The Club’s early days

Although the Club started in late 1946 the first Minutes, written in long-hand with a fountain pen, run from April 22nd 1947.

Founder members of Bungay Cherry Tree Angling Club outside the Cherry Tree pub.

In this record the membership is five shillings (25p) and three shillings (15p) for Ladies, with no junior rate.

The first match award was the Sprake Cup given by a firm of local solicitors.
Later, matches ran bi-weekly and, a now rare, enamelled Club badge was created.
By 1950 There is a Lacon Cup, Roach Cup, and Pike cup to be competed for, with 10 shillings (50p) for the largest Perch too!

By 1952 the Club assets were £9 and 4d. but the entry fees stay the same.

On to the early 1960’s and the Waveney with its wonderful roach fishing attracts holiday makers from all over the Country with Black Country Canal anglers and Sheffielder’s donating large cups that have disappeared over the years.

On the Common 140 pegs for the Suffolk Championship, and winning weights of 36 lbs of roach are the norm, in Club and opens. Of note though; the bottom weights are around 6 lbs for the 20 plus Club matches there.

Collection of stuffed fish housed at he Club’s HQ – later sold when funds ran low.

The Club Headquarters at the Cherry Tree boasted a collection of stuffed fish, which were later sold for nearly £2000 when Foot and Mouth disease reduced the Club’s funds to virtually zero when fishing on rivers is prevented by legislation – a crisis indeed.
Dave Gladwell bought the roach featured here for £100 at the time.

The original Club Pit at Ditchingham was a very successful water until severe Otter and Cormorant predation ruined the fishing. In 2010 the decision was taken to give the water up as it was no longer tenable and the club moved to Lay-by Pit where installation of barrier fencing has prevented the Otter problem reoccurring.

Carp hardly featured in the early days and one landed would be more than likely to be thought a “yarn” if caught bigger than 5 lbs, let alone one from the River.

Trout cropped up on the Common and at Ellingham, and like smelt and flounders, were contested as bona fide in matches.

Sadly the annual Club Coach outing for the Charlish Cup on “foreign” venues, and a popular Club Dinner & Dance were defunct by 1992 as the membership and quality of fishing declines.

Pig slurry and farm discharges are eventually analysed as responsible for the decline of the roach in 1980’s, killing off small fry with high ammonia levels. As older roach died off the young were not there to take their places and the decline continued.

The Club took up the fight and although successful the emergence of water abstraction begins to take its toll. David Bellamy was successful in getting the main offender removed from Redgrave Fen and re-sited through European funding.

Now faced with re-channelling of the Waveney by the then National Rivers Authority into a flood-dominated drainage channel policy, great weirs are introduced, bends straightened and oxygenating riffles removed.
A further euro grant aids a revision of these and today that struggle continues.
Today the struggle is to re-establish access to some of our upper Waveney stretches.

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