The Lions' Swanmore Fete on Saturday July 13th was a great success... thanks!

February 2018

Hake news! 

Charlie Cramer with catchIt was a cold, grey and very damp morning that greeted the Meon Valley Lions, as they turned out to organise the 43rd Charity Ford Open Fishing Festival, on Weston Shore. The Lions club has been involved with this event every January, without fail since 1996 and we’ve seen just about every weather condition known to man in that time. A bit of cold and damp wasn’t really going to put us off.

In its heyday, over two hundred fishermen took part in this fishing festival and the pitches extended from Weston Shore in the west, right round to the Hamble in the east. The Ford transit plant has since closed, but Peter Oates and members of the Ford Sports and Social Club have worked hard with the support of the Transport and General Workers Union, to keep the competition alive.  It is still a popular event amongst the sea-angling community and we attracted a large group of plucky sea-anglers again this year, including 74 seniors and 4 juniors.

If the Lions and fishermen found the conditions a little challenging, it didn’t seem to adversely affect the fishing itself, with one of the most successful catches landed in recent years. Here are the results and prize-winners:

Photograph: Junior Charlie Cramer with his catch 

1st prize (£400): Chi Cheung

2nd prize (£200): Peter Easterby

3rd prize (£100): M Ramsey

Heaviest fish (£148): Peter Easterby

Heaviest bag – white zone (£74): John Richardson

Heaviest bag – red zone (£74): Chi Cheung

In the last five years of competition, no junior has caught a single fish.  This year however, two were successful and Charlie Cramer and Matthew Tay were both awarded prizes of rods and reels for their efforts. 

At the conclusion of the day, the event raised £822, a sum the Lions will now round up to £1,000 for donation to the Winchester based hospice, Naomi House and Jacksplace. It’s a tradition that we channel the proceeds of the Fishing Festival to this deserving charity and this year’s contribution takes the total collected through the fishing festival down the years, to in excess of £45,000. The cheque will be presented by the Lions President to representatives of Naomi House at a ceremony in the Good Companions Public House, Eastleigh in March.