For as long as anyone can remember the year given for the foundation of the Association is 1884.
The main evidence so far found for this is that a JUBILEE Dinner was held at the Guild Tavern on Wednesday 28 November 1934. We in fact have one of the tickets. It sounded a very formal affair, but there were humorous parts. The Chairman was COLONEL R. F. RATCLIFF C.M.G., V.D. Baiting up commenced at 6-30!. Our earliest records (dated 1887 to 1897) are referred to as the ACCOUNT BOOK. This contains a list of members and subscriptions.
The earliest Committee Minute Book is dated 1892, and the earliest A.G.M, Minute Book dated 1900 to 1932. It is our intention to research these and many other books and documents. We in fact have a Royal Seal (Queen Victoria) as part of proof of title to Fishing Rights on the River Dove.
CAN YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU JOINED?
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Why should you join the Angling Trust?
I have known your President; Dave, for more years than I care to remember. 5 years ago we formed the Mid Trent Anglers Consultative a group of clubs with combined membership of over 15,000 anglers covering the Tame, Anker & Mid Trent catchment to form a powerful group to campaign and work with the Environment Agency to ensure our concerns were met. 2 years ago I started working for the Angling Trust as their Environmental Campaigns Manager following my return to University at Derby to do a degree in Aquatic Environmental Management.
Why should you join AT? This is a question I am regularly asked and usually two points are raised: I pay my rod licence to the EA that is enough and my club is a member that is enough. To be honest that is not enough, our rivers and water ways have been degraded over the years to such an extent that by European standards over 50% of them fail for fish populations. The EA is a large organisation of which Fisheries is a small part, getting smaller and overshadowed by the huge spending on Flood Defence work which often is counter to what is good for fish. We paid them 26 million pounds last year from rod licences to protect & improve fisheries do you know where this has gone? We dont! The Angling Trust has now been accepted by the EA as a body to scrutinise this and this is the first time this has been achieved. We will know in future!
But why do we need large numbers of members? Surely Clubs being members is enough? No it is not! Why? The EA is a delivery body of DEFRA which in turn is accountable to politicians at Westminster; the EA does not do policy. Before AT was formed water policy was influenced by other organisations. Politicians work the numbers game how many people will vote for me? For example the RSPB has 1 million members who vote. We need 1 million anglers to join to have the same power. We have some great Members of Parliament who are anglers but they all say the same thing to be effective in policy making increase your membership.
AT is now a professional organisation, not only are we active in Westminster looking after your concerns but as members of the European Anglers Alliance we are keeping an eye on and influencing developments in Europe. The Government announced last week that 92 million pounds would be spent on our rivers and water ways, this would not have happened without AT and our partners WWF. As the editor of the Angling Times said last week The Angling Trust has today proved beyond doubt that it is the voice to take the sport forward.