On March 31st we attended the 3 counties showground at Malvern to be part of the annual Countrytastic day which we have supported for several years.
A visit the day before allowed some of the team to erect the marquee and set up the casting and fishing areas. This effectively gave us a bit of a lie in on the day as we did not need to be there too early. The format this year was to have fly tying in the marquee plus two outside areas, one for casting tuition with the small rods and the other set up as a ‘fishing’ area; let me explain. Ken had obtained some cardboard replicas of various trout and char and then stuck half of a Velcro tab on the nose of each fish. On the end of the line on the rod set up was the other piece of the Velcro tab. I am sure you can guess the rest! This proved a real winner with queues all day and gave lots of fun to the children who were delighted to catch their ‘fish’ and see it safely returned to the river. Adam Henson of Countryfile fame also tried out the fishing game and bagged a few.
Equally busy was the casting tuition area with Pete and Matt frantically busy from opening time until the closure. The lads hardly had a break all day.
The fly tying activity was similarly hectic with the marquee being full for most of the day and queues forming constantly.
At the end of the day with everything taken down and put away all of us were in a state of collapse and in need of some liquid refreshment and a ‘debrief’.
Big thanks to Ken, Tony Woods and his camera, Paul, Brian, Matt, Pete Major, Charles, Tony Pawley ( who gave us power to see and boil a kettle!) and yours truly, for all their efforts during what appeared to be a highly successful day. We believe that some 7,500 tickets were sold which was 50% more than last year. On reflection, we were short staffed which put a lot of pressure on those who did attend but it was great to see the happy faces on those children who had tied a fly, caught a fish or cast a rod for the first time. One can only hope that our efforts might one day pay dividends if some of these youngsters take to fishing of some kind.