The Story so Far....
The CDAS club was first established way back in 1947. Over the years the numbers of members has grown from a few anglers, dedicated to the running and indeed the survival of the club to several hundred full and associate members.
The birth of CDAS and it's transformation from leasing a lake to owning a private complex is related below by Mr Ron Burgess, a life long member and Ex-Chairman.
During October 1947, a chap by the name of Reg Long was fishing, with his son, on the banks of Leythorne lake. He was approached by a man who inquired if they had had any luck with the fishing. After a short chat discussing the finer art of angling Reg was informed that he was actually fishing a private water and that this friendly visitor was non other than the owner, a "Doctor Ross", who in fact rented Leythorne along with some adjacent lakes from Mr Heaver. Doctor Ross, being a decent gent, suggested that Reg should get together with other local anglers and form a club with the view of fishing the lakes.
In late October, about six stalworts met, at "The Hope Inn" Spitalfield, to see if there was enough interest locally to form a club. General opinion was positive. So, on the 23rd of October, by word of mouth and the jungle telegraph, a meeting was arranged at "The Hole in The Wall" pub in St Martins street, Chichester. The princely sum of 6 old pence per head was charged to cover the hire of the hall. 21 fellow anglers attended the meeting.
After a lenghty discussion, it was agreed to form a fishing club (today what is known as CDAS). A temporary committee was formed, a membership fee of 5 shillings per annum was agreed. Here I have to say as to to how proud I am to be one of those original 21 members. A futher 5 shillings payable by each member present was agreed to set up a working capital. Finally those present agreed to meet at "The Hole in The Wall" on December 3rd 1947 to hold the very first official committee meeting.
At the subsequent first meeting the name of Chichester & District Angling Society was born. More money was collected from those present to pay for initial expenses. From that date on, several more committee meetings were held to draught a set of rules, open a bank account and sign a lease. Membership fees rose to £1 entrance fee with an annual subscription of 10 shillings plus an extra shilling for a rule book. Junior members (15/18) were required to pay a 10 shilling entrance fee with an annual subscrition of 5 shillings plus the extra shilling for a rule book. The newly formed club continued to fish Leythorne until 1956. At this point in time the society were able to rent futher lakes......Quarry, Long and Whyke lakes. The cost was £50's per annum, so it was minuted at a commitee meeting, that to cover this expense, the entrance fee was to be raised to the sum of £1 and 5 shillings. Unbeknown to the writer of that minute, this was the start of the lakes as we all know them today.
When I was elected to the office of Chairman in 1967, it was made clear to the members present that it was my intention to try and persuade the Chichester City Council to sell the lakes to the society.
During September 1967, I had talks with the Mayor / Chairman of Chichester City Council (he just happened to live 3 doors away from me in Willowbed Drive), followed up by lobbying local Coucillors ( 2 of which were also neighbours). In 1968, serious negotiations started with the Chichester City Council, who owned the lakes (previously purchased from Messrs A.J. Heaver during the 1950's). It was a long drawn out affair because several Councillors weren't sure if the Council could indeed sell the lakes because they were scheduled for development. Quarry lake was designated to be a small industrial estate, while Whyke lake was for housing. The area constituting Long lake was to be landscaped to divide the housing and industrial sites. One particular Councillor was strongly opposed to any sale (I still have his original letter stating that fact). After several meetings with the Council, I was asked to put a presentation to a full meeting of the Chichester City Council.
In November 1968 the presentation was submitted to a full Council meeting after which I was informed it would be further debated at a Council meeting scheduled in 1969. During this period in time I had the full backing of the CDAS committee. In March 1969, the full CDAScommittee were advised to attend a City Council meeting at the assembly rooms in north street Chichester. After an hours discussion a majority of fifteen to one voted to allow CDAS to purchase the lakes for the sum of £3500 (this being the sum paid to Heavers in the 1950's). I believe there was a stunned silence for a minute or two. Harold Fuller turned to me and asked what had happened, to which I replied that we had just spent £3500 which we didn't possess. We had funds of £500 which went down as a deposit and negotiations were started with the City Treasurer, who agreed to allow us to pay the remaining £3000 in instalments over the next 5 years. A lake purchasing fund was set up and members were most generous For the next 2 years, committee members and their wives ran jumble sales while 2 other members ran an annual raffle......in the next 2 years the balance was paid off in full and the deeds to the lakes was handed over to the President at the annual dinner and dance in 1972.
The committee and myself were well aware of the need for some major work that was necessary on whyke lake, in particular the area around the rear of Langdale Avenue and Willowbed Drive.It was a mass of reeds and there was only 13 inches of water in places. In the mid 70's a loan of £4500 was arranged to pay for dredging. The large island in Whyke 2 and the causeway between Whyke and Churchyard lakes is what remains of the silt and reeds. Over the next 2 to 3 years further tireless work by committee members, their wives and club members raised enough money to pay off the loan. That brought us up to 1975 and a complex of lakes that you see today.
Sadly Mr Ron Burgess passed away earlier this year (2006?) and never got to see another start to our season. This is how most of todays' members will remember Ron......often affectionately known as the man with the dog who lives by the SW corner of 'Churchyard Lake'.
A few words cannot express the loss to the club of a tireless member who strived with a dedicated few, since the early days, to make the club what it is today. Therefore, any time you are passing the aptly named 'Rons Corner' and see the 'sherry house' at the end of his garden, spare a thought for Ron and especially his remaining family. We, the CDAS members, cannot thank you enough.
The style of fishing has changed dramatically since 1947. There were boats on Whyke lake in the early years (before the days of casting to the horizon). Now anglers have superior tackle and a cast to any point of the lakes is possible. Nowhere for the fish to hide. The technical side of angling has changed with the advances of technology over the last 20 years. Anglers now stay for days on end and rely on electronic gizmos and the like to tell them when they have a bite.
Long gone are the days of watching a dough bobbin, a bit of silver paper or a penny falling off the spool onto a tin plate. I expect the younger anglers out there will be wondering what the hell does he mean.........the older ones will look back with nostalgia. The fishing has also improved with time. It was inconceivable of catching a 20 pound carp in the 50's and 60's to most people. Now anyone can, with a bit of planning and forethought, go out and catch not only a 20 pound carp, but a 30 pound fish isn't just a dream. There are several 30 pound fish lurking in there somewhere.The club even boasted a magic 40 pounder not so long ago. The large carp, these days, are so coveted that they are given names and are treated better than most anglers would treat their mothers-in-law (sorry Mary).Not only can you catch large carp....you can also catch a good bag of mixed fish in the other lakes, such as Long Lake and Quarry Lake. There are tench to just over 10 pounds, bream to 13 pounds (yes people actually like catching them), not forgetting the large shoals of silver fish. We even boast some near 30 pound pike for the predator anglers amongst you. All styles of anglers are catered for....from the long stay specimen angler to the afternoon pleasure angler who has only a few hours to spare, not forgetting the serious side to angling........the matchmen amongst you.
And the history continues with me Barry Ashdown as the new webmaster.
I had only been a member for a short time, and found out that the club needed a webmaster just before the 2011 AGM. At the end of the meeting I decided to offer my services and was invited to a committee meeting to see if they would like me to manage the site as Darren had decided he no longer wished to be the webmaster, which was a shame as he had helped to develop the website.
The webmaster is now the Website Administrator.
As to the website all I have done is try to bring it up to date with some small changes here and there (the computer whiz's among you could probably do better but I am self-taught and still learning.)
This is where the rest of the club history will be written may be you reading this will find your name here, as for me, I can be found at 'Contact Us' along with the Chairman, Vice Chairman, club Secretary/general inquiries, Fishery Management, Match Secretary, Bailiff Co-ordinator and Membership Info.
The website has had a bit of a make over the nav buttons that use to be the down the side are now on a nav bar across the top.
Any one who has droped by to read the history of the club will notice another change in the website, the nav bar is now part of the banner and as you scroll up the banner scrolls as well leaving the nav bar for easier navigation.
A smart phone/tablet CDAS website has been launched with a QR code for mobiles.
We try to keep up with changing technology.
The club has a new secretary Barry Ashdown (I will try to fill the post as well as the previous secretary’s since the club started) who has taken over from Mrs Christine Luffman. (May 2014)
Christine who has served as Membership Secretary, Club Secretary and Treasurer at various times in the past 30 years has decided to relax and let someone else take over the club secretary post, she will continue as treasurer.
The membership secretary’s post has already, been taken over by Mrs Lesley Carver.
Sadley Margaret (Margo) Stimpson passed away on 31/8/2014 Margo as the Club Secretary back in the 50's and 60's with her husband and other members helped to make the club you enjoy as a member today. (Margaret (Margo) Stimpson 29/6/1927-31/8/2014) gone but not forgotten.
The Club History contiues to be told.