Way back in 1961, Don who was the secretary of Weston Super Mare SAA approached other sea angling clubs within the region with the intention of forming an association.
To encourage clubs to the meeting, it was to be held after a shore competition held on the town beach. Seven clubs fished the contest, four of which then met at the Albert Hotel in Weston Super Mare to arrange an inaugural meeting to set up the new association. This was Saturday 27th May.
The first meeting took place at the Royal Clarence Hotel on the 1st of July, with six clubs being present, and apologies from several others. The first thing on the agenda was the election of officers, Don put himself forward as the secretary, with the other two main officers coming from Weston SAA.
It was at this meeting that the name was finalised as the Bristol Channel Federation of Sea Anglers, BCFSA.
Now the Federation was formed and running, he organised many competitions, the most notable being the open on the Berrow, Brean and Burnham foreshores where over 900 anglers competed for a boat! This was the largest competition ever held in this area, and a proud moment for the BCFSA, all thanks to the efforts put in by Don.
Don was now writing an angling column for the local press, this was followed not only by anglers, but also by the general public, who found his descriptive tales of immense interest. During this period he had his own booklet published on local sea angling. At this time the national press did not have magazines or weekly papers dedicated to sea angling, just angling in general. He was writing in these papers, but as soon as specific sea angling journalism took off, he was there! He wrote about the areas that produced the best catches, and the bait to use, not for Don ‘secret’ beaches, nor specialised tackle. he shared his love of angling to whoever would listen. His name was now known nationally, and soon the England selectors had him fishing for his country, both at home and abroad.
Don was also involved with a host of other organisations, all to do with the marine environment. The heavy metal pollution, aggregate extraction, tidal barrages, Severn Estuary coast erosion and water safety. His work with the RNLI, organising many contests on their behalf, was quite unbelievable.
Don took a small break from the official duties of the BCFSA, but soon returned to take up a new Officers position, Environmental and Conservation Officer, a post that seemed to be specifically made for him. He was to hold this position until recent ill health started to affect him.
We as a Federation owe him a debt of gratitude. He will always be remembered for his personality, and as a person who always had time for his fellow anglers.
To quote Don’s favourite saying…. “Fishing is fun!”