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  1. #1

    Default ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’ – A Compilation by Martin James MBE.

    Sunday 28th March at the Cedar Hotel in Loughborough saw the official launch of Martin James’ long-awaited ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’, a compilation of heart-warming accounts of how Walker enriched and shaped the lives of the book’s thirty-four contributors.



    Some of the 34 contributors to ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’ Front row L-R: Ron Clay, Gord Burton, Tim Kidson, Bob Buteux, John Reed.
    Back row L-R: Dave Wayte, Cliff Hatton, Garry Cullum, Chris Liebbrandt, Martin James, Dave White, Mark Sarul, Wayne Cryer, Dave Leech, Geoff Maynard, Tony Meers.

    All those years ago during the 50s, 60s, 70s and even the 80s, young fishermen across the country, unknown to each other but commonly fired-up by Walker’s fresh thinking, wrote to Dick for advice or, maybe, to merely make contact with the man; the man who rocked the angling world by catching an outrageously large carp and naming it ‘Ravioli’. Doubtless all of them would have something to say, but just a few dozen were blessed with the opportunity to tell us their tales within the covers of Martin James’ title.

    Each of these accounts is amazingly unique despite their common theme but all of them tell of Richard Walker’s influence; his openness; his warmth; his attention to detail and his commitment to leaving nobody disappointed. Invariably, letters and inquiries – over decades, remember – were answered and addressed within a day or two, often with specific advice on where to fish! This was certainly my experience when I sought to establish the pedigree of a very special rod I’d acquired in the mid-70s: I had my answer almost by return of post, beautifully hand-written and with best wishes for my future fishing.



    A superb wooden fly-box for Sgt Major Tam Miller of the British Legion presented by Martin’s daughter, Sharon.

    Most of the book’s contributors, including veterans Bob Buteux and Ron Clay, gathered on Sunday to hear Martin James comfortably deliver a super speech on his friendship with Dick and the motivation behind the book’s production. After introducing and praising the assistance given to him over the years by Sgt Major Tam Miller of the British Legion, Martin presented him with a superb wooden fly box – presumably complete with flies!

    Tam, with PC Mark Hyde of Lancashire Constabulary, had been part of Martin’s ‘Pendle Buddies’, an organization devoted to teaching potentially wayward youngsters the art of angling.
    Pendle Fishing Buddies - Engagement & Deviation, Tight Lines & Good Times - Home | Facebook


    Martin James presents Wayne Cryer of The Little Egret Press with a cane 12-footer.

    Martin went on to acknowledge the work and encouragement of his publisher, Wayne Cryer (Little Egret Press) and to present him with a fine 3-piece cane float rod. Wayne was otherwise occupied manning a carp-fishing memorabilia sales-table which proved popular with both the contributors and the good number of visitors who had come to meet them and have their books signed. You might imagine how many signatures were made this day!



    Lastly, we were introduced to Martin’s best friend – his daughter, Sharon, who presented her dad with a superb, leather-bound ‘gold’ edition of Dick Walker – The Legend. Applause, ostensibly, was for Martin’s dedication in producing this tribute to The Father of Modern Angling but we were celebrating, too, his years of charitable work, fund-raising and personal generosity.



    Bob Buteux and Garry Cullum discussing the merits of cane

    To some contributors to this excellent compilation, Walker became a friend and now, in their later years, they are able to give us first-hand accounts of their meetings with the great man, so the book is highly recommended as a thoroughly enjoyable and nicely familiar read; if you have a place in your heart for Dick Walker, Redmire Pool and all things carpy, you’ll love it.
    On behalf of all of us at the Cedar Hotel on Sunday, thanks, Martin, and thanks, Richard Stuart Walker 1918 – 1985.

    Cliff Hatton.





    The Piking Pirate, Gord Burton.



    Veteran carper, Ron Clay.



    Mark Sarul and Dave Leech take a break but Dave Wayte still has one to do!

    Photography: Paul Elliott.


    Source Article...
    Last edited by Cliff Hatton; 30-04-2019 at 19:22.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’ – A Compilation by Martin James MBE.

    So...............are there FM readers with reason to thank or remember Richard Walker?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’ – A Compilation by Martin James MBE.

    Oh, yes...and no.
    He taught us that big fish could be caught by thinking more carefully about what you were doing; that angling is a mixture of all the sciences and several crafts; he laid down five commandments - from memory:-
    1: Find the fish. If the water you fish doesn't hold the fish you want, you can't catch it.
    2: Fish at the times the fish feed.
    3: Fish at the places they feed (or create your own spots and get them feeding there)
    4: Use the right tackle (which is why he designed the MkIV carp rod and the Arlesey bomb leger weight, among other things.
    5: Use the right bait (usually the least important).

    He could also be hysterically funny; "Spin Me a Line" is a compilation of some of his and his friends'- best bits.

    BUT he encouraged us to be ruthlessly efficient, determined and goal-driven.
    I had a bad enough time pretending to want to be any of those things in the work environment, so I'm hanged if I'll do any of that for fun, and I've gone back to fishing the way I fancy for whatever fish I can reach without too much fuss or expense.

    Apart from spinning, I can't remember the last time I used a fixed spool reel (it was probably for waggler fishing on the Conkers stretch at Broxbourne, four or five years ago) or used a rod that wasn't cane (whip, yes, but not rod).
    I haven't enjoyed my angling any the less. And as soon as I encounter a situation where carbon and egg-beater are the obvious method, I'll use them without a care.

    Dick was aware of this risk, and, asked at a club meeting who he thought was the best angler present, indicated a chap laughing with a bunch of his mates. "Why?" he was asked, "he doesn't catch much of note."
    "Maybe not, but he enjoys himself more than anyone else!"

    Sadly, such copy sells neither tackle nor papers, so was not often repeated.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’ – A Compilation by Martin James MBE.

    Yes. B James and Son was our local tackle shop in Ealing and my father was good friend of James Bruce Snr. Consequently we ‘bumped into’ DW on many occasions during his visits to the shop during the 50’s to oversee the production of the early MK1Vs and also the ill fated large cane landing net. Jim Bruce also used to have a stand at the annual International Boat Show at Earls Court and Dick was always there chatting to fellow anglers and giving demonstrations in fly casting.There were reports that he didn’t suffer children gladly but I would certainly disagree with this – he was most chatty and informative.

    PS I see old Ron's still out and about......................
    Last edited by barbelboi; 10-05-2019 at 11:59.
    That's about as big as a fish that big gets
    If you understand what you’re doing, you’re not learning anything................

  5. #5

    Default Re: ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’ – A Compilation by Martin James MBE.

    He was clearly a massive influence and authority, taking fishing to another level in many ways.

    The comment above - efficient, determined, goal-driven - reminded me of something, though. I used to read his Angling Times columns when I was a teenager. More than once, he wrote about anglers who would come to his local river, plonk their basket down, spook the big fish, set up with light gear and maggots and catch nothing but a string of small fish! He'd describe this with something between bemusement and scorn - why couldn't the bloke see that with bigger baits in the right place and stronger gear, he could catch a proper chub! I remember thinking, maybe it's just what the bloke prefers - a busy session with plenty of bites.. I'm still a bit that way myself, and if someone tells me they know where a 6lb chub was caught, I'm likely to ask if they can tell me (chub are scarce in these parts these days) where I can catch 3 2lb'ers.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’ – A Compilation by Martin James MBE.

    Quote Originally Posted by barbelboi View Post
    Yes. B James and Son was our local tackle shop in Ealing and my father was good friend of James Bruce Snr. Consequently we ‘bumped into’ DW on many occasions during his visits to the shop during the 50’s to oversee the production of the early MK1Vs and also the ill fated large cane landing net. Jim Bruce also used to have a stand at the annual International Boat Show at Earls Court and Dick was always there chatting to fellow anglers and giving demonstrations in fly casting.There were reports that he didn’t suffer children gladly but I would certainly disagree with this – he was most chatty and informative.

    PS I see old Ron's still out and about......................
    Whereabouts in Ealing was that shop?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’ – A Compilation by Martin James MBE.

    Quote Originally Posted by s63 View Post
    Whereabouts in Ealing was that shop?
    Northfield Avenue.............

    ‘Dick Walker – The Legend’ – A Compilation by Martin James MBE.-bj1.jpg
    That's about as big as a fish that big gets
    If you understand what you’re doing, you’re not learning anything................

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