- May 19, 2002
.Would be amazing if his articles could be published on this site although the younger lads probably wouldn't get it as you had to know the anglers/characters he was writing about
I do have a couple more somewhere which I'll have to dig out but this is a sort of sequel to the first series of Up For The Cup.
THE BOGTHORPES RIDE AGAIN
'Well Clive, I'll tell thee, tha's beat us fair and square,' said Albert the captain, and 67-year-old mastermind of the now defeated Bogthorpe Herons. 'Mind you, it would 'a bin a different story if we'd 'ad thee up on't Tees.'
The two men settled down for a drink, Albert armed with a pint of Newcastle Brown in each hand, leaned back in his chair, whilst the big Brummy bit the top of another bottle of Red Eye. 'You don't use the feeder down 'ere then?' said Albert slowly. 'Not a lot,' said the big fellow, 'Gilesy tried it once and ruptured 'imself. Max 'as left 'em alone since he fell into one of Fred Bailey's and was missing for three days.'
During the previous 24 hours, the two men had developed a mutual respect for each other: Albert had been astounded by the big man's efficient manner, his super cool squad, his finesse and professionalism. Smithy on the other hand couldn't help but respect a man that had the misfortune to have to motivate the likes of Nosepicker Nobby and Big Bert. Due to a freak of nature, Big Bert had been born blind in his left eye and deaf in his right ear, this meant that unless you stood straight in front of him to speak, he could either hear but not see you, or see but not hear you. To make matters worse, his equilibrium was so affected by this strange affliction, that when he spoke he generally fell over.
Albert looked at the rest of the dejected Bogthorpe Squad who had now gathered at the bar. Gone were the headlines he had seen so clearly in his mind; was this really the team that only 24 hours earlier had downed 36 crates of Newcastle Brown in four hours, were these men really the cream of the North-East?
Albert was at a loss to know how to pick them up of off the floor, when suddenly, a miracle occurred. 'I'll bring my lads up to the North-East and we'll fish against you on the Tees,' said Smith. Max, Ken Smith and Barry Brookes couldn't believe what the skipper had said. Albert and the rest of the lads couldn't believe it either. 'W'em goin to the North-East?' said Barry Brookes. Albert leaped from his chair and took Smithy by the hand, 'You sir, are a sportsman! A fool but nevertheless a sportsman.' The rest of the Herons were shouting and cheering, Nobby stopped picking his nose and danced on a table, Bert shook hands with Max Winter, 'By we'll give thee some welly,' he managed to say before falling over.
Albert called for some quiet. 'Lads, it's going to cost these lads some brass to come up to Bogthorpe, what d' yer say to us having a side bet of 25 per man, winner take all?' 'Aye,' came the cry from all except Bert, who could neither see nor hear from where he was lying. What d'yer say Clive?' asked Albert. Smithy knew he was on a hiding to nothing, but what could he do but agree? The Herons had got their wish to fish against Brum on the Tees with no bait bans. The rest of the evening was spent in a haze of alcoholic anticipation.
'He'll go berserk when he finds out, he's never drawn that much out of the bank before 25 plus expenses? That could come to 50. How will you break it to him?' asked Max. 'I daren't think about it,' said Clive as he drove the car off the road into his drive. 'Maybe we won't have to tell him if we win, he'll never have to know.' 'Win?' said Max somewhat hysterical, 'How do you propose to beat that crowd of loonies on the Tees? Half of the swims are only two foot deep and they'll have more bloody wasp's nests than there are in the whole of Warwickshire he'll have to know.'
'Morning Clive,' said Gilesy across the fence, 'You were late last night did you stay for a drink with those lads?' The big man knew his 'high noon' had arrived, he braced himself, lit a cigar and looked Gilesy straight in the eye. 'Sit down on your garden seat Ken, I've something to say which could give you acute indigestion of the wallet and maybe a dose of that well known skin disease derma tightarse.' Gilesy felt a tingle move up his back, and his hands felt clammy. Only that very day he'd written to Trebor deploring their decision to increase the price of Blackjacks from 4 to 2 a penny.
'I've arranged a return match with them on the Tees, with a 25 per man sidestake,' said Smith. Gilesy didn't move, he was visibly shaken, but he didn't move. After what seemed to be an eternity, he spoke. 'When?' 'A week on Saturday,' said Smith. 'Oh!' said Gilesy smiling, That's a pity, I'm going to a wedding.' 'Bloody liar!' snapped Smithy. 'Who's wedding? You don't know anyone that's getting married. Who in their right mind would get married in the middle of the season?' 'A girl who works with Margaret,' said Giles. 'Well, I've put you down to fish, we leave here at 6 p.m. Friday next.'
For more than a week, the two men hardly exchanged more than a couple of words. Then as the big match drew nearer. Smith called a team meeting, 'Well lads,' said the skipper, 'Ken Smith has come up with 10 nests, Barry has 5 and I've got 9, so that's approximately 2 apiece, they will probably have above 10 apiece, so we've got to think of something different. Max has been up there practising for two days, he should be here about 9 o'clock, so until he comes how about some suggestions?'
For the next half hour, various suggestions found their way into Clive's waste paper basket, obviously they hadn't enough grub and those rub a dubs loves the grubs. At precisely 9 o'clock, the door bell rang, 'Here's Max, let him in somebody.' The door was opened and in strode Max, looking tired and dirty after his long drive. The skipper offered him a shot of Red Eye, but the little countryman refused. 'What's the strength Max, is it chub?' Max composed himself. 'There's chub there like big steaming pigs, but they're not in every swim. 25 Ib will win the match, but if they all fish the feeder, their will be dry nets. 12 men fishing the feeder will catch 120 Ib of fish.' That's 10 Ib per man,' said Clive. 'Not quite,' continue Max. 'At least three of them will have dry nets, if they all stick it out, but somehow think they 'aint as dumb as they crack or that Nobby, the one who does the open cast mining on his nose was hemping it with tares on the hook. 'Was he catching asked Gilesy? 'Was he buggary,' retorted Max. They're up to something.'
The Brummies eventually left the options open, with no hard and fast team at plan. At the other end of the country the Bogthorpes' 'Dirty Tricks Dept' were fast running out of ideas.
'It'll have to be Kidology then,' said Albert at last.
Eleven blank stares met this last statement.
'I passed Biology at school, but Ive never heard of this Kidology,' offered Jacko.
'It means mental warfare . . . oh, forget it,' said Albert throwing up his arms.
To put it simply, we have to confuse them to such an extent, that they won know if they want a rubbish, shampoo or haircut . . . get it?'
Eleven faces brightened in unison.
The day dawned and Smithy and the rest of the Brum hotshots, turned out on the selected venue, the lower reaches of the Tees, where it was just tidal enough t create problems for the unsuspecting visitors, but, and this is what the Bogthorpes knew and the Brummies didn't, this match coincided with the biggest spring tide of the year, about a eight foot lift, it was going to create nee panic and hysteria.
'Is it tidal here?' Smithy asked Maxie.
'Couple of foot our kid, that's all, it' slow down and lift a bit then run off.'
'Couple of foot?'
'Positive,' said Maxie.
Albert gathered the team round.
'Right, everyone know what theyre doing, Nobby, Jacko, Bert . . . BERT d'ya know what to do?'
'Er, yea it'll work a treat . . .'THUD.
'Pick him up someone and get him to h peg,' urged Stan.
A shrill whistle started the proceeding and every man stared hard downstream; the next man to see what was going t happen. For a minute, no one made move. Eventually the Bogthorpes picks up their float tackle and commence operations close in, loose feeding wit hemp and fishing tares. A tactic without precedent. The Brummies were clearly puzzled, but held off on the Grub and followed suit hardly believing their luck. For an hour everyone fished the hemp and tares, with the sluggish flow hardly helping the fish to respond.
At 12.45, the river slowed up to standstill and crept over the bank, all in the space of a few minutes.
'The tide,' reasoned Smithy correctly, 'the tide is slowing the river down, couple of foot Maxie said.'
Just then, the Bogthorpes opened up at every peg, with a cannonade of groundbait, laced with feed, right in the middle of the river. It went in like nothing ever witnessed before. The Brummies stood in the rising water, watching with fascination as their north country cousins piled in a baby's bath-full each.
'It's not the tide lifting the river, it's all the groundbait,' muttered Gilesy.
As soon as this operation was finished, the Bogthorpes grabbed all their tackle and scrambled up the muddy banks to the top.
The river was now lifting at an alarming rate and the brummies were soon awash.
Keepnets, baskets and landing nets were being engulfed by the rising water as Smithy's mob fought hard to salvage their tackle from the clinging mud and scramble to safety. The river, under the influence of the big spring tide, started to run the other way, giving it a totally different look.
The Bogthorpes switched to heavy feeders and big lumps of bread and took command of the situation, leaving the brummy challenge in rags, as they sorted out their tackle, emptied waders and scratched their heads as they looked down on the rising river now running upstream.
'Bread, they're fishing bread not the grub, what's going on ... the river's going back upstream,' groaned Smithy . . . 'WINTERS . . .' he yelled '. . . you ****er, you said it was a two foot lift, the bleedin thing's lifted 8 feet.'
Whilst the Brummies were reassembling ranks, Big Bert hit into a chub mid river, Albert hit one, so did Fred. It was too late for the Brummies to feed the middle line as the depth and current made it too inaccurate. Maxie cracked the alternative method first and took a 10 oz dace off his rod end on the tip. The others soon cottoned on, but the Bogthorpes were still getting it on with their feeders.
Smithy's team concentrated on their inside line, where the flow gave them a chance to get some bait down. Barry B started to get chub off his rod end and switched to a bunch of casters on the float and started to cane them. The tide was starting to turn in more sense than one.
At the end of five hours, the river was running back downstream and had dropped off six foot. Since the start it had lifted eight foot, surged upstream, stopped dead, lifted a further foot, run back and dropped off three foot an hour. Even Albert was confused by the biggest tide of the year.
Barry B had 27-11, Albert 24-8, Big Bert 21-9 and then the Bogthorpe challenge had run out. The Brummies consistency had shown yet again, Maxie had 19-0 Smithy 17-8 and Gilesey 16-5. The visitors had danced it.
They all trooped into the Bluebell, the Brummies easily recognised by their mud caked gear, after what Albert described as the penalty for being caught in their 'off tide trap'. . .
'Just look at my tackle,' said Gilesy, covered in mud.
'Tha's lucky lad, a few more minutes and you would have been a gonner, we thought that Maxie Winters would have told you about it,' laughed Big Bert, throwing another wobble and keeling over.
Fortified with 'El Boozo' the wonder drink, the two sides forgot their differences.
'Why didn't you use the Grub?' asked Smithy at length.
'The Grub,' said Albert, a sly grin cracking his face. 'Nay lad, bread's the thing up here at the moment, the grubs alright on the Ure, Ouse and Swale, but no good on the Tees till later on ... didst tha bring some?'
'We brought five nests each . . . you old git!' spluttered Smithy.
'Only five, we hoped you'd bring twenty five, because they won't last the journey back without refrigeration and we'd be pleased to take them off your hands, we reasoned it would be quicker than digging them ourselves . . .'said Albert.
Smithy laughed, as Albert handed over the 300, the total of the side bet.
'What's this outing, you lot are organising up here?' asked Maxie, looking at a big poster on the wall.
'We're trying to raise funds to send ten of our handicapped youngsters for a week's fishing in Ireland, they're as keen as Mustard, so we organise charity matches and the like to get them well kitted out,' explained Nobby.
'Well/ said Clive, stuffing the 300 back into Albert's top pocket, 'see they get the best tackle, bait and transport that money can buy.'
Albert gave the big fellow a huge grin and shook his hand.
'Well,' he said at length, 'ya bugga, if that don't beat all.'