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In 2018, we lost our dear friend and club stalwart, Terry Thomas. It is not too strong a statement to say that, without Terry, the Riverside Angling Club would not exist. Always willing, always selflessly hard-working on our behalves, always cheerful; we all miss Terry and remain grateful for all that he has done for us. In 1967 Terry became secretary of the angling club when it was part of the Ekco Sports and Social Club, continuing this role until 2010. He then became Chairman of the forerunner of the modern Angling Club, which was renamed Riverside Angling Club in 2005. Terry retired as Club Chairman in 2016. In honour of Terry’s great contributions and in his memory, we have presented Terry’s three children and their families with a lifetime membership of Riverside Angling Club.
Apologies. Justin Scutt, Mark Everard, Andy Bishop, John Phnatis, Bob Tatum, Bryan Jones, Sid Jevons, Frank Segrave-Daley. Present. John Wright, Martin Ward, Terry Thomas, Bob Karn, Mike Bowness, Andy Walden, Alan Jones, Ian Oliver, John Adye, Steve Leonard, Neil Chapman, Howard Brown, Dan Wood. Minutes 2014 Read Approved. Proposed. Bob Karn. Seconded. Martin Ward. Chairman’s Report.
Terry thanked everyone for coming and Frank Segrave –Daley for kindly letting us use his premises for the meeting. Terry advised us that he had secured the fishing on our two new stretches for this season with the fees remaining as before. Terry reports that there have been problems with the flow of water over the weir. This has been in part as a result of the gates above the mill pond being left open. The management of these gates is not the responsibility of the club. The E.A. and Malmesbury Town Council have this responsibility. They have been advised of the situation. Members who see any problems with the gates are encouraged to contact the EA or Town Council direct.
The river on our stretch that runs down -stream from Cowbridge across two fields has a new owner. Terry has met his manager. The result of which means that things are as they before we still have the fishing rights over the river and will carry on in the same way. Work carried at the new cattle drink by the boulder dam is now complete. In addition B.A.R.T have completed work on the river bed on the gravel stretch by placing two large logs to act as river diverters in the hope they will improve the spawning habitat. Terry thanked Andy Walden and Dan Wood.
Terry also announced that after being associated with the club for 50 years he would be stepping down as chairman at next year’s AGM. Vice Chairman’s report. Dan Wood our vice chair stated he had nothing to add to Terry's report. Secretary/Treasure’s Report. Accounts for 2014 presented and approved. Proposed. Steve Leonard. Seconded. Howard Brown. Andy Walden thanked Terry and Dan for all they done on behalf of the club. Dan has had a busy year sorting out the river improvements, applying for grants and liaising with landowners. Terry has as usual been busy keeping in contact with owners, monitoring the river and dealing with problems. Andy stated that there is a lot of work done on behalf of members that is not reported and it is this that keeps the club going. With regard to club officials and in view of Terry’s announcement, members would have to identify people who could and would stand for those positions. He also said that he would offer his services as secretary/treasurer for two more years and then stand down.
The club is financially stable. As the accounts show we have had expenditure on some big projects which are all now complete. The club however must look to the future and plan accordingly. This is why club fees have been included on the minutes. We currently have 33 Adult members, 18 senior members, and 4 juniors. Election of officers. Chairman. Terry Thomas. Proposed John Wright. Seconded. Martin ward. Vice Chairman. Dan Wood. Proposed John Wright. Seconded. Steve Leonard. Secretary/Treasurer. Andy Walden. Proposed. Howard Brown. Seconded. Alan Jones. Four others volunteered as a working committee. Howard Brown, Alan Jones, John Wright and Martin Ward. Club Fees. After a lengthy discussion the following was proposed by Ian Oliver and seconded by Martin Ward. An increase in fees as follows from Jan 1st 2016. Adult £30 (now £20). Seniors £15 (now £8) with junior’s remaining the same at £5. The club wishes to attract younger members. The £20 joining fee will remain for new members. A vote was taken. 12 for. 1 against. Alan Jones raised the issue of disabled applicants wishing to join. He will look into this and report back. Andy Walden stated that a form would go out with permits in 2016 asking members to complete with up-dated personal details so the club records can be amended for any changes. Website. It was agreed to keep it. Minutes of this meeting will be posted on it.
New Members. The club introduced a new way of applying for membership via our website. The following four applications were considered and approved. Mick Saunders, Jamie Cooper, Andrew Rudduck and Alan Titcombe. A.O.B Each person attending was invited to raise any issues. John Wright was concerned about parking and felt it was limited. No one else at the meeting had had problems so no further action will be taken at this point. Mike Bowness requested that any work done to fallen trees should take into account protection for fish against predators. Affiliation with Anglers Trust was discussed Terry Thomas will look into it and report back. Bob Tatum via an email was concerned about the water levels over the weir and through the mill pond where during the winter the area was un-fishable. These matters as stated before rest with the EA and Town Council as they relate to the gates controlled by them. Bob also wanted to know if the barb wire in the field above the road could be removed to help access. Members felt this should be left alone at present but that new protection should be fitted to reduce snagging. Terry closed the meeting at 8.30pm.
As most of you are aware, the club has now completed a project to install fencing along the river bank and build a new cattle drink. We had a very clear objective for this project; to restore a small section of river which had become degraded by cattle poaching, to benefit the farmer and to help the wildlife. Now that the river bank has been fenced, the cattle can drink safely and are no longer at risk of falling into the river, the vegetation will grow back, and the gravel on the river bed will not be subjected to pollution and siltation. The restoration work will not just benefit fish, but a whole range of wildlife, including insect life (mayflies, caddisflies), and birds such as kingfishers. We also hope to see some fish spawning activity in the near future, by gravel-spawning species such as barbel, trout and grayling. Please keep a look-out for any fish spawning activity next year and let us know if you spot anything. Next year, we plan to install some flow deflectors into the river bed. These are wooden logs which are pinned to the river bed in 'v' shape. They will help to clean out the gravel to encourage the fish to spawn.
Please find below photographs showing the issues caused by cattle poaching, and photographs taken after the work had been completed.