in England to introduce and carry out such a novel contest, but so popular did the idea become, that the event expanded from year to year, until it is now looked upon and acclaimed as the tit-bit of Deal's angling season.

On the day of its inception, there were only 25 ladies who fished, but on this Thursday there was a very fine entry of 74, and out of that number, there were only ten present who fished in the initial competition 13 years ago.

21st October 1918

So far as the competitors themselves were concerned, they covered, as was expected, a wide area, many of them coming especially from London, Tunbridge Wells, Thanet, Ashford, Canterbury, Folkestone, Dover and Herne Bay, the representative of the latter town, Mrs. C.M. Plante, being the well deserved winner of the first prize.

21st August 1920

The Mayor … felt that the Association was such a good thing for the town and the neighbourhood that, as Mayor of the Borough, he thought it right that the Association should have recognition and thanks for the work they were doing from that quarter. He also personally believed that the Association was doing far more good than was generally recognised. It was the means of bringing a lot of people into the town, who perhaps otherwise would never come to Deal.

During the past year there had been various opinions as to the use of the top deck of the Pier for angling: of course everything had not been viewed from the same standpoint. But he thought the difficulties were being smoothed away, and that what seemed so detrimental to the Pier angling, he felt there would be happier feelings between the anglers and the authorities which ought to exist, and which had existed in the past. He trusted, now the town owned the Pier, that happy feeling would long continue.

21st November 1921

The Deputy Chairman … was sorry that some of the entrants had been disconcerted by the presence of some non-competitors who declined to leave the positions they had taken up, and he thought the matter should receive the attention of the Pier authorities. So far as he was aware, at all other angling resorts where competitions were carried on, the authorities did not allow anyone not entered for a competition to take up a stand in the place allotted. The matter had been brought to the notice of members of the Council and the Town Clerk, everything possible should be done to retain the patronage of angling visitors.

At one time the Association had the largest membership of any Angling Association round the coast. But the lack of those further facilities which they desired had caused many former angling visitors to patronise other resorts where the authorities laid themselves out to welcome them and to meet their wishes.

The effect of the facilities given in other seaside resorts had been that some of the Associations had quadrupled their numbers, and he had been told personally by officials at three of the large southern angling resorts, that the position with regard to angling at Deal had given them an opportunity they had not possessed before of attracting anglers to their towns. He hoped by next season, both the weather and other conditions would be greatly improved.

Mr. T. Steib, said it was rather pathetic to see the number of anglers walking up and down, and going to the farther end of the Pier, to see people on the lower stage catching fish. Various questions were asked by members present as to the likelihood of shelters being provided on the Pier, some remarked that having competed in other towns during the last year or two, they found a great difference in the facilities their given. The Deputy Chairman said the committee had done all in their power to induce the authorities, now that they had taken over the Pier, to do what they could to retain the patronage of anglers.

5th September 1922

It is with pleasure that the committee are now able to inform the members that the restrictions prohibiting fishing on the upper deck of the Pier, during certain months of the year have now been re-adjusted so anglers may now fish from the upper deck throughout the whole of the year, subject to one or two necessary reservations.

8th October 1922

The Association's endeavours to support the Pier committee in popularising the Pier bore fruit in a large entry, and although there was only one prize, the value of the trophy proved a strong inducement to compete, and a total of 175 entered, of whom 50 came from London and other parts especially for the event, the number being quite double that entry for the competition held at the corresponding time last year.

7th August 1923

The new regulations regarding fishing from the upper deck of the Pier inaugurated last season by the Pier Committee have, as anticipated, proved of great advantage, and as a result the number of Pier anglers has since been steadily increasing.

As regards the Angling Association, he was fully aware, and he thought the burgesses of the Borough were also fully aware, that the Association was a very great asset to the Borough. Deal had no staple industries, and if the gentlemen on the Committee could make Deal sufficiently attractive to bring a lot of people here in the autumn and winter, they would be conferring a very great boon on the Town. They would not be prolonging the season, but they would be increasing their means of livelihood.

30th September 1925

The committee were thinking of holding all future Pier Festivals on Dover Breakwater, owing to the withholding, by the Pier Authorities, of the necessary conditions and protection to competitors at our competitions.

The Dover Sea Angling Association having by kind permission of the Dover Harbour Board, offered the unique facilities enjoyed by their Association, and to provide for the weighing-in of the fish at their own Depot.

The committee acting on experienced advice, propose to make the Pier Festival an open event. Having made full enquiries, they are assured that the Dover Harbour Board will be pleased, if necessary, to reserve the whole of the Breakwater for the competition, and will also arrange for their tug to convey competitors to and from the Breakwater.

The Dover Entertainments Committee have expressed their intention to do everything possible to welcome the competitors.

Mr. Edgar said when competitors were fishing on the lower deck, seven other anglers came between them and refused to go away and the Pier Master could not, or did not attempt to, move them. Cllr. Turk said that at the time there was no power to move them, but under the new conditions now printed on the fishing tickets there was power to do so.

29th October 1925

The committee have decided to affiliate with the National Federation of Sea Anglers. This decision is the result of considerable pressure brought to bear by the Hon. Secretary of that body and by numerous Associations round the coast. Their application has been accepted, and the forthcoming competitions will be held under their rules.

29th July 1926

The Association having joined the N.F.S.A., it became imperative to discontinue the joint competitions held with the B.S.A.S.

The members will be glad to know that a full understanding has been arrived at with the Pier Committee, who have been pleased to grant us every facility for future competitions on Deal Pier.

The Mayor said there was some feeling in regard to the holding of a Pier competition by the Association at Dover, but he was highly delighted that the Pier Committee and the Association had come to such an amicable agreement, and were working cordially together to help the town as much as possible. Anything he could do as Mayor to promote that good feeling he would be only too glad to do. If he could give the Association any assistance in the way of prizes or a donation he would be delighted to do so, because he felt it was for the benefit of the town to encourage angling visitors to come here. He recognised that for many years the Association had done a great deal to bring visitors I here at a time of the year when otherwise the town would be practically without them.

Mr. Edgar said that the late Lord Chilston took a great interest in the formation of the Association, and at the time he had at least 10 to 15 interviews with him as Mr. Akers-Douglas (then Home Secretary) in regard to the wording of the rules, which he might say had been copied by practically every angling club that had been formed since.

He was a wonderful man (a member: A super-man) [2] and he had gone to any amount of trouble in connection with the Association's affairs.

[2] Superman, the fictional superhero, was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, high school students living in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1933 and the character was sold to Detective Comics, Inc. (later DC Comics) in 1938.

20th September 1926

On the Deal Pier this Monday the Association put on a novel angling competition, the unusual feature that there were no personal prizes. For the second time a competition was arranged in aid of the Deal, Walmer and District War Memorial Hospital, to which the whole of the proceeds were given. The competitors having the heaviest catches had the privilege of handing three cheques to the institution, and were presented with certificates. The event, which attracted upwards of 150 entries, was organised by Messrs. J.W. Zaehnsdorf, G. Britten, G.H. Hards, A.E. Rose, Cllr. Woodhead, and Capt. Drummond.

22nd November 1926

The twenty-second Annual Pier Festival of the Association took place on the 20th, 21st and 22nd instant … The number of entries was 245 … The competitors came from Barnstaple, Eastbourne, Hastings, Brighton, Herne Bay, Folkestone, Dover, Ramsgate, Margate, Broadstairs, Sandwich and a large number from London and the Suburbs.

29th March 1927

The Mayor of Deal (Cllr. J.F. Arnold) convened a meeting at the Town Hall this Wednesday evening to consider the question of an amalgamation of the Deal & Walmer Angling Association and the Deal Angling Club (1919). There was a very large attendance of members of both organisations, and after a lengthy discussion lasting for about 2¼ hours, a resolution was carried to refer the matter to the vote of members of both organisations.

Angling people were supposed to be among the finest sportsmen in the world, and their differences ought to be easily adjusted. He would be very sorry to see anything done in the town whereby the name of Deal as an angling resort should be in any way damaged. The town was known all over the country as one of the finest centres for angling, and he asked the members of the two organisations to maintain the good name it had held for many years past.

9th September 1927

… the Mayor of Deal (Cllr. J.F. Arnold) called a meeting of the members of this Association and the Deal Angling Club (1919), with a view to amalgamation, which meeting was attended by many members of both Associations. It was agreed that an account of the proceedings at that meeting should be forwarded to members of both clubs, and they be asked to vote either for or against the resolution which was passed, and a special committee was elected, with the Mayor in the chair, to carry out the wish of the meeting. This they did, and a copy was sent to every member. The special committee met later when they were handed the voting papers by the Mayor which showed that a majority of the members were for amalgamation. Thereupon the result was communicated to both Associations, together with the Mayor's wish that the negotiations should be resumed at once.

It was suggested to the Deal Angling Club (1919) that June 2nd as a date for the resumption of the negotiations. We received a reply from their Secretary that their committee were not prepared to carry out the request of the special committee, as they considered the time inopportune for amalgamation.

The meeting was duly held with the Mayor in the chair who expressed his great surprise that no member of the D.A.C. (1919) committee was present, and that no communication had been received as to their non-attendance.

Mrs. Edgar wondered if it was clearly understood to what extent the Association advertised last year. They were the means of getting the majority of anglers who came down in the latter part of the season. She did not know whether the 1919 club did advertise other than in the "Anglers News". It should be made clear to tradesmen and residents the benefits that the town derived from angling. Visitors came down for angling at a time when everything else was finished.

The angling was the means of her and husband coming here to live, and there were many others she could mention who had become residents for the same reason.

The Chairman said he saw that the D.A.C. (1919) spent £1.19.4. (£1.96p) on advertising, against £20 by the Association. That £20 brought a great many people, and the Association had the finest boat and pier competitions held for a number of years. Mr. Newell, said that angling was the means of bringing something like £8,000 to £10,000 into the town from September to Christmas.

28th October 1927

Mr. Hurd, Vice-Chairman read the report of the Association, said that the festival this year broke all records in regard to entries, the total number for the three days being 285 …

It was very gratifying to the Committee to see so many of last year's competitors again taking part, which only went to show that the efforts of the Deal and Walmer Angling Association to bring visiting anglers into the town was having the desired effect as practically 75 per cent of the competitors came from away, some from places as far distant as Derby, Barnstaple, Hastings, London, Southend and numerous other towns.

41st Annual Festivals 1952

FOREWORD by His Worship the Mayor of Deal, Councillor F.F. Potter, C.B.E., J.P., C.C.

It is a great privilege and pleasure to me to be invited as Mayor of Deal to contribute a foreword to this Festival Handbook, for I regard Angling and Anglers as one of the permanent assets of this pleasant coast town.

For nearly half a century the Deal and Walmer Association has fostered the interest of all lovers of this healthy sport, and has organised countless local and national competitions. I rejoice today therefore that under its distinguished President, Sir Gerald W. Wollaston, it has made such a notable recovery from the misfortunes of war.

Recalling, as I can personally, the facilities on the old Pier and the amenities of the Club Cabin on the lower deck, I regret profoundly that the re-building of the Pier is not yet possible, though I hope it will not be long delayed.

In the meantime I rejoice at your strength as an Association. May you continue to prosper and may ever-increasing 'catches' favour all your members and the many visitors they help to attract to the town.


Deal and Walmer Angling Association: A History from 1904 to 1990 (2002) by Marcel Philipp Leopold Walter Baut at pages 106 to 111

September 1916

Forthcoming Angling Competition for Wounded Soldiers

The second annual angling competition for wounded soldiers, specially organised by the Committee of the D & W.A.A., will take place from the Pier on Thursday next, September 14th, when it is hoped some 140 men drawn from the various local Red Cross Hospitals will compete.

Fishing will start at 11 a.m. and finish at 3 p.m. The numerous prizes which have so readily been given, will be presented at the close of the weigh in by the Commandant of the R.M. Depot (Brigadier-Gen. H.S. Neville White, M.V.O., R.M.L.I.).

The Committee of the Angling Association specially appeal to anglers for the loan of rods for the men's use. All rods should be handed in to Mr. A.E. Rose, at his outfitting establishment (exactly opposite the Pier), where the prizes are now on view.

Any further information in respect of the competition may be had from the Secretary, Mr. C.U.R. Cavell, Anglers Hall, King Street, Deal.

14th September, 1916

The second competition for wounded soldiers took place on this Thursday, 14th September, on Deal Pier, and aroused very wide-spread interest. The King (George V) on being informed of the event, sent through his Private Secretary, a message expressing his appreciation of the efforts of the Association to interest his wounded soldiers, and recalling the similar event held last year.

William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (1920) Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig and Dorothy Maud (née Vivian) Countess Haig (1922) Right Honourable Lord Sir George Francis Hamilton (1920) First Lord of the Admiralty and Secretary of State for India

Lady Haig presented the first prize, Earl Beauchamp, (Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports), and Lord George Hamilton, were among other eminent donors of prizes. Among hundreds of interested spectators who visited the Pier during the day, were the Countess Loreburn (née Violet Elizabeth Hicks-Beach), Lady George Hamilton (née Lady Maud Caroline Lascelles), and Lady Sargant. The two little daughters of Sir Douglas and Lady Haig, Miss Alexandra and Miss Victoria Haig, themselves ardent Pier anglers, were busily engaged during the day, among others, in baiting hooks, and otherwise helping men whose injuries precluded them from doing so themselves.

Unfortunately there was a strong wind from the north-west and a rather heavy sea, which was not conducive to good sport, but the 150 competitors, who were drawn from the R.M. Infirmary, St. Anselm's, the Canadian War Hospital, the Grange Hospitals, 1, 2, 3, 4 and Sholden War Hospital, entered into the sport with great enthusiasm, despite the fact that the contest was of that unique character, where there was a prize for every competitor, whether he was successful in catching fish or not.

Positions were drawn for, on the previous evening, and rods and chairs, (kindly lent by the Pier Company), were placed in readiness for each man, with bait supplied, and fish bags labelled.

At 11 o'clock, they went to their allotted stations, most being able to walk, though some were in bath chairs, and others had to depend on the aid of crutches. Among so many, were many varied dialects, the twang of the Canadian mingling with the brogue of the Irishman, the burr of the sturdy northerner, or the softer speech of the town-bred southron, and the eager comments as some fortunate contestant secured a bite were very amusing to overhear.

For the first hour the fish were not much in evidence, but as the day advanced, bites increased, and dog fish, congers, codlings, soles and poutings were taken, and it was found at the "cease fire" at 3, 43 men had fish to weigh in.

During the day the men were provided with refreshments, by the generosity of various friends. Not long after fishing commenced, Mr. J. Pinder, of the Clarendon Hotel, kindly sent out a cask of ginger wine, which, owing to the keen northerly wind, was very acceptable. Shortly after mid day, hot soup was taken round to the competitors, by the stewards and lady helpers connected with the Association, and at intervals during the competition, sandwiches, sausage rolls, meat patties, cakes, fruit, mineral waters, and an unlimited supply of cigarettes and tobacco, were handed round. By the thoughtful generosity of Mr. R.B. Marston, editor, and readers of the "Fishing Gazette", packets of 20 cigarettes each, were distributed among the competitors.

During the afternoon, by the kindness of Col. Fitzmaurice, and Officers, the pipe band of the 10th Scottish Provisional Battalion, under Drum Major Spence, gave an excellent programme of Scottish airs, which were greatly appreciated, not least by the competitors hailing from the other side of the Tweed.

The band were entertained to lunch by the Committee at Oatridge's Restaurant. [3]

The prize giving ceremony was presided over by the Mayor (Ald. W.H. Redsull) who was supported by Lady George Hamilton, Lady Sargant, Mrs. Fitzmaurice, Mrs. Backhouse (sister in charge of Winchester House), Mr. Arthur Hill and the Chairman (Mr. J.R. McCann).

The pavilion was packed to its fullest capacity for the prize distribution ceremony by Brigadier General H.S. Neville White M.V.O., R.M.L.I. The Mayor introduced General White, who presented the prizes to 43 who had taken fish, the remainder of prizes generously given, being allocated by lot to the others who had taken part in the competition.

Pte. Borthwick, who took the first prize, a silver watch in case presented by Lady Haig, also received the handsome cup presented by Mr. C. Walker, of Walmer for the heaviest single fish, and Pte. Crouch and Pte. Boyce received the Special prizes to the value of 10/- (50p) each given by Mr. C.E. Merrin, for the largest round fish and flat fish respectively.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the Mayor heartily thanked General White for coming and presenting the prizes. He was sure they had all appreciated the prizes, judging by the ovation they had given as each was presented, and their value was added to by the fact, that they had been presented by so eminent an officer as the General. He hoped that this competition for the wounded soldiers would not be an annual event. It was about 12 months ago since a similar contest was held, but he sincerely hoped that before this time next year came round they would be living in very much happier and more peaceful times.

General Neville White said he was very pleased to come to distribute the prizes, and he was still more pleased at the reception they had given him. He did not expect to have "For he's a jolly good fellow" sung or to be received in this way, and fully appreciated it. He did not know whether many of them were fishermen, but if they were they knew what fishermen's luck was. He believed more fish had been caught this year than last. Fishing was a very pleasant occupation and it was very nice to have ladies attending on them and giving the benefit of their experience in baiting hooks and providing refreshments. It was very nice, too, for all to win prizes, and he thought that form of competition belonged exclusively to Deal and Walmer Angling Association. At any rate he had not heard of one like it elsewhere. They knew, of course, why this entertainment was given them. It was because the people of Deal and Walmer appreciated what they had done at the front, they sympathised with the men in any sufferings they had undergone, and they were proud of them for what they had done. They knew that if it was their fortune to go again to the front they would behave with equal gallantry, and that was why this entertainment had been given.

Thanks to the Mayor were voiced by Mr. Reynolds, and accorded with three cheers, and the National Anthem brought the interesting proceedings to a close.

The Committee responsible for the organisation of the event - a task involving no small amount of thought and energy - included Messrs. J.R. McCann (Chairman), J.R. Dixon (Deputy Chairman), W.J. Reynolds, W.A. Dollond, C.G. Slawson, A.E. Rose, G.R. Roberts, E. Flood, W.E. Woodhead, W.C. Smith, H.F. Spicer, E.T. Waters, F. Goodwin, R.H. Faulkner, F.H. Elliott and Capt. Paxton. Mr. W.J. Reynolds, the London member of the Committee, whose influence was also most effectively exercised in a like direction, in addition to prizes gave a large basket of choice assorted fruit for distribution at the hospitals for men unable to compete.

Silver cigarette case awarded to Private Jesse Chambers (Service No M/403155, formerly S/14599), Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (10th November 1915 to 31st March 1920) wounded in action on 25th May 1916 Inscription reads "Wounded Soldier, Angling Competition, Deal 1916"

If anyone has any information about Private Jesse Chambers (who, despite his wounds, survived the war) please contact david@dealpier.uk and I will forward to his son, Brian Chambers, who is researching his father's WW1 regimental history.

[3] Oatridge's Restaurant sat between the "Antwerp Hotel" (now "The Bohemian") and a row of shops and shipping offices. The building was badly bombed during the Second World War and was bought by Deal Borough Council. It was subsequently replaced by "The Quarterdeck" which in turn made way for the current "Quarterdeck" itself now demolished and replaced with shops and flats.


Daily Mirror, Saturday 16 September 1916

Deal & Walmer Angling Association Fishing Competition for Wounded Soldiers





Daily Express Friday, 23rd August 1929


Excitement was intense on Deal Pier yesterday during an angling competition for boys and girls.
Parents were present in force to watch the skill of their children.

Stan Culver

Recently, Dave Andrews showed me some old press cuttings from his grandfather, Stan Culver. I found these of interest as I knew Stan in the 1960s and fished against him in competition. He was then, a successful angler and very difficult to beat. However, in those days I never knew just how successful he was as he never bragged about it and was a modest man.

To me, in 1963, he was old, and used a tubular steel rod made by Accles and Pollock and centerpin reel. Never without peeler crab, he seemed to charm that extra large fish in the match to win. When I say old, I was surprised to find out that he died in 1974 at no age of 72 (which makes me ancient). He was always a quiet man, who had been fishing since the age of five, and took his competition fishing very seriously.

In the first competition ever held on Deal Pier, in 1957, he cleaned up on most of the prizes and cups. This was a prestigious event which the NFSA ran with the Deal and Walmer Angling Association. Some 280 anglers took part over the three days in which it was held. Not only did he win matches all over Britain, he was also an international angler taking trophies in the French National Championships at Arromaches. Even in July of 1960 he had won the Sea Angling Championships at Lymington, whilst representing the D&WAA. He caught a 9 lb bass plus one of 5 oz (bass size was only 10 inches then) to be outright winner.


D&WAA Pier Festival 1960

The final D&WAA Pier match held in December 1960 was to be a memorable one for Stan. In the past, comps and festivals were not money-orientated as that would put the angler as a professional and he would lose the amateur status which the NFSA required to fish in competition. The end of the year Pier competition was for the Salad Bowl cup that Stan won with a fantastic weight of 38 lb 7 oz. The 21 lb 13 oz cod in his bag, which helped boost his weight, also won him the Downs cup for heaviest fish caught in a Pier competition. Second place went to a Mr J Freeman from London with 6 fish for 8 lb and E. Webb at third spot with 9 fish for 5 lb 13 oz. Stan's 21 lb cod was, at that time, the largest cod caught from the Pier since it had been opened. The Sir Gerald Wollaston trophy for the greatest number of fish caught in competitions was presented to him for the 31 sizable fish he had caught during the year.


Stan Culver with his 21 lb 13 oz cod

Copyright © David Chamberlain 2016


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