© Girling Angling Society, 2015. All Rights Reserved
At the time of writing the Society has been in existence for over 80 years and with the passing of time and responsibility changing hands the early history of the Society has become a little blurred. The current Secretary has put together a record of Society history as we perceive it today. If anyone has additional history to add please get in touch with the website.
The “Girling Angling Society” was formed by workers at the Girling factory in Kings Road, Tyseley, Birmingham. The company “Girling Brakes” produced vehicle brake systems & in the 1960’S became part of Lucas Industries eventually becoming part of the US based TRW group in the 1990’s.
Constitution;- The Society drew up a constitution in the 1940’s which we abide with to this day. The Committee is elected every three years and the Society holds an AGM every January following the end of the each season.
BAA Affiliation;- Girling Angling Society has been affiliated to the Birmingham Anglers Association (BAA) or as long as anyone can remember.
Founder Members;- The Photograph on the right was supplied by Alan Pugh, taken in 1947 of the founder members of the Society. John’s father is fifth from the left on the back row. Brothers John and Ken where recent Associate members and they told of many happy memories at Fladbury as children. This is the earliest documentation we have and we can assume that the Society was formed around 1940.
Committee changes over the years;- The initial Secretary/ Treasurer was Lou Greatrex who ran the club for many years and oversaw the purchase of the fishery. Around the seventies Peter Whittingham took over the duties of Secretary/ Treasurer looking after the Society until 2016. During this period Jim Tyler was the Chairman through 1986 until the year 2000 Jim’s successor Dave Mullins is the current Chairman.
Following Peter Whittingham’s retirement as long term Secretary/ Treasurer (announced September 2016) long term committee members Frank Bagley accepted the Secretary’s role and Peter Fawke became the Treasurer, at this time (early 2017) Brian Barton and H. Potter were added to the committee.
Fladbury Lock;- During the 1970’s Lower Avon Navigation Trust (LANT) completed the repairs to the lock alongside Fladbury weir, the lock had fallen into disrepair decades before. Before this development there had always been a continuous bank from the weir down the entire length of the fishery. The renewed lock created Fladbury island and the Lock Stream.
GirlingAS and LANT agreed to access the island fishing by walking over the lock bridge, through a gate and down a short vertical ladder, then walking along the newly created short causeway (separating the weir & lock stream) & on to the Island to access the weir pool side of the island. For many years accessing the island has been fraught with difficulties due to vandalism and a failure to agree access with LANT and the owners of the Mill House.
Weir improvements;- In the 90’s work on the weir re-directed the flow directly at the island. Since then an extensive bed of reeds has grown in the shallows along the weir pool side of the island.
Match format changes;-
Aggregate Series;- The Society has fished “The Aggregate” Series for many years which has remained unchanged for decades.
Spring League Series;- Accepting that Match Fishing was changing with match men moving away from the river onto newly developed Commercial fisheries, the Society held its first match series on Carp Pools in 2003 called the “Spring League” with five matches held during the river close season.
Winter League Series;- Also in 2003 the Society added a third match series to be held in the late Autumn months called the “Winter League” the five match series alternated between Fladbury & Canals dependent upon conditions.
Silver Fish League;- in 2012 the Society decided to add a second series of matches on pools called the “Silver Fish League”, held early in the season during January to March on local pools, this series later became the “Winter Pools Series” with Carp allowed after some poor results over the seasons with Silvers alone.
Canal Series;- Starting in 2020 the Society added a series of matches on Canals to be held between March to May offering an alternative to the matches on Pools.
All Year round Fishing;- The Society now held 30 matches per season over five match series ie, “Winter Pools (5)”, “Canal Series (5)”, Spring League (5)”, “Aggregate (10)” and “Winter League” (5).
These additional match series aimed at attracting all types of match anglers stabilized the Society as river match fishing declined, responding to the changes the Society continued to thrive.
Society Website;- In September 2015 long term committee member Frank Bagley developed the Girling Angling Society website (www.GirlingAS.co.uk). The initial concept was to promote Fladbury club bookings and increase membership, the spin-off was an up to date results service for the members. This development has been extremely successful in keeping the members informed, generating membership and match bookings.
Since the launch many families of ex-members, a son of a founder member and families of bereaved members have been in touch with the website demonstrating the advantages of the website.
Land Owner Changes;-
Field;- Initially called “Inches Meadow” ownership changed hands and for many years the field was used to cultivate Lawn Turf, during 2017 the field was sold. The new land owner allowed GirlingAS members to drive into the field, this was a huge advantage on match days and when completing maintenance.
Island;- Earlier, possibly 2016 Fladbury island was sold, the new owners objective was to halt the erosion of the island creating a nature reserve.
2017 – Total refurbishment of all 26 Match Pegs;- The re-organised Committee announced at the 2017 AGM their intention to improve all of the pegs which were in a very poor unsafe condition. Many had become unfishable and unused, pegs near to the weir had been severely eroded and in dangerous condition. Two objectives were agreed.
To re-new all of the Steps and to encouraging Membership and Match Bookings;- Rather luckily in 2017 the new Land Owner allowed the Society to drive into the field which coincided with the start of the rejuvenation and helped enormously when delivering materials etc. In the first year a small group of members built several sets of robust steps while the remaining pegs had new temporary steps, the few willing members also built 5 raised platforms over the silted pegs (5-9) and for the first time in decades all 26 pegs were fishable and safe and new signs were erected.
The concrete steps were found to be hazardous after standing in mud and the Committee agreed that all of the pegs would have mud free bottom stage wooden bankside platforms fitted to increase safety.
The magnificent effort in 2017 by a small group of members was overtaken by the increasing scope of the task and completion of all 26 pegs having “robust steps and a bottom stage platform” was completed by June 2018.
Low Maintenance Fishery;- On completion we realized that the drive for safety had led to the development of a “Low Maintenance Fishery”, maintenance had become less labour intensive.
Efforts rewarded;- In the Summer of 2018 previously neglected un-used pegs were now winning matches. The Society saw a huge increase in Associate membership and for the first time local villagers were joining the Society, we also received an influx of match bookings for the 2019 season. In 2019 the Fishery faced 6 months of flooding and all 26 pegs survived without damage demonstrating the wisdom of funding and building robust permanent pegs.
The Sale of Fishing Rights to Fladbury Island;-
In September 2017 The owner of Fladbury island asked the Society to consider selling the fishing rights to the island, members had not been able to access the island for around 12 years.
The route onto the island had always been difficult and not for the elderly members. In addition, the weir pool side of the island had become totally overgrown with a 20ft deep bank of reeds that the owner did not want removed. We had held earlier discussions with the owner concerning access and creating pegs on the island which came to nothing.
Decision to sell;- The Committee after much consideration and consultation eventual came to an agreement with the land owner and the Committee put three options to the January 2018 AGM. With no vehicle access and little scope to build pegs on the island the members opted to sell and relinquish all rights to the island.
Legal process;- With the AGM mandate to sell the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer engaged a Solicitor recommended by John Williams of the BAA, the legal process began February 2017.
During the legal process the Society realized that the Society’s documentation was incomplete and we could not complete the sale. The five man Committee and long term members all agreed to continue the process of establishing legal ownership accepting the additional cost involved. We could not sell without proof of ownership and the funds from the sale provided a “one off” opportunity to achieve legal ownership. To cease the legal process prematurely would have proved costly and inconclusive.
The Solicitor eventually established ownership of the fishing rights and registered legal ownership and access with the “Government Land Registry Office” with Dave Mullins and Frank Bagley becoming Trustees of the Society.
Title Plan;- The Land Registry “Title Plan” (WR184797) shows that Girling AS owns the fishing rights from the weir all around the island, and continuous Left Bank fishing rights along the stream that flows into the Island lock stream, along the island Stream and down to the bottom of the field, the whole of the Left Bank.
Completion of the Sale;- The Society completed the sale of rights to Fladbury Island in December 2019 after a 23 month legal process, the sale included an agreement that the Island land owner would not object to Girling AS fishing the lock channel from the Girling left bank.
Outcome;- The requirement to prove ownership before we could complete the sale came at a cost although the Society did receive a sizeable profit. The outcome of registering with Land Registry meant that we inherited the additional fishing rights in the lock Stream, more significantly the Society had secured Fishery legal ownership and access for future generations.
Pegs in the Lock Stream;- The Secretary decided to create nine winter pegs in the channel, Pegs 27 to 35. Starting in July 2019, progress was held up by continuous flooding but the pegs were finally completed in June 2020.
Set a little higher off the water the pegs are ideal for the pole in winter conditions.
The advantages of these Winter Pegs is that (1)the Society now had an alternative when the main river was out of sorts and (2)the new pegs are available for Associate members on match days.
In 2019 we enlisted the help of two local volunteer Bailiffs to patrol the fishery and report any issues.
SECRETARY’S COMMENT - June 2021
Progress since early 2017;-
Since the start of 2017 season the reformed Committee have been busy rejuvenating and extending the fishery, establishing legal ownership and access and increasing Full and Associate membership while staying within budget.
We have developed a healthy working relationship with the land owners resulting in being allowed to drive behind the pegs and establish a car park for the winter months.
The membership have also benefited financially and it should be noted that the Society’s turnaround in fortunes is due to the hard work of a few of the members and Committee determination.
The Society is currently in excellent shape for the benefit of the membership and for future generations.
Dave Mullins Chairman (2000) / Trustee (2019)
Frank Bagley Secretary (2017) / Website (2015) / Trustee (2019)
Peter Fawke Treasurer (2017)
Brian Barton Fladbury Club Match Bookings (2017)
H. Potter Fishery Manager (2017)
– Secretary of Girling Angling Society
|Peg by Peg|
|Prize Money on Pools|
|Venue List 2023|
|Cutters Cup Records|
|Roach Cup Records|
|Br. 40-41 / Br. 45-46|
|GU Canal Barston Ln|
|Pershore Left Bank|
|Use of Power Tools|
|Water Quality Monitoring Network|