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Old 06-02-13, 13:49
AndyHoldcroft AndyHoldcroft is offline
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Default Family transcript 4: "Fishing Diary" pt 2

The second set of excerpts from the diary of Edward Dolton, commencing in August 1888

August 20
River Meese (sic) at Haselour14 with Mr Brecknell. Weather wet morning & evening and fine during middle of day. Wind S.W. & warm. Roach etc not biting or at any rate not with ordinary float fishing. Try stret-pegging15 next time as seen at Boston in the Witham. Lost fine perch by hook twisting round & sticking into the bait (a small gudgeon) instead of hooking the fish. Also lost another good fish (probably an eel) through gut breaking by injury from rust at shank of hook. Plenty of minnow & small gudgeon here for bait. Caught 7 kinds of fish here including minnow & a quantity of small gudgeon. Good place for legering16.
14 Near Tamworth. River usually spelt Mease and spelt as “Meace” by Edward later in diary.
15/16 Angling techniques


Aug 29
Arley (Warwickshire)17 with Will. Pope. Fine day, after heavy rain all previous day. Water well coloured. Too thick for any bait but worms. Lost 2 fish, about ¾ lb each, one lightly hooked, & the other through gut breaking at shank of hook.

17 West of Nuneaton: presumably Edward was fishing in the Bourne

Sep 10
Knightsford Bridge18 with Wm the Pope. Got there on Satdy. afternoon and inspected the length of river available for fishing. Water very cold & wind N.E. Tried fly – but no use – no fish rising. On Sunday tried spinning for trout & touched 2 fish each but failed to get them through the fish coming shyly & not being securely hooked. Monday morning William got 2 fine trout weight 2 lbs 14 oz the two, spinning & 2 smaller ones in afternoon about ¾ lb each. This river is very foul from willow branches & roots & unfit for pike spinning the proper way & by which the heaviest fish are caught is by trolling19 the dead gorge, searching all the holes especially in the pool below the mill. Live baiting might do if the bait is not above 2 feet deep. Waders are absolutely necessary to fly fish here and much the best to use them when spinning for trout. Note that in spinning the bait should only be 3 or 4 inches under the surface so as to show as little of the trace as possible; and no line on the water. Also with fly; only the trace should fall on the water & be instantly & gently straightened out so as to rise the droppers & leave only the tail fly, with as little trace as possible in the wake. The above refers to shallow water- both fly & spinning. In deep water let the baits sink.

18 On the River Teme near Knightwick, Worcestershire.
19 Angling technique


Sep 20
Birdsgrove Fish Club20 water on Dove, near Ashbourne with Wm the Pope. Hot bright day & water fine. Wind N.E. Spun natural minnow all day but only rose 3 fish – 2 coming short & 1 caught. Would be best fished wading. 4 miles of good water but more grayling than trout. Finest tackle required. A member today took 7 ½ brace tout & grayling spinning small artificial (Devon) with very light hooks & trace. A grayling 2 lb amongst them. Worked the minnow by winding in on left hand, round thumb & two last fingers. Must try this. Beautiful scenery.
20 Trout fishing club still based in Staffordshire & Derbyshire based around fishing on Rivers Trent & Dove. It would appear that Edward was a guest of the club.

Sep 21
Fly fished all day for grayling but sport poor owing to water being very fine & sun & wind same as preceding day. Rose very few fish owing to cast not falling straight on the water, the dressing being worn off. Wm the P. rose many fish but only caught 1 grayling 4 oz. Very unlucky this time – not usual. Think his liver was out of condition. Caught my first grayling today, and a nice fish. The accommodation at Inn (Royal Oak, Mr Booth) very good & charged about 7/- day. Think there are more flies in proportion than fish in this part of the river.
Oct 2
River Stour21 with Al.22 Bitterly cold & dull morning but sunny & warmer after mid-day. Trailed artificial bait after boat but caught nothing but weeds. Worked down from the Sheep wash pitching the bait (eel tail on Pennell23 tackle) into likely places near the banks where the fish seemed to be. Rose & hooked 6 fish but only secured one owing to their swimming into the dense masses of weeds with which river is filled & the Pennell flight not holding well. Try live bait next time, with large triangle. Cannot fish here for pike without a boat: charge 2/- a day from Sigwells. Good place for perch is in large holes on right bank just above the Gas Works. Fish for them with float & worm & minnows.
21 Presumably the Dorset Stour he fished in earlier in the year: see note 4 above on Page 1.
22 Presumably his brother Alfred who was living in Boscombe by July 1889 at the latest (see note 44 below).
23 Now spelt Pennel


Oct 31
In the Teme at Knightsford Bridge with Mr Bartholomew. River very low and grayling not rising. Rose and caught a number of samlets24 which were put back into the water. A good rise of flies from 10 till 3-30. Olive duns and a few of whirling blue duns & very small duns25. On next occasion when water is so low the best plan will be to stand in middle of river at bottom of stream & fish the deeper water with worm or maggot on light bottom tackle. When commencing fly fishing begin with a cast of fancy flies untill (sic) rise of natural flies appears and fish commence feeding on them & then put up a cast of the same kind. Also, with fine tackle, pass the line between instead of over fingers so as not to break the cast in striking. In wading today, I stepped into a hole and had great difficulty in getting out of it. In future always try depth at each step with landing handle.

24 Young salmon.
25 All types of fly.

Nov 22
Plants Brook Reservoirs. Wind westerly & very strong; preventing boat fishing. Temperature high for time of year. Tried all three of the reservoirs from the sides with live bait & spinning eel tail & gudgeon and artificial bait but no result. Next time try middle of reservoir from boat with large roach on snap tackle & fish deep. Thousands of plovers & rooks flying over the Sewage farm.
Nov 28
Plants Brook Reservoirs. Calm misty morning & warm. Got the roach together around the boat and had 6 bites, catching four fish when a cold S.E. wind set in, with rain afterwards and ne’er another bite after that. Would have been better to have tried gentles or worms with a foot of line on the bottom if I had thought of it instead of leaving the position; and using ground bait sparingly.
Decr 6
Plants Brook Reservoirs. Wind S.W. Beautifully sunny morning & warmer than many of the days in July of this year. Found the roach at once & stuck to the one place and kept it baited up. Lost several through defective hook – being tied at wrong angle to the line it did not penetrate. Three of the roach 7 ½ oz each. Best days fishing this year for weight of fish caught.


1889

Jan 21
River Meace at Elford26 with Mr Attwood & friend. Day first rate for time of year & water in grand condition. Caught 1 pike spinning with roach, female with large roe, well developed. Was a splendid flavour & probably caused by feeding on trout as her haunt was opposite where a well stocked trout stream joined the river. Tried a bank runner for eels but caught none.
26 See Note 14 above.

Feb 20
Lower Witton Reservoir. Went a-roach fishing. Calm & fine at starting but wind commenced to blow half a gale, getting worse later on; so no sport. Caught a Loch Leven trout, about 9 inches long, with paste27. Put him back to grow.

27 A type of bait.

March 13
Aston Reservoir28 with Mesrs Breckwell & Hills (President Bordesley Waltonians)29. Very windy & rather cold – waves breaking over wall by hot water inlet a yard high. Sport poor & fish small being only 17 all told. Reason probably being some pike near end of the wall, preventing shoal of roach ascending the stream.

28 Originally used for holding drinking water drawn from the River Tame and subsequently used for boating & speedboat racing at various times. Now overshadowed by Gravelly Hill Interchange (aka “Spaghetti Junction”) and situated in Salford Park, Aston Birmingham. The trip there and back would have been about 11/12 miles for Edward.
29 An Angling Club: Bordesley being an area in eastern Birmingham about 3 miles north of where Edward was living in Yardley.



March 20
Sara Hole Mill Pool. Tried for jack but no result except losing 2 baits with small ones. Roach fishing also useless. Miller says there are plenty in the pool. Also says can get trout in the different streams connected with the mill30.

30 This must be the Miller cited by J.R.R Tolkien as the inspiration for the (minor) character in “The Lord of the Rings”. (“Recently I saw in a paper a picture of the last decrepitude of the once thriving corn-mill beside its pool that long ago seemed to me so important. I never liked the looks of the Young miller, but his father, the Old miller, had a black beard..” (J.R.R. Tolkien: Introduction to “The Lord of the Rings”): fortunately the mill has since been saved from the decrepitude Tolkien noted).
March 27
Moseley New Pool. Fine day but cold. Wind N. Baited up 3 places for roach but got none. Water probably too cold. Fished for perch with minnow but only small jack came. Previous night cold & frosty.


April 3
Witton reservoir for trout. Wind as usual N.E. Tried live minnow but no result – not even a perch. Spun natural minnow to same tune & then artificial. Warmer in afternoon & tried flies but no fish rising & caught nothing. Disgusting day for sport. Shut up early & went home.
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Old 07-02-13, 12:08
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Quote:
Worked down from the Sheep wash
I know where that is too! Just round the corner from Iford Bridge mentioned on your first fishing post.......

If you would like to see what it looks like today, then use Google maps to find 937 Castle Lane East, Bournemouth. Once you have located that address, if you click on the street-view you will find yourself roughly facing a chalet bungalow with green roof tiles and a black single garage door on the left of the property. To the immediate left of the property is a brick wall separating their land from nextdoor. Nextdoor there is a terrace of 6(?) new redbrick houses which are at right angles to the main road. These are built on the site of an old house, knocked down a year or two back, named Sheepwash.

If you move down the road a little to the left and then turn back to face the original bungalow you will see a street sign on the other side of the dividing brick wall that says "Sheep Wash Lane" on it - you will have to take my word for that as it doesn't seem to be possible to zoom in on it, but I did double check on my way home from Tesco this morning!! This used to be a lane leading to the actual Sheep Wash, but now I think it's a private road/drive and I don't know if there is a right of way or not.

Here is a painting of what the Sheep Wash area looked like in more tranquil times! This is what you would see if you walked down Sheepwash Lane (if that's still allowed!).

Sheepwash


If you would like to see how near this is to the Iford Bridge site where Edward also fished, you will need to go back to google maps and back to 937 Castle Lane East, face this property and then turn right, so you have your back to the new houses at Sheepwash. You should see signs on the road giving details of a roundabout coming up. You need to move forward to the roundabout and take the first exit (the google notation says this is the "A35 Iford Roundabout"). You'll go over a zebra crossing and last the Iford Bridge pub on the right. Then across a lit pedestrian crossing and immediately after this you will see there are low brick walls on both sides of the road. This is the "new" Iford Bridge! If you move onto the bridge and turn to your right you will see the old bridge which carried the main road into Christchurch from Iford until the new bridge was built in 1932.

If you want to see where Edward probably fished then turn around on the new bridge and begin taking yourself back towards the roundabout. Before you get there you will see the Ifird Bridge pub, now on your left. Just before it is a side road. If you click down here after about 100m or so you will see a red Peugeot (I think!) on the left and two people on bikes. To the left is the entrance to the old bridge and the places to fish are on the river banks around here.

Tuckton Bridge (from your fishing part 1) is about a mile and a half down stream.

Oooh, sorry that's all a bit long! It may not be as good as a real visit, but a lot cheaper! lol
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Old 07-02-13, 13:02
AndyHoldcroft AndyHoldcroft is offline
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Thank you so much for all this: it is wonderful! I have just shared with my mother & uncle (who are grandchildren of the diary's writer) those photos from you & they are very interested & touched. For me, the interest is very much about human experiences so seeing where he fished & seeing roughly what he saw is extremely important to me & I think the family generally. Most of the sites are reasonably close & so known, but these are not really, so your input is greatly valued: also lucky his brother lived for a while near where you live! The diaries do show him to have been a thoughtful man with a good turn of phrase: these early entries are quite fishing orientated, but if you read through to the end, he loses interest in writing about fishing & the entries get more poetic: there is a really good one about Salford Priors in Warwickshire I'd urge you to look out for. I'll try & attach a couple of photos of him: one from around the time of the diary & the other with his wife Eva at the end of his life.
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File Type: jpg Edward Dolton 1.jpg (7.2 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Edward and Eva.jpg (10.0 KB, 1 views)
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Old 09-02-13, 09:55
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I shall read all the rest of your posts with interest!

I saw that Edward's brother lived at The Crescent in Boscombe in 1891. At that time this was quite a fashionable area in Bournemouth (well, Boscombe, which was considered a separate place at the time), but if you read anything about it now, information is all about illegal drugs and the crime that goes with drug use. This area of Boscombe was supposed to have been cleaned up and improved about 15/20 years ago and it probably is a bit better now, but still not great. So, be aware none of that was the case when your relative lived there! The properties in The Crescent generally haven't changed since the 1890s, but I'm not sure what has happened to number 2 as number 4 (The Crescent Surgery) seems to be the first building in the street! I don't know if all the buildings are even numbers or if there were ever properties on the other side of the street (doubtful). Maybe I'll have to take a look next time I go shopping there (it's only a two minute walk from the shops!)
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Old 09-02-13, 10:17
AndyHoldcroft AndyHoldcroft is offline
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Thank you: as I say, his writing does get more poetic: have just posted what I think will be penultimate chunk & will post last chunk. After that will post excerpts from my Grandfather's WW1 diary (he was Edward's son in law). Very major thanks coming from Mum by the way to you: she is delighted with those pictures & I have printed them for her to put into her hard copy of the transcript. We were talking about Alfred yesterday: his is an odd & obscure story. We know he married his parents' maid, but moved from Yardley in Birmingham to Liverpool to do so, thence to Boscombe where their second child was born & then to Bulawayo... My Grandmother who was a great communicator had no links with either her uncle Alfred nor his children & the only details we have were that she had a set of African weapons from him: presumably he died before Edward, left them to him & thence to her. All but one went to Edward's youngest son when Grandma died but the one remaining knobkerrie is the only evidence of his life we have. My second cousin Terrie found some evidence of his children on passenger lists in the early 20th century but that's it. I assume that the business with the maid made him persona non grata & only Edward kept in touch. I don't know how he afforded a house in a fashionable area given that he was younger son of a shop owner and probably disinherited at that.. all rather mysterious. The story of the area though does not surprise me: I live in Leamington which had lots of attractive Regency houses which became too big to afford & hence run down. If you have time & a little camera next time you are near there, a photo would be really nice, but please don't go to any inconvenience!
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Old 09-02-13, 10:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyHoldcroft View Post
& then to Bulawayo...

I don't know how he afforded a house in a fashionable area given that he was younger son of a shop owner and probably disinherited at that

If you have time & a little camera next time you are near there, a photo would be really nice, but please don't go to any inconvenience!
lol No wonder I couldn't find him in 1901!!

I expect 2 The Crescent would have been rented and whilst fashionable, they were not grand or particularly large by standards of those days. it's bedsit-land now.

Yes, I'll definitely take some photos and try not to get arrested lol (only joking, it's not that bad!!)
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Old 09-02-13, 11:47
AndyHoldcroft AndyHoldcroft is offline
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Sounds very like Leamington to be honest! I am pretty sure he was in Rhodesia by 1901 but after that... I attach a photo of the only item which we have which relates to him: the knobkerrie...
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Old 09-02-13, 12:08
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I didn't know what that was at first! It looked like a hatpin, but I was on completely the wrong scale!!!!
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Old 09-02-13, 13:03
AndyHoldcroft AndyHoldcroft is offline
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It's a knobkerrie!
but the scale I agree is unclear: it's about 3' in length & presumably would hurt when used.. there was a sort of set of African weapons including another knobkerrie with a huge ball on the end, a stabbing spear & some with barbs: quite nasty looking & presumably authentic. I don't know if the others still exist I'm afraid...
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Old 10-02-13, 09:24
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Hmmm, he might have needed those items had he returned to Boscombe in the 1980s!

A tip - always do your internet/book research BEFORE going out with a camera in the drizzly rain! lol I didn't, and thereby discovered a problem only after I'd been to The Crescent yesterday!

The Dr's surgery is no more, though the building still exists - Once I was outside it I realised it is number 1, not number 4 as I thought from google street view (not google street view's fault, my eyes!). Today the whole of The Crescent is odd numbers only, running from 1-27. When I got home I realised in 1891 the numbering was both odd and even numbers from 1-8. My OH insisted the street has never had properties on both sides. I was sceptical as he wasn't alive in 1891 (!), but having looked at various old maps it does seem he is correct. So, even if the street has been renumbered, how have 8 properties morphed into 14 (1-27 odd only) when everything looks as if it was built in the late 1900s?? I have not solved this mystery.

I did try looking to see if FMP had any other bits of census with The Crescent on it, in case the larger numbers were enumerated separately, but they haven't even got the correct address for Alfred and Alice, listing then as at 2 Christchurch Road, which is incorrect. I know the street name hasn't changed as The Hengistbourne Club, listed on the census at number 3, and The Crescent Surgery, recently at number 1, both appear in lots of records as being in the street I know as The Crescent.

So, I don't know which house they were living in!!

This is numbers 1 (left) and 3 (right). Number 1 used to be the Doctors surgery and I suppose number 3 might have been number 2 in the past:



This is numbers 1 on the right and my supposed position of number 2, where the big tree is, as whilst I was "on location" I was imagining the even numbers had been knocked down, which turned out to be an incorrect assumption:



The church in that last one is St John's C of E, Boscombe.

This next shot shows numbers 7-21. There are no other styles of property in the road.



In the past there was a bandstand on the green opposite the houses, but I don't know if that was there back in the 1890s.

It would have been a five minute walk to get to Boscombe pier where they also fished. There are lots of pictures of the pier online. It hasn't changed much.

I should have photographed the street name - I always do that when photographing properties, but forgot this time I looked on street view to see if they had captured it and they had - this photo also shows the old Crescent Surgery at number 1. I was shocked to see the road is now called Boscombe Crescent! I don't know when that happened - during the refurbishment perhaps? I've never heard it called that!

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