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I’m sure that you would all agree that the only way that I could start this newsletter, is by paying tribute to Derek Gent, who was tragically killed, together with a friend, whilst on holiday with their wives, in Thailand. For those of you who didn’t know Derek, he had been a member of Waltons’ for as long as I can remember. He carried out several roles for many years, including serving on the committee, secretary , a former President of our society and Life Member. He was a true gentleman, a knowledgeable angler and was well respected by all who knew him. He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Derek (far right) is pictured collecting a trophy at a Rochdale Walton presentation evening.

Derek Gent

The Annual General Meeting will be held at 8pm Monday 22nd April, at the Entwistle Arms, Halifax Road, Rochdale. There is parking at the rear, just off Red Lane.
We have four proposals for the meeting :-
1). To scrap the five year membership option. (this will not effect current five year members until the expiry of their five year term).
2). To remove the maximum limit spent annually on fish. (currently £2,600 + vat).
3). To place a £5 stocking levy on all subscriptions, excluding junior members. All monies raised by the stocking levy, to be spent on fish only.
4). To increase annual subscriptions as follows .... seniors to £42, pensioners, disabled and juniors to £21.

The agenda will also include the election of officers and honorariums. Buffet and presentation of Match Trophies will follow. The AGM gives you the opportunity to air your views on the proposals and election of officers and gives you the chance to vote for or against them. It’s too late after the meeting, your vote could be the one that swings it your way. So, please come along and have your say and vote to make the changes that you want.

If you haven’t renewed your membership for 2013, please do so in the usual way or contact Barry Watkins, our treasurer, prior to the AGM. During February, a stocking of 1500, 6 – 8 inch mixed carp, were stocked into Syke main water. A sprinkling went into the small water along with 60, 6 – 8 inch tench, which had been purchased with the money raised via the Syke Small Water Tench Fund (many thanks again to all who contributed). All the fished stocked that day were in pristine condition and were all nearer to eight inches than six. There was the usual four weeks keepnet ban following the stocking and I am pleased to say that we have not seen any fatalities. After the mild spell between Christmas and the New Year, the weather since then has been, well as Dianne Oxberry would say ....”Awfull”. We would all agree, but most would use the Anglo Saxon equivalent to express our thoughts, it’s been so cold. Only the hardy have ventured onto the bankside and results have been varied. Fish are being caught on both waters, mainly from mid morning, that extra degree or two rise in temperature has made the difference. Hopefully, those biting easterly winds that have persisted forever, will soon give way to a long overdue spring. Then, those less hardy amongst us, can pay a long overdue visit to Rochdale Angling Centre, wish Stuart a happy new year and set sights on a season full of tight lines.

I will finish by welcoming all our new members including those who have returned to us and hope you find that both our waters live up to your expectations. Hope to see you at the AGM.

Jim (Secretary).