Presented to the Annual General Meeting on 20th January 2024

It gives me great pleasure to welcome all members to our 33rd AGM

While our members continued to offer excellent support for our club and competitive events, the challenges of 2022 continued with springtime and autumn deluges mixed with record-breaking summer temperatures. All of this had a serious effect on the quality of the fishing from time to time, both at local small water venues and our favoured reservoirs. The effect of higher inflation also had a serious effect on travel and accommodation costs making the efforts of those willing to travel all the more admirable

As always our TWFFS members rose to meet those challenges and subject to a few cancellations, we were able to enjoy a full season of angling at an increasing range of venues. Good attendances at both weekend and midweek events continued at only slightly lower levels at an average of around 7 members per event in 2023

It was great to continue our support for local fisheries, particularly at Chalybeate, Spring Hill, Brick Farm and Lakedown where the managers give us a warm welcome whenever we are there. Our trips to Cornamona to meet our friends on the Corrib resumed with the usual hilarity and a wealth of “war stories” to bring home

A number of our members continued to cope with global warming in their own way by adding to their skills during the steamy months of July and August, luring carp to the fly (or something close to a fly!) and enjoying some impressive catches and enjoyable days out in the process

Your Committee is now beginning its preparations for the 2024 season, and as always we will be doing so with particular focus on the key objectives of our Society which are to:

  • promote the sport of fly fishing
  • encourage sound fly fishing practice
  • promote friendship and camaraderie among members and
  • develop and improve members skills in the art of fly fishing and fly dressing

As usual we will be hoping to offer a busy and diverse programme of bank, lough, reservoir and river fishing to provide members with the opportunity to acquire and ultimately display and pass on a wide range of angling skills. It will be particularly rewarding to see these skills being shared with new and younger members, with a high level of camaraderie and banter combined with a competitive edge, all of which ensures that we enjoy our sport with a strong dose of fun, which is the point after all!


Membership and Finance

Micky Heasman has continued in his triple roles as Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Membership Secretary which provides a full overview of membership data and subscriptions

His efforts as informal recruitment officer mean that membership numbers continued at a very healthy level during 2023 with 78 full members at the end of the year, 11 junior members and 2 honorary members

While Micky will be providing his own financial report and accounts to the AGM, I’m delighted to say that thanks to his sound management, the Society is in very good financial health with a strong membership and regular input from new members this year

Your Committee is therefore pleased to confirm that Annual Subscriptions will remain at £25 for the coming season. In the meantime members are reminded that 2024 subscriptions fell due on 1st January, and membership will lapse under the terms of our Constitution if payment is not made by 14th February


Support for Charities

The Society’s continued support for our chosen charities is an important part of our activities. It enhances our reputation considerably and displays our commitment to giving something back to others who might be less fortunate than ourselves

The success of our annual Reg Littlechild Day together with the very generous contributions from our members at our two social events and from our friends at Fidelity International at their Chalybeate Day mean that we have been very pleased to continue our support for both the Hospice in the Weald and Fishing For Forces

It is your Committee’s intention to review our charitable activities in the coming weeks so that our plans for 2024 can form part of our fixture list for the new season


Team Competitions

National competitions continued this year and our teams in the prestigious AMFC and Snowbee Floating Line competitions again enjoyed considerable success

Led by Richard Denney, we again attained a fantastic second place in the AMFC First Division (having led the league for most of the season) pitting the skills of our small membership against much larger clubs, some of whom are supported by organisations such the RAF, Army and Police while others represent major reservoirs such as Rutland, Chew and Grafham

A very creditable 4th place was achieved in the Snowbee, again in a very strong field of 21 teams, with an only slightly less successful outing at the Grand Max Invitation Competition at Bewl in October

Our thanks go again to Harry Collins who has very kindly agreed to continue his very generous support for our competition teams. His sponsorship has helped over the years to defray some of the individual expense involved in entering these national events and so ensure that we can field our strongest teams when needed. To thank him for his generosity a group of our members was able to host a morning’s fishing and lunch for Harry and a number of his friends which was greatly appreciated



Following a two year Covid hiatus we were delighted to be able to resume our visits in 2022 and again this year. This was the 31st occasion that members of the Society have visited that beautiful part of the world, with Keith Nicholson and Mick Priest having attended every one! As usual some excellent fishing was matched by the pleasure of renewing some old (and very old!) friendships, with Keith Lawrence leading the way and winning the Ghillies Cup for most keepers and Peter Thomason the Keith Lyne Trophy for biggest fish at 3lb 11oz


Website and Newsletters

Our continued thanks go to Marc George for keeping the Society's website up to date and for making the adjustments needed as time goes by. His prompt attention to any changes needed as the season progresses ensures that the site continues to be a very efficient source of information about our activities and a successful way for us to book into and therefore organise our numerous events

Our Facebook and WhatsApp pages now provide useful supplements and our regular Newsletter, expertly produced by Peter Thomason, is an excellent way of keeping members up to date on specific issues as the season goes by with a number of new members joining in the course of this year


Society Competitions

The 2023 season proved to be as competitive as ever in the friendliest possible way of course. The spread of winners of trophies and championship events was perhaps a bit less wide than in past years. However 15 members fought bravely for awards as winners or runners-up out of the positions available or at least those not grabbed by Ian Watts

The winners of our various cups and shields during the season to be presented at our AGM are therefore as follows:

  • Corrib Cup
  • Winner: James Dench
  • Runner up: Nick Cox
  • Dave Clark Cup
  • Winner: Ian Watts
  • Runner up: Mark Tremain Coker
  • Nigel Turner Cup
  • Winner: Neil Osmond
  • Runner up: Peter Thomason
  • Pairs Cup
  • Winners: John Dunmall & Ian Watts
  • Runners up: Mick Priest & Dave Crouch
  • Keith Lyne Fur & Feather Trophy
  • Winner: Ian Watts
  • Runner up: Gary Collins
  • Chalybeate Pairs Challenge Cup
  • Winners: Keith Lawrence & Ron Lewis
  • Runners up: Bob Holland & Jim Streeter
  • Chairmans Award
  • Harry Collins
  • Reg Littlechild Memorial Cup
  • Winner: Ian Watts
  • Runner up: Mark Tremain Coker
  • Championship
  • Winner: Ian Watts
  • Runner up: Nick Cox
  • Rainbow Shield
  • Winner: Ian Watts 4lb 14oz at Lakedown
  • Brownie Shield
  • Winner: Micky Heasman 1lb 15oz
  • Brick Farm Junior Biggest Fish Trophy
  • Winner: n/a

The Championship points system continued to work successfully, with points events evenly divided between bank and boat competitions and 2 points awarded to all members who attended, in addition to the following points for the top 6 places: 10;8;6;5;4;3

To encourage attendance at all our events, your Committee continued to apply Championship points for all weekend outings in addition to those which are the subject of competition for a trophy or shield. The system has worked well and will be continued for the coming season. The increasing reluctance to kill fish meant that more of our events were decided wholly or partially on catch and release results

Your Committee will continue to keep the best method of resolving these issues under review to ensure clarity for the coming season. In addition, to save costs (and members’ cupboard space) we have decided not to commission small shields for each event winner, but only to present the principal cup or shield to the winner to be retained for the relevant year


Your Committee

I’m pleased to report that your Committee has continued to work together extremely well in the course of the year with new members Ian Watts and Simon Gregory contributing well. As a result the high standards of organisation and commitment we’ve seen in past years have continued

As mentioned above, Micky Heasman has successfully combined his roles as Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Membership Secretary. Graham Morgan-Plumb has worked very efficiently as Fixture Secretary and organised an excellent programme for 2023 and will do so again with Simon Gregory’s assistance for 2024

Richard Denney will continue to organise our AMFC teams. Suzanne Stoner (with some help from Andy!) will help us organise our trophies and our social and charitable events this year and Peter Thomason as Secretary will include in his duties the monitoring of our website presence and the circulation of his excellent Newsletters. Neil Osmond has already brought his energy to our activities and his commitment to river fishing will enable interested members to participate in that part of our sport

Our intention is to continue to invite new (and younger!) blood onto your Committee to ensure that the workload is shared and new ideas generated whenever possible


In conclusion

So a very encouraging season for your Society and all its members. Your Committee looks forward to your continued support while we make preparations for what we hope will be an excellent 2024. We feel your Society is in very good hands to do so and to continue in the future

With apologies to those who I haven’t been able to mention individually, can I extend my personal thanks to all those who have made my eighth year as Chairman of your Society a continuing pleasure. I'm pleased to say that thanks to the excellent work done by your Committee, not only has my role been made very much easier, but the Society is in excellent health, not just financially, but in terms of membership, camaraderie and reputation. We will be working hard in 2024 to make sure that this position continues

Russell Bell, Chairman · January 2024