The Epsom Angling Society ~ A Brief History

The Society is one of the Borough's oldest sports clubs, the first record we could find was in a local directory for 1888, we have taken this date as our “starting” point. We are probably a little older, we are affiliated to CALPAC (Central Association of London & Provincial Angling Clubs) and believe we were a founder member when they began in 1879. It is of great significance to the Society and its members to have such a heritage.

For many years, at least from the Great War the Society enjoyed fishing on the R.Mole at Garsons Farm, West End, Esher and only stopped fishing there when the river changed dramatically after the flood relief works were completed further downstream. At that time the Society was offered a “large puddle” on the Wayneflete estate also in Esher.

This was taken on as a long term project by the Society. We had the lake de-silted  and  about two years later it became fishable. After about 18 years and a good stocking policy the fishery had evolved into a fine mixed fishery enjoyed by over 200 members.

Sadly, all good things come to an end. The estate was sold in 2004 to a couple whose house actually backs onto the property. We were given a years extension to the then existing licence which expired at the end of March 2005, it was not be renewed.

The Society now has other established fisheries on the Rivers Mole and Wey, and has fishing on 32 miles of the Basingstoke canal. We have recently started fishing on two lakes over at Newdigate, near Dorking, the owner was keen for a club to “take them on” and develop the fishing and the two lakes within the natural environment of the woodlands in which they are located. It‘s a young fishery of about 20 years and offers mostly carp up to low doubles at the moment, but it is our intention to introduce other species, tench, roach and rudd have been introduced in small numbers so far.

From the 1st April the Society will have two new fisheries, a section of the Rover Colne at Stanwell, which will offer the river angler a challenging but ultimately satisfying venue for good chub and barbel. Good stick and waggler swims with varying depths and widths.

We also have both lakes within the Hillswood Business Park, close by to St.Peter's Hospital at Chertsey. In the few days that our members have had to fish it carp between 3 and 11lbs have already been banked. Roach to a pound in bags of 40 fish were also reported. Early days yet but has great potential, to our knowledge it hasn't been “club” fished for nearly 15 years. We are also in negotiation for another fishery which offers fine pike fishing, if you are interested in this particular type of fishing, let us know.

The Society has been active in the past running charity events, fishing for the disabled,
Junior “fish-ins”, matches to benefit deprived children, a local hospice and an old peoples home and will continue to do so. We also have an active match fishing side, with regular matches fished most weekends and representative teams in BCAA and CALPAC trophy matches.

Until last year we were also fishing National Angling Championships, in the past even having a National Champion, we may enter again one day. In the halcyon days of 1000 peggers we also won the Thames Championships, CALPAC's Central & Putney cups on the Arun.

We continue as an Associate club within CALPAC and offer club members rates for fishing their numerous waters, we also have exchange tickets with other local clubs again offering more and different fishing.

The club is in fine hands, a keen and active committee are looking to secure the Society's existence for the next 100 years.

For membership enquires please contact either Mark Lancaster, the club's Marketing Officer on 0208 288 1222 or 07861 682593, or Elvio Morcillo, Membership Secretary on 01372 818260 or for further details of the club's waters and to download a membership form go to our website which is WWW.EPSOMAS.NET or email which will again find Elvio.

John Wood.