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Spotlight shines on Bury St Edmunds Angling Association

Following my recent articles on local day ticket fisheries and a local syndicate water, this week’s article puts the spotlight on some – hopefully helpful – aspects of our local club, the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association.

According to its website the aims of the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association are to provide and maintain angling, promote fellowship amongst anglers, organise friendly fishing competitions and to preserve and further the sport of angling generally.

The Association, which was founded in 1938, offers angling on four lakes and a stretch of the River Little Ouse.

Bury St Edmunds Angling Association trophy presentation from May 1992
Bury St Edmunds Angling Association trophy presentation from May 1992

Members have the right to fish all Association waters, subject to the close season for river fishing and restrictions imposed from time to time.

The current Association committee includes the following officers: Woolf Cook (chairman), David Plampin (general secretary), Steve Bull (treasurer), Andy Butcher (fisheries officer) and Keith Smith (match secretary).

Most angling organisations, whether syndicates, commercial day ticket fisheries or clubs, have a group Facebook page where members can post and share catch photos, methods and stories and Bury AA’s page is called ‘Bury Angling Association catch reports and chat (Suffolk)’.

It was set up by club members in August 2015 and is currently run by Michael Brown, who is also a bailiff for the club at their fishery on the Little Ouse at Redmere.

I know from bitter personal experience what a challenging job administering a group Facebook page can be, but Mike does an excellent job for the club and its members.

He is ably assisted by Bob Bonney, who posts the club’s match results and announcements. Bob is a well-known, well-liked local match angler who has been a member of the club for more than 50 years.

You do not have to be a member of the club to participate in their Facebook group page but, sensibly, all posts are vetted before appearing on the page.

The club also has a website – www.burystedmundsangling.org – that serves a different purpose to the Facebook page, having no posting facility and does not include match results or the latest information on how the club’s waters are currently fishing.

It does, however, contain all the details that are handed out with membership renewals, including match dates, rules and bye laws and brief profiles of the club’s fisheries.

There are also details of how and where to join and contact information for the club’s treasurer, general secretary, match secretary and fisheries officer.

Since the start of the first Covid lockdown the viewing numbers have doubled and it currently has circa 230 unique views per month, with a good average engagement time of two minutes and 38 seconds.

The website also has 40 archive photos for those that like a bit of Bury AA angling nostalgia. The website is an ideal place for potential new members to check out the club and also serves as a source of information for any member who has lost the details supplied with their membership renewal.

The only piece of information not included is the combination number for the fishery gate padlocks.

I have the photo that appears with this article to hopefully add to the website’s archive pages but would like some help with identifying as many of the anglers as possible please. Also, the location where the photo was taken if anyone recognises the brick wall in the background!?

The photo was taken at the Bury AA presentation night dated May 1992 (trophy winners for 91/92 season). If you recognise your younger self from 30 years ago or someone else, it would be much appreciated if you could email me chrisboughton@outlook.com

I do know that it is the late Eric Bolton (the legendary junior officer) on the far left and there are a few of my old match fishing buddies on the back row – John Hosking, Nick Bonney, Ray Wicks, Peter Hinton (sadly no longer with us), Rene Mitchell and the very tall young lad at the back on the right is my eldest son James Boughton with his younger brother Ollie standing in front of him.

After several difficult years with falling membership numbers (below 200 at one point), the Covid lockdowns helped the club increase memberships by more than 50 per cent last year and the club has so far sustained that increased membership level in 2021.

However, there was some unexpected bad news earlier this week when club treasurer Steve Bull asked me to include the following announcement in this week’s article: “Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances Barrow Lake is closed to all fishing as from August 31 for all Bury AA members. As soon as we have any further information, we will let the membership know through the usual channels.”

The club is also hoping to hold its 2021 AGM, which was postponed in February due to Covid, some time in early October. The exact date and location are to be confirmed.

Finally, the results of the latest two Bury AA Veteran’s matches which are held every Thursday:

Badwell Ash: 1st Rob Parnell peg 4, 51lb 1oz, 2nd Dave Williams peg 11, 34lb 0oz, 3rd Andy Hardy peg 14, 30lb 0oz.

Barrow Lake: 1st Bob Martin peg 9, 14lb 8oz, 2nd Dave Tobin peg 5, 13lb 11oz, 3rd Rob Parnell peg 6, 6lb 8oz.

Bury AA memberships can be obtained from Tackle Up in Bury St Edmunds.

Read more: All the latest Suffolk sport news