Southdown Angling Association East Sussex Angling at its best
Southdown Angling Association East Sussex Angling at its best





Roger Keith Izzard, 1943-2012

It is with great sadness and regret that we report the death from cancer, on 28 October, of our worthy President.

The funeral took place on 16 November and it was very nice to see so many of his fishing friends present to show their respects, Eastbourne crematorium was packed, with many standing at the sides and the back of the Chapel.

Roger was a lifelong angler and aside from his home and family life, fishing was his passion, embracing all aspects of our sport, whether coarse, sea or game and very good he was too, especially match fishing, winning through to the finals of the Embassy and Benson and Hedges Challenges, where he twice fished in Denmark and once in Ireland. He always fully supported club activities, being a regular attendee at work parties and matches, winning or placing in many and his name is permanently engraved on numerous trophies.

Roger was a Life Member of our Association and was always heavily involved with the organisation side of angling, having served continuously on the Committee of the Hailsham club for many years, the last seven as Chairman, before the merger with the Compleat Angler F.C. in 1997, to form the present Southdown A.A. and then as our President right up to his passing.

The last time Roger fished was at the Association evening competition at Curls Farm on 23rd July, when due to his failing health, he required help to lift his keepnet from the water for the weigh in.

Our sincere condolences go to Carole, Emma, Esther, Steve, Douglas and their families in their loss and in memory of Roger’s life and recognition of his services to the Association, we have made a donation to Cancer Research, in accordance with the wishes of his family. He will be sorely missed and a hard act to follow.


English Weather !

From the drought conditions last winter and early spring this year, when the prophets of doom forecast an environmental catastrophe, we have experienced one of the wettest summers on record. While this has resulted in all our waters staying in tip top condition, unfortunately, apart from the dedicated angler, many have not been inspired to join our angling club and go fishing.

As a result, in common with many other similar organizations, coupled with the current economic situation, we have unfortunately seen a considerable drop in our membership numbers this year and as a consequence, our funds are somewhat depleted at the moment. All the local tackle shops reported a significant drop in sales and even Environment Agency Rod Licence sales were well down. As our sole income is from membership subscriptions and over 95% of this goes to paying the rental of the waters we lease, any reduction in our income has a very significant effect. We have done all we can to try and generate additional income, but we are afraid that at the moment our funds are well short of where we need them to be to meet all our commitments next year. We are taking steps to overcome these difficulties and maintain the viability of the Association, but the real answer is an increase in our membership numbers. Hopefully things will pick up next year and our numbers will get back to the level they were in 2011.


Thanks to all of you who have joined or renewed your membership in 2012 and for supplying an e-mail address if you have access to this facility, it does make communication with the membership much easier, shows considerable savings in printing and postage costs and enables us to keep you up to date with all that’s going on.


Don’t forget to advise us if you change your e-mail address or any other details so we can update our records and keep you informed.


Although there has been fewer anglers on the banks, when conditions have been suitable the fishing has been quite good, with specimens being reported from the Wallers Haven and the Cuckmere. Curls Farm has fished well for the carp, while Marle Green and Cinderford continue to provide good sport amongst really pleasant surroundings. A welcome sign this year has been the increase in size and numbers of roach in the Wallers Haven, specimens of 12 ounces and more regularly coming to the bank, which augers well for the future. Association competitions have continued to be well supported, with regularly a dozen or more entries at most events.


Water Usage

Thank you to all the members who completed the survey form when renewing their membership. This information is very useful to us in planning for the future as it gives us an insight into what type of fishing and waters our members prefer. Unfortunately only 25% of members took the trouble to respond, so we have to make some assumptions in analysing the data, so if your favourite water does not figure very highly in the results and you didn’t make a return, you have only yourself to blame, so next year please make the effort: it can’t be that difficult, the greater the response, the more representative are the results for the majority of the membership.

Curls Farm was the most popular venue, closely followed by Marle Green. Iron Bridge upstream was the most fished marsh venue, followed by Middle Bridge, Iron Bridge downstream and the Pevensey Haven, all being equal in popularity. On the Cuckmere, Shermans Bridge was most popular, while Church Farm and Raylands at Arlington both have their devotees. As usual, Raillands Ditch, Chilley Stream west bank and the Cuckmere at Milton Street were little fished, but they don’t cost much and if one makes the effort can provide very good fishing. Like previous years, Hempstead Pond featured bottom of the list and we have to consider if it is really worth retaining.


River Cuckmere, Shermans Bridge

All members please note that we now have water sharing arrangements with the Seaford A.C. on the Cuckmere upstream and downstream of Shermans Bridge.

Annual General Meeting

The 16th A.G.M. of the Southdown Angling Association will take place on Tuesday evening, 5th February 2012, commencing at 8 p.m., at the Afton Hotel, Cavendish Place, Eastbourne, BN21 3EJ.

To save costs, this is the only advice that you will receive regarding the A.G.M. No further notice will be issued. Those members with e-mail facilities, will receive the Agenda and Minutes of last years meeting nearer the date, for those without, copies will be available to those attending on the night. All members are cordially invited to attend and if you have something to say, so much the better, or even better still, how about volunteering to serve in some way, you might even get to enjoy the experience, at the very least you would gain an insight into the behind the scenes workings of our angling club. Positions up for grabs this year are, President and Secretary, both with a two year term, Vice Presidents and Committee Members, all to serve for one year.

Association rules require that any nominations for Officers or Committee, or proposals for changes to the constitution or rules, or motions to be considered at the A.G.M., be received by the secretary, in writing, duly signed by the proposer and a second member, before the 1st January previous to the meeting and proposals may be submitted by e-mail, provided both proposer and seconder names are on the e-mail.

Please note the change of venue. The Afton is easy to find, being almost on the seafront, opposite the pier. Attendance at the past two or three A.G.M.s has been relatively poor, we hope this new venue will encourage more members to come along and have a say in the running of our club.



Our two planned coaching evenings at Marle Green back in the summer unfortunately came to nought as we simply didn’t have enough people registering their interest to make the events viable and we had to cancel. Thank you to the few who did respond, but it would seem that the majority of SAA members are not interested in improving their angling technique or introducing more people to the pleasures of fishing. Hopefully the initiatives being taken by the Angling Trust will prove more successful and we will be able to host some events in the future. Watch this space ! See Clive Copeland’s bit below.


Club Development

Clive Copeland came on board the Committee last year and is very keen to promote not only our Association, but angling in general, so much so, that he recently changed his job to take up the position of National Development Manager with the Angling Trust.

This does not mean that he has deserted the S.A.A., indeed we are fortunate that we now have someone close to the heart of angling in the UK which can only be of benefit to our organisation. Clive has kindly supplied the following for this newsletter.


“The Association has recently applied to become Club Mark accredited. Club Mark is a cross sport accreditation for clubs that have junior sections and is recognised by Sport England as the bench mark for good practice and minimum operating standards in club development, (see for full details). As a consequence and to support this application, four club members have enrolled on a Level 1 course in coaching Angling, supported by funding from the Environment Agency.

The ambition is for the club to have two Level 2 coaches and at least 2 Level 1 coaches trained by next season, which will then enable us to effectively promote coached angling sessions to schools and the local community, promoting angling as a sport which should hopefully assist in growing club membership. Any members interested in become an Angling Coach to support our development programme, please contact me at clive.copeland@angling, or telephone 07730 765714 for more information.

In partnership with the Environment Agency, to promote and grow the sport, the Angling Trust has also recently released the Fishing for Life national angling strategy, to download a copy, go to:”


Water Maintenance

Chris Copeland our Water Maintenance Officer, has supplied the following:


“Further maintenance work has been carried out in the last few months at both Middle Bridge on the Wallers Haven and the Cuckmere at Raylands Farm. The work carried out involved weed clearing and the trimming back of bank side vegetation. In fact at Raylands we did manage to create a few new swims. If you've not fished this stretch for a while you may be interested to know that whilst fishing in one of our club matches there, Graham Shinkfield caught a Chub of 4lb 3oz which helped him to victory, it truly was a lovely looking specimen.

Please remember at this time of year to be extra careful on the bank. Due to the heavy rain, banks are slippery, be especially careful on the Cuckmere, where the bank does not always stop where you think it does and the water can be very deep right at the edge.

It’s often best to have a prod and poke around with a bank stick before settling in a swim !

Thank you to the relatively small number of members that have turned out so far this season. If you are able to give any spare time to helping with water maintenance, just give me a call or send an email.”


Social Evening and Prizegiving

The 2013 Social and Prize Giving will be held on the evening of Saturday 20 April, again at the Afton Hotel, so reserve this date in your diaries. Full details and listing of all the winners will be published in the Spring 2013 newsletter.


Finally, we wish you all and your kith and kin,




Don’t forget the A.G.M.     8 p.m. Tuesday 5th February 2013, Afton Hotel, Eastbourne.

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© Jonathan Cook