Our Missing Trophies

Sowerby Angling Society’s Missing Trophies.
By Nigel Pringle.
1st Published in June 2011 in Sowerby Now a local newspaper

Anglers are notorious for tales of the ones that got away and we are no exception. Although in our case we have to confess to not one but three that have eluded our net, including one that we managed to recapture but it still got away again!
Unfortunately we are not talking about fish, but a series of Trophies that Sowerby Angling Society used to award to the angler who captured the largest Brown Trout from the Cod Beck each season.
Until I took over as the new chairman this year I had been totally unaware of their existence.  My first inkling that something was amiss came as I read through the clubs records of its many monthly meetings. From around the early 70’s the W. Bannister Trophy was presented annually to the winning angler at the once infamous Sowerby Angling Society Annual Dinner and Dance. A local dignitary would present the lucky captor with the cup, inscribed with his name and the weight of the trout to the rapturous applause of his fellow piscators.

This was our first one to get away and was reported lost, but not without a fight. There were heated discussions in the committee meetings as to its whereabouts.  But it was never found, so a new replacement trophy was purchased in 1989 which was again awarded annually until it too went missing. Or to be more accurate it was never mentioned again in the clubs meeting minutes after 1996.  Perhaps there was too much embarrassment at admitting that another one had got away.

Worse was to follow. In recognition of the growing junior section of the club, a Trophy was duly requested and engraved with “Sowerby Angling Society Junior Trophy”. This was awarded annually to a delighted youngster for many years until it too wriggled away. I’m not sure if its first loss had even been fully noted until the then chairman received a call from the local Thirsk Oxfam shop asking if this trophy they had found belonged to them. It was duly recovered and a generous donation to Oxfam followed.

Records show that our Junior Trophy was last awarded in 1995 and that is the last mention we have of it.  So we have now managed to lose three different trophies, one twice, over thirty years.

What I am hoping is that this article might possibly jog a few memories in you Sowerby readers. If you happen to know of, or come across, in your attic, dresser or wherever, any trophies that bear the legend “Sowerby Angling Society” in any shape or form, them we really would like to hear from you.  We would also like to hear from any previous winners of these trophies and hope they might be able to provide us with a photograph or two of themselves with their prize.

And if we do manage to get any of them back we promise, really promise, to take more care of them this time.

As for anyone interested in joining Sowerby Angling Society we still have a few senior vacancies left. We would be particularly interested in any juniors (16 and under) wishing to fish our stretch of the Cod Beck. Our once burgeoning junior section is now sadly under subscribed.

It is fly fishing only during the early part of the season with both worm and fly fishing during the later. We could probably arrange some free fly casting lessons if you are keen enough.