Angling Professional

Neil, Tackle Box shop owner (Billingham) on supporting the local junior angling club

The Tackle Box is the centre for the local angling club. So basically anything to do with the club, if you want to join the club, you come here first. But regarding the kids, we get a heck of a lot of kids. The kids are fantastic. They are always welcome in the shop. When they used to first come in they would wonder around, but since Barry at the junior club and the other bailiffs started getting involved with the kids over at the pond, they have such an interest in it now and they listen to what you say. They are so engrossed in fishing, it’s fantastic.

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Neil, Tackle Box shop owner, on the return of community to Charlton's Pond.

Charlton's Pond’s been sown from a pretty poor area. It used to create a habitat for a lot of unsavoury people, and that has been changed around now. I always remember, when I saw the turning point about 2 or 3 years ago, it was a Wednesday night, and we used to have summer evening fishing matches. It was for the adults and it was the first one I took part in. It was a lovely night and it was one of the first matches we had on the pond since it was done up. It sounds silly, but it was like a film that I’ve seen on TV with Tommy Steel in it.

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PC Gary Poser, coordinator of the BAIT project, Nottingham

There used to be a big barrier on this estate, if you ever said anything to the police people would think you were a grass. If police had knocked at your door, as soon as they’d left people would be round there, "why’s police come to your door?"...Sometimes it’s still a bit like that, but now, I find I’m quite well known on the estate, people do actually come and talk to me, people do realise I’m out and about on the estate, people know about the BAIT project.

Robbie, level 2 Coach, on encouraging juniors at Billingham Angling Club

I’d like to think that there is something available for people whose parents are out of work and are on low income that can’t afford to get the kids involved, that angling is open for all kids that really want to do it. This is what we try to do at our angling club. We try to encourage the kids to come to the club, they can join for free if they do the free induction coaching day and we are always here if they need any help. If any one in the club has spare gear, if they've got tackle they don't want anymore, we pass it on to the kids. We try to help the juniors out as best we can.

Robbie, level 2 coach, on his involvement in the restoration of Charlton’s Pond

We used to come over here as kids and fish the pond but it was starting to get run down. Teenagers were coming over here drinking and drug abuse and it was a place not to go. When we were coming over here as kids there were families coming over and picnics. But it had got to the stage where no one was coming over here. So with that in mind we wanted to try to get it back to how it was. That was the aim really, to get the kids back involved, to enjoy fishing the pond like when we were kids. And obviously through the volunteers and grant money we’ve managed to pull it all together.
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