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Hall of Fame - T

Fred J Taylor

Fred J Taylor

Inducted: March 2015

Fred J Taylor was born in 1919 at Leighton Buzzard and taught himself to fish from an early age. With his brother Ken and cousin Joe, they became known for their prowess in catching tench at Wootton Underwood Lakes, and were often known as ‘the Taylor brothers’.

After a friendship with Dick Walker developed in the early 1950s, Fred began writing fishing articles for periodicals of that period, the Angling Times, Anglers News, Fishing Gazette and Angler’s Mail.

Fred fished at several of the famous carp fisheries during the 1950s and 1960s, including Benniworth Haven (Woldale), Redmire Pool and Delafields (the Sand Spit). It was from Woldale that Fred caught his first double-figure carp, a 16-pounder, that qualified him for membership of the Carp Catchers’ Club. He was proposed by Dick Walker and accepted the invitation into this elite group in 1957.

In later years he fished for carp with Tim Paisley, who was instrumental in Fred catching his first 20lb carp from Birch Grove, in Shropshire.

To some extent Fred helped to spread the sport of carp fishing in the United States, where he was a frequent visitor and made innumerable angling pals. He was perhaps more at home with the American philosophy of fishing than in his native UK, because at heart Fred was a hunting man who liked nothing better than to cook his catch over an open fire in the countryside. It was from America that Fred brought back to the UK the idea of using maize for carp. He had seen it used extensively and successfully in the States. However, the idea never caught on at the time, and the concept of mass baits had to wait for its popularisation until the successes of Chris Yates, Rod Hutchinson and others at Redmire Pool.

He was the author of 18 sporting and cooking books and was a prolific writer in magazines and newspapers right up until his death in 2008, a little time after he had been awarded an MBE.

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Peter Thomas

Peter Thomas

Inducted: March 2010

Long-time angling pal of Richard Walker (himself a Hall of Fame inductee) and, though Dick was some six years older, they were inseparable angling companions.

By the age of 14 Pete had caught a carp of 14½lb an achievement few adult anglers at that time had equalled – and he went on to catch carp over the magic 20lb mark at a time when carp of that size were very thin on the ground.

For a number of years Pete was works manager of a firm of manufacturing chemists, but later he became a well-known and highly respected travelling agent for tackle giant Hardy’s.

Pete was invariably seen with his black Labrador dog Ross, who was constantly at his side, sitting patiently by his master on a carp-fishing trip.

Peter fished for many different species of fish but is best remembered for his carp fishing exploits. In June 1952 he landed the second largest carp caught at the time – the 28lb 10oz mirror seen here. And of course it was Peter Thomas who was at Dick Walker’s side on that fateful morning in September 1952 when he summoned up all his strength and wielded the landing net to engulf Dick’s 44lb record breaker.

Pete lived into his nineties and sadly passed away in January 2015.

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Our Days with Dick - Ian Howcroft


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