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Between the Wars

The club had only two secretaries between the wars, but, unfortunately, their fishery minutes and fishing records are missing. Only a few accounts and fishery handbooks of rules and regulations remain. It is clear, however, that the club resumed breeding its own fish and regularly ordered 6000 trout ova every year. The club’s waters remained undiminished while members continued to stay overnight in the Fishery House. Many members still come from London with such prestigious addresses as the Junior Carlton Club, Wimpole Street, Harley Street, Grosvenor Gardens and South Kensington. The last stocking before the outbreak of World War Two was for 300 13in trout and 750 6in.

An immediate consequence of the war was the termination of the club’s lease of the New River for security reasons, but the club retained the Lea. In 1941, during the grimmest days of the war, the club was still irrepressibly trying to regain the fishing rights to the New River. The club wrote to the Metropolitan Water Board pointing out that its membership included an admiral, two lieutenant colonels and a major. At the time, the danger of Fifth Columnists was very much in the public mind, and the club argued that its officer members of senior rank not only deserved some recreational fishing but would protect the New River from Fifth Columnists!

Needless to say the request was turned down as was another in 1944. The fishing was restored in 1946, but a year later, because of the high rent and insecurity of tenure the club terminated its 105 year old connection with the New River. It was a bad decision, and one can only surmise that the members were unaware that from the turn of the century the best trout fishing had come from the New River.

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