Not many fishing clubs have been around for nearly 15O year and not many officers do a 60 year volunteering stint, but Brian Crowhurst who passed away last year reached such a milestone. Bryan Dray takes up the story...
Brian Crowhurst was a legend (a word perhaps too often used, but entirely appropriate in this case) in local fishing circles. He spent most of his adult life in one capacity or another working for the benefit of Wellingborough & District Nene Angling Club. Whether it was in his role as junior match secretary or his 48 or so years as club chairman, to have volunteered for 60 or so years as a committee official is an amazing achievement.
Brian was a man of boundless energy up until his short but brutal illness that took him from us too soon. Whether it was meetings, consultations, work parties or discussions with land owners’, farmers or councils, Brian was there. To maintain that level of commitment over that number of years speaks more volumes about the man than I ever could in this overview of a life dedicated to our sport.
The most important characteristics that made Brian special was his foresight, powers of persuasion and his diplomacy. Perhaps these characteristics came from his Christian beliefs. As fishermen, we all know that situations arise that need addressing with an even hand. That in itself is a gift, but to be able to do it without ever having to raise your voice is a mark of the respect that was held for him by all he dealt with. Throughout the particularly difficult negotiations regarding the design and construction of the Mill Cotton complex with the Parish Council and Natural England, he was able to keep his cool whilst others around him were losing their tempers over numerous things.
Brian had the big picture understanding that the club needed a sustainable strategy. That strategy comprised the club owning its own waters despite the initial outlay and risk to club finances. This foresight is probably the single biggest reason why today our club is increasing its membership numbers even including growth in the numbers joining his beloved junior section despite the national trend in the opposite direction. It’s a feat that few other clubs can match today.
Brian didn’t live to see the club become formally involved with the Canal & River Trust Let’s Fish campaign which is a great shame as he would undoubtedly have been a massive fan of this vital initiative to help secure the long term future of fishing. The club are hosting four Let’s Fish events at Foxton Locks during the summer and with a bit of luck a couple of youngsters will represent us at the Angling Direct Junior and Youth championships to be held on the Shropshire Union Canal on 21 October.
The team undertake a diverse range of work including looking after the Trust's £40 million worth of fish stocks, managing agreements with over 250 different angling clubs and helping more people, especially youngsters, take up angling on the canal. Follow this blog to keep updated with the thoughts and work of the team.See more blogs from this author