Skylarks & "Memorable Day"

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teepee

12/04/02 - 10/01/19
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Remember GeoffP posting The Winged Fellowship asking if anyone would like to help a group of disabled anglers, either by donations of fishing tackle or as an helper to assist on any of the days of a fishing fortnight,

After Geoff had posted a list of the venues, I volunteered my services as a helper for both the Monday sessions to be fished at Straight Mile Fisheries, the venue being not too far from where I live.

The organiser of this annual fortnight of fishing and fun goes by the name of Big Brian,
Brian had emailed me to let me know to be at the venue at 10.30.am for this is when the advanced party would arrive, the advanced party being a group of volunteers who get everything ready for when the disabled anglers arrive.
Arriving at the fishery I didnt really know what to expect,
Enquiring to where I could find Big Brian I was pointed to the far bank and a large white Transit van and a chap in a blue t-shirt, as I approached it soon became apparent why Big Brian was so nick-named, I introduced myself to this 6ft.6in.man hello Im Tony
Teepee he replied with a big smile as he shook my hand (and the rest of me).
Brian was a man you instantly warmed to and could understand why he was so right for this voluntary job he did.

As the van was being unloaded the mountain of tackle was being ferried to pre-drawn pegs, some of the anglers having there own kit and it would be at there peg ready for when they arrived, Brian took the time to tell me a little of the history of Skylarks and what would be expected of me, I was to assist a young man called Jason, Youll like him said Brian hes a nice lad its his first time with us.

Formalities over with I enquired to what I could do before the guests arrived, I was pointed to a pile of wagler rods & box full of reels etc, do you want to set up some rods Brian exclaimed with his now customary smile, that was to be my job for the next hour.

It wasnt long before the coaches arrived with the anglers and a procession of wheel chairs being pushed down the bank by the care workers, it was only now that you realised how good a venue this was for the disabled, and as each chair with angler was parked at the relevant peg someone followed knocking a big stake in the ground and lashing the chair to it for obvious reasons,

Jason soon arrived at our peg 35 and introductions and the customary hand shakes over, chair positioned and lashed, Jason had his own kit, so asking what he wanted me to set up his reply pole Im alright with about 5mtr, he said, no sooner said than done, 2 maggots on the hook and he was fishing, it wasnt long before Jason stated to get bites from little roach but he was having difficulties seeing the float and hitting bites, saying he preferred a dibber type float instead of a bristle, so his wishes granted he was soon looking at a dibber and catching small roach, well thats if they didnt bounce off the hook, I was quite happy to sit there baiting Jasons hook and feeding and removing the odd fish off the hook, not knowing that if the helper (me) fished as well the combined catch was credited to the angler helping there position in a league table, (sorry Jason), so after a couple of hours into the match there I was throwing a feeder out, a method which allowed me to abandon as and when Jason required my services. This produced 4chub and 2 roach which when hooked the rod was passed to Jason so he could reel them in.

At one stage when Jason was suffering a series of missed bites, I referred to them being probably women fish being of the awkward nature! which got a laugh from Jason, and Brian in the next peg took it as a cue to reel off a series of husband & wife jokes to every ones amusement.
As we fished we got interrupted every hr. or so with the offer of hot/cold drinks, sandwiches, crisps, biscuits,etc.

With about an hour left of fishing time Brian got couple of people to give us a break and took me to every peg and introduced me to every angler all of varying disabilities, it was amazing to see how they adapt to this love of fishing we all enjoy, it also became apparent why Big Brian needed such a large frame it was to house his Big heart! While on the subject of Brians size he was dwarfed by his son at 6ft.10ins. (Ill let you know when I want my ceilings doing),
Back to our pegs and not long to the weigh in,

At this stage I think thanks should be made to John & his wife who own the fishery for providing use of pegs, keep nets, and weighing in, all FREE of charge.

AT the weigh in Jason weighed in 3lbs. 8oz. not enough to win but by no means last! (Sorry Jason Ill try harder next time).

Thanks to Jason a new friend in the making and hes got a pc so no doubt hell be posting on here before long.

With the weigh in over and the anglers back on the coach for there journey back to base in Nottingham, it was time to clean up and pack away, those rods Id assembled earlier to dismantle, everyone got on with the task with minimum of fuss and it wasnt long before everything was packed away ready for the next day.

Time to say goodbye and a big WELL DONE to all the volunteers.

And to Big Brian it was a pleasure, and not only will I be there next week but next year as well if youll have me!

A Truly Memorable Day

Sorry no photos this week, I thought the report would be long enough on its own!
But next week Ill post some pictures.


teepee.
 

Geoff P

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Teepee, what a smashing report. I am glad you enjoyed your day and I hope next Monday is as good.

I can't wait to get involved on Friday and Sunday and I have already earmarked a whole week for next year. (Spain having fallen through for the moment).

Geoff

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Ziptrev

05/10/01 - 18/10/02
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Brilliant Tony,
I am going to have to let Brian down on friday (Macmillans today rang to ensure I attend an appointment at Northern General on friday!)
BUT am still clear for monday.
After that post I cant wait Tony!

Cheers

Trev

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Peter

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Nice post Tony,
Look forward to some pic's with the next one.

Peter.

Make Friends,Go Maggotdrowning.
 

Dave

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Tony, I have one thing to say and that is excellent icon_smile_big.gif

Time to be sentimental: It warms me inside when I read posts like this knowing that the chances are it would not have come about without the site. That's not a cue for credit it's just me being chuffed that something good comes out of the work that we all, posters included, put in.

icon_smile_big.gif Dave
 

MALC

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Well done Teepee great read and sounds like you had as good a day a the Skylarks, it's great to give a bit back.


Sadly i was due to help up at Derby today but with not knowing what or when things are happening with Julie i had to miss the chance to help as i dont want to be to far away if anything happens.icon_smile_sad.gificon_smile_sad.gif



Malc
Fish with Friends @ MaggotDrowning.com
 

Geoff P

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I have just got back from my weekend foray to Nottingham.

Tony, that will be two of us next year.

An amazing bunch of people who deserve all we can do for them. Skylarks fishing fortnight needs help, equipment and money. Throughout the next few months you will see me pleading for all three, and hopefully we will get more volunteers next year. I know MDs will have some new members very soon.

Enjoy Monday Tony, I wish I was still there.

Geoff

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teepee

12/04/02 - 10/01/19
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Nice one Geoff, you can count on my support.


teepee.
 

Geoff P

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My weekend away

I arrived at Skylarks at 5pm on Thursday 5th. Big Brian was still out fishing with the guests and after a quick phone call to my friend Lesley I found out they would be returning at about half past six.

I went into the Centre and met a couple of the full time staff and volunteers. One of them, Zahir, made me a cup of coffee then gave me a tour of the Centre. Very impressive it is too. After finding my bed for the night, having a shower and getting changed, I waited for the fishing party to return. I met Big Brian and a couple of the volunteers from the fishing party.

Brian told me the history of the fishing fortnight and his involvement. Some of the guests had been going on thses fishing weeks for a number of years and for some of them this is the only chance of fishing.

That evening I met a few more of the volunteers, had dinner, and had an enjoyable time in the bar. I am not used to being in the company of disabled people and so I was impressed with their cheerfulness and the dedication of the staff and volunteers.

In the morning, after breakfast we made our way to the lake being used that day, North Scale Duck Farm. I have been on working cow, sheep and pig farms but this was the first time I had seen a duck farm. Thousands of ducks in pens greeted us as we pulled into the fishery in the transit van. Meeting us at the fishery were members of a couple of local clubs. We then unloaded the van and got all the gear to the pegs ready for the guests to arrive.

Today I was assisting a young man called Alan. Alan was able to play the fish but I had to bait up and cast for him. Unfortunately there were no fish for Alan to play. It was only during the last half an hour that I caught 2 fish, for 1lb 1oz, to save the day. As Teepee has already mentioned food and drink were offered at regular intervals, and although not many fish were caught we had an enjoyable day.

On the Friday evening there was a party night in the Centre because some of the guests and volunteers were leaving the following day. Every guest who fishes gets a medal, with trophies being presented the final evening.

On Saturday I was to meet up with Trev on the Soar. I shant mention how that day went on. Badly as far as fish were concerned.

The Sunday was my last day at Skylarks and today we were fishing at Derby Grammar School. This is a stunning pond with lily pads in every peg but unfortunately it didnt fish too well. A nice common carp was caught by a volunteer, on the whip, and I believe 8 elastic. 11 pounds exactly. A good fish.

Today I was fishing with Edith, a guest who arrived the previous day. She could talk for England, telling jokes and limericks for most of the day. With her was a volunteer, Michelle, who is a delightful young lady and we all had a good time chatting away. Plenty of time to chat because we only had eight or nine small perch and gudgeon all day. I didnt get the weight, but I am sure Brian will tell you it was about 8 10 ounces.

Again plenty of drinks and food was delivered to the pegs. Oh how I wish that happened every where I went.

Unfortunately I had left my camera at home but I hope Brian will be posting some photographs on the site in the next couple of weeks.

At half past four Brian called time, and it was clear up and pack up the van. I had taken my own car to Derby because I was leaving for home right after fishing.
Farewells were said with a promise on my part to do all I can to raise money and kit for this worthy cause, and a promise to Teepees mate, Jason, that if I cannot find anybody in the Barnet area to take him fishing next year, I will drive up from Wales to do it, and in that Peter I will be asking you for help. I do like friendly persuasion.

One good bit of news was that on my return to work I received a donation of 50 from my company, which will be on its way to Brian as soon as he sends me his address. That is a start, but I will be after a lot more over the coming year.

Tony thanks for getting involved and I know that apart from matters beyond peoples' control a couple more of the MDs would have been involved. I am proud to say that Maggotdrowning has got a good name with Skylarks already and I am sure that a few of the volunteers and guests will be joining us.

I can only ask for more of you to get involved, even if it by raising money, because they need our help and I know Tony will tell you of the feeling of satisfaction you get by getting involved in a scheme like this.


Geoff

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G

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Tony,,, Geoff.

Brilliant,,,,, brilliant,,,, brilliant.

Geoff sort some gear for the skylarks at the Trent fish in mate.




i'm going to bait up
Andy
 

Geoff P

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Thanks Andy, hopefully Tony and myself can coerce Big Brian to come to the Trent Fish-In. He can have my peg for a day.

It would give him a chance to meet a few of us, and for a few of you to look up to him. Big is the correct word to use for Brian as Tony has said.

Geoff

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G

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icon_smile_big.gificon_smile_big.gificon_smile_big.gificon_smile_big.gif.

The Skylarks are more than welcome Geoff.

Big Brian,,, 6'10" i think teepee said,, if i meet him i think i will call him Sir, used to have a school teacher around that size,,the class was scared chit less of him,.

See you at the Trent Geoff


i'm going to bait up
Andy


Edited by - toma on 09 September 2002 9:04:46 PM
 

teepee

12/04/02 - 10/01/19
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Geoff great report, and i can only echo your thoughts of trying to get more M/Ders involved, and i'm sure for next year with advanced time to plan we can help this group enormously,

After last week, Big Brian had told me a little bit about the set up, and how they relied on donations for kit, either by the way of money or people actualy giving tackle, some old some new, they get some tackle left at the centre from bereavements etc, any good tackle is used, any old unsuitable stuff goes to a market and the proceeds used to buy new gear, as Brian talked and we walked the bank he happened to drop out the need for some new landing nets, well last thursday i took it upon myself to get an introdution to a company called Waterline, some of you will no doubt of heard of before, its a local company to me based in Sheffield, i told them about Skylarks and asked if they would like to be involved, anyway to cut things short the outcome was that if i put my request in writing they would supply 25 keep/nets and 25 landing/nets free of charge, not bad eh!
so if you're looking to renew nets or brolly in the future have a look at the Waterline products they deserve the custom,

so if any M/Ders have the inclination to try what i did give it a go! they can only say no.
and it does'nt have to be a fishing tackle company, look at Geoff's post his firm have donated 50, what great gesture on there behalf.

right thats it come on give it a go!

teepee.
 

teepee

12/04/02 - 10/01/19
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Today (monday) saw me back at Straight Mile Fishery for my second stint at helping the "Skylarks"

well not wanting to repeat myself it was the same format as last week, but with one big difference the weather! we started with rain and it just got worse, with the wind as well, the outcome was that the day had to be cut short, fishing for only 2 hrs.

Remember last week i'd helped Jason, well he'd asked Big Brian if i could assist him again this week, so after he'd paid all the bribe money i was sat with Jason again, remember i'd said i'll do better next time, i'd now got my chance to do it! talk about pressure, this week i tackled a feeder up for Jason, and i had took my feeder rod and a bit of kit to try and give a better account of myself, well Jason had numerous bites but failed to connect in this shortened match due to the weather, but i managed to connect with 7 chub 1 roach & a 2lb.carp all of which when hooked the rod passed to Jason so he could play the fish to landing net,

at the weigh in Jason weighed 6lbs. 8oz. which earned him second place on the day, only to be beaten by John the owner of the venue who had fished pole on the flyer, well it is his water,

I said i'd take some photo's well with the weather i only took a couple, the first one is Jason,



this next one shows a angler being loaded back on the coach



Brian has taken more photos of the fishing holiday so there will be a report in the near future,


teepee.

Edited by - teepee on 18 September 2002 7:55:52 PM
 

Ziptrev

05/10/01 - 18/10/02
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Brilliant Reports Geoff and Tony.

Only sorry I was not well enough to be more than a liability to the Skylarks!

However, I hope to help raise some cash for them in the very near future and will bring all the extra surplus kit we had left over from Granddad's appeal to the Trent Fish-in.

Tony, great brainwave re Waterline , Well done
Geoff 50.00 hey!
Bet that brought a smile !

Cheers

Trev

Ziptrev
Enough! I'm off!
 
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