Some images of the past

History of the Blenheim Angling Society

The Blenheim Angling Society was formed in 1880 by a small number of business and professional men, mainly doctors, dentists and solicitors.


The name of the society was taken from the Blenheim Arms public house in Nottinghill Gate where club meetings were held every week. 
The main fishery for the society was the Grand Junction Canal from Denham through to Rickmansworth, the same sections of water that we have fishing rights today. 
We have held those rights since 1900. Most of the society’s matches were held at Harefield, the Fisheries Inn being the local headquarters. Some matches were held on the Thames at Pangbourne and Marlow. Some of the earlier trophies are still fished for today. 

In 1902 the society moved headquarters from the Blenheim Arms to the Pelican Hotel in the Marlebone Road. George Geen was elected President in 1905 and continued in office until 1947. 

Fish caught on matches in the early days had to be weighed in at London headquarters and match finishing times had to coincide with train times to enable members to weigh in their fish at headquarters.

The River Colnebrook at Wraysbury was purchased in 1923 and subscriptions raised to £1.1s.0d. (one guinea) to help pay for the river, and membership was restricted to 110 members, and The Feathers public house was declared the area headquarters. 

In 1936 members were instructed to carry keep nets to matches so that the weigh in was on the bank and the fish returned to the water. 

In 1945 the clubs headquarters were moved to the Fountains Abbey in Paddington and later in 1954 to the Yorkshire Stingo in the Harrow Road The 1956 the LAA shield match was held on the River Colnebrook at Wraysbury between Harlesden and Wanstead, Wanstead being the winners by 5lbs.10ozs.8drms to 3lbs.14ozs.12drms. 

Membership in 1957 was restricted to 200 seniors and 25 juniors. Ladies were not allowed as members at this time. In 1958 Thomas Roberts Ltd asked the society to sell them the river with a view to divert the river and extract the gravel, this operation was aborted in 1960.

1963 saw a major pollution at Harefield from the sewage treatment works at Maple Lodge and thousands of fish were lost. 

1966 was the start of the Wraysbury reservoir and for the infilling of the West Pit (Silver Wings) a temporary bridge was constructed over the Colnebrook for lorries to take their spoil to the West Pit. The infilling was completed in 1968. The river banks were breached in 1969 to allow barges to pass from the East pit up to the workings in the West pit. The Wraysbury reservoir was completed in 1970. The canal fishing improved in 1971 and day tickets were again being issued. 

The society membership exceeded 400 in 1974. 

1980 was the Centenary year for the Society and open matches and open days organised to celebrate this great occasion. 1981 saw the first fish stocks placed in Cargill Lake, mainly roach and rudd, later to be complemented by some 1,000 carp up to around the 3lbs mark. 

The complete history of the Blenheim Angling Society will be obtainable at a later date.