Sunday, 31 July 2016

No go area!

Photo 01 Mike from Manchesters post spawning 14lbs 8oz fish from a few weeks ago. well done mate!

No go area!
This is just to remind anglers that for the most part angling on our lochs could be problematic next week. Some kind of cycle event is taking place on Sunday 7th of august and the roads will be closed from around 08.30 – 16.30hrs which could hamper the plans of many anglers. You will not be able to acces the lochs between these times and the time may vary depending on what transpires.
Those camping overnight from Saturday to Sunday should be aware of these closures as it would not be possible to leave the area during these times. There is unfortunately nothing we can do as it has all been decided. Many of the locals are up in arms over the whole episode but their concerns have been largely been brushed aside.
Blethering yesterday it seems that a charity will not be the main recipient of the income generated rather it will be a private company which makes the whole event a sham! At least if the money had went in full to a charity then I am sure it would have been received more favourably. That however is how it has panned out so think twice about your travel arrangements if you plan on coming to fish.

New Loch keeper!
I went along to the Tibbie yesterday to have a chat to the chap who has expressed interest in becoming our new keeper. He is a fly fisherman and already has had a few casts on the loch near the Tibbie but did not manage to entice anything. He is currently winding up his business in Leeds and expects to make the lochs his home sometime in September. He has accepted the offer of the job and yesterday I gave him the rundown of what we expect and what he will earn and he accepted the terms of our offer. More details nearer the time!

Vindictive letter!
Our ex loch keeper has sent to all members a letter aimed primarily at myself but includes the committee.He has no authority to use the club database as he is no longer a member!  I have received many copies or references to this letter and indeed it is the most childish document I have set eyes on for a long time. It is full of libellous statements and made up tosh I have asked Mr Xxxxx for proof of all the digs he made but you can be rest assured nothing will come in this respect. You will notice that he plays the sympathy card near the end usually because he has run out of truth cards! I have copied and pasted the whole letter excluding 4 words that are the names of my current employer and a past employer at their request.

Dear Member,
By now I’m sure you are aware that I have resigned my position as loch keeper. The decision to leave was not taken lightly, but given the circumstances, a decision I reluctantly had to take.
I had hoped not to write this letter to the membership, but given the actions of Richard Plisga and his continual personal attacks on me, I have no option but to defend myself.
His attempted character assassination of me in his blog dated 17th
 of July has caused much distress to myself and my family, and left me with no other alternative but to take legal action against St Mary’s Angling Club. There are also allegations of me making various threats to club officials which I have reported to the police. To date, I’m not aware if the alleged threats are of a physical nature or not, but given the serious nature of these allegations, I think it only right that they should be investigated fully. It’s only fair that the membership should know what alleged threats were made, who were these alleged threats made against, and who witnessed these alleged threats?
I’m sure that if I were to ask Richard these questions, I’d be met with a wall of silence, but he won’t be afforded that luxury by the police. And until such time as these allegations are resolved, I AM, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE A MEMBER OF ST MARY’S ANGLING CLUB!
I will not allow the delusions of one man to force me away from a club that I have invested so much time and effort in.

The membership may not be aware, but this is not the first time the angling club has had the threat of legal action taken against it following the actions of Richard Plisga, who in his weekly blog personally attacked a shop keeper in Galashiels, and only after he was forced to removed the offending material from his blog, did the threat of action against the club cease.
And let’s not forget Richard’s crowning turd, the “inciting racial hatred” episode, where Myself, Aaron, Richard and Frank where “invited” along to Galashiels police station for a “chat” concerning a poster Richard had put up in a shop window in Galashiels where he had suggested that a lot of the ill’s that were effecting the club were due the actions of a racial minority living in the UK.
To put you in the picture, we arrived at the police station for “the meeting”, where we were shown up stairs and offered a cup of tea, and Frank being a retired policeman took up the opportunity to reminisce with a fellow officer about policing in Edinburgh in the good old days for 20 minutes
 (it turns out Frank found out about the meeting and used it as some kind of busman’s holiday, which I’ll go into later).
So, the meeting starts with Inspector Scott asking us our name, address and date of birth?
 (a bit strange for a meeting, I thought?)
Turns out this is not a meeting, but a dressing down. And we were warned that if any such poster was seen again, Richard/the club would be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred. I did chip in and politely ask about the legal ramifications concerning the content of the poster, but Frank quite rudely and abruptly butted in with “because the man’s telling you!”. Nice one Frank! You get invited along to a meeting representing the club, and bat for the other side.
Anyway, I had a quiet word with Inspector Scott at the end of the meeting and assured him there wouldn’t be a repeat of these posters.
To this day, I’m still amazed that Richard didn’t tender his resignation for bringing the club into disrepute and offer an explanation to the membership for his actions!
I’m not one who usually goes in for exposing people for what they really are via text, email or social media as I much prefer to tell them face to face, but in this instance I won’t be approaching Mr Plisga again, as I have every confidence that even more lies and verbal diarrhoea will be slapped across the club’s website on a weekly basis, which no doubt will be aimed at me!
 You see, Richard has a proven track record of bullying and crushing any type of dissent aimed towards him, with previous allegations of him stirring up trouble at xxxxxxxxx while he was a union rep and getting his arse kicked out of there, also being branded a trouble maker at an angling club in Gala and asked to leave, it seems that this guy is a one man wrecking crew where ever he goes.
Even the way he entered St Mary’s Angling club and his rise to the top is questionable, as I have it from the horse’s mouth that he continually pestered a previous committee member for a place on the committee, and once in place him and a few of his buddies performed a coup d’etat on the afore mentioned committee member.....what a quality individual, eh?

Most of us (locals included), sit on the edge of our seats every
 Sunday night to see what golden nugget he’s offering in his weekly blog, and most of us are unsurprising to see that him and a committee member or two are off on another competition representing the club, which is nice!
I’m often asked (usually by visiting anglers) if the blog is a political platform, and when I inform them that it isn’t, the reply is always the same......”so why is he allowed to use it as one?”.
The reason is simple, no one has stood up and told him it’s an inappropriate use of club resources, but then every dictator in history loves a soap box.

Now let’s move on to his claim that I’m the only loch keeper that he’s had a problem with?
Well, having spoken to all of them covering the past 30 years, and some being personal friends, his statement is utter rubbish. Most of them have left the club in acrimonious circumstances, citing Mr Plisga as being the problem in every case. It seems that when a keeper complains about unreasonable demands placed on them his attitude changes, and it’s only a matter of time before you’re out on your arse. For me it started earlier in the year when it became clear that the Chinese engine was past it’s best and I asked for a replacement engine. Obviously this request went down like the titanic, with the committee taking several weeks to get back to me with a resolution, and the resolution being that the club would offer me £50 per engine per year to maintain the existing engines. But due to the fact that I (along with others in the club) had been maintaining/repairing the engines free of charge saw this as another millstone round my neck and an attempt to appease me, so I declined the offer. And this is when Richard’s attitude towards me changed!
From then on his communication to me was limited to forwarding emails from visiting anglers, and those with enquiries regarding boat hires, and that continued until a few weeks ago.
I’d like to add that during that period I emailed him asking for a replacement strap of metal for the green Lomond so I could repair it, but never received any reply to my request. And to my knowledge the green Lomond is still without a keel strap.

So let’s move forward to a few weeks ago, when I find him in the boathouse bay, scrubbing a lomond out with a bottle of thick bleach and a face like a smacked arse. I knew there and then that there was going to be a problem, and I was right. He starts in on me about the amount of rubbish building up at the side of the boathouse, but I’m a little taken aback by this as Les Henderson usually burns the rubbish every Saturday in front of the boathouse, but this has stopped happening for a few weeks allowing the rubbish to build up, and suddenly it’s my problem?
He suggests I bag it up and leave it on the grass verge at the road for the binmen to pick up, but as we don’t pay council tax the binmen won’t pick it up, plus animals will get into the bags and we’d have a mountain of crap to pick up. He then goes on to suggest that I take down to the Glen Cafe and dump it in their commercial waste bin! He’s obviously not read the sign on their bin stating that their bin is for cafe waste only, and stating that it’s not for use by others. Also this bin costs the cafe a significant amount each year, and I don’t think it would be fair for them to pick up the cost for 7 black bags of angling club rubbish. His final suggestion is that I take it home and dispose of it in our waste bin. It’s clear at this point; this guy is spoiling for a fight!
So his next complaint is why one of the arran boats are high and dry on the shore and not in the water? Well as most of you know, these boats weigh a ton, and are impossible to shift back in the water by one man once they are completely beached. I had managed to get the other arran in the water some weeks earlier with the aid of Lisa as it was partially beach, and in the process Lisa put her back out.
But now we move onto the best bit. He then mentions that there are two bags of cement missing from the boathouse, and that he has made this know to all on his weekly blog and suggesting theft to the members. So when I tell him I took the bags of cement and used them to put in posts in the garden, he just goes off on one. Saying how he needs to retract his statement on the blog and how that will make him look like an arse.
Firstly, Richard told me that if ever I needed to use anything from the boathouse, that I should use it and replace it, which I have always done. And up to that point that has always been the case and I have never been told by him that that situation had changed.
Secondly, I find it inconceivable that he never had the presence of mind to contact me (which he would normally do) and ask me if I knew where the two bags of cement were? And when I asked him why he hadn’t contacted me to enquire about the missing bags of cement, he offered no explanation or response.
Now, having spoken to a few members regarding Richard’s bizarre behaviour in this matter, the suggestions I’m receiving range from “spiteful” to “it’s a set up mate”. And I would have to agree with you, it’s both of these statements.
Incidentally, the bottle of thick bleach he was using to clean the lomond out with was dumped straight into the loch (and it’s not the first time I’ve seen him doing it), and when I pulled him up about it, he claimed that it posed no hazard to aquatic life in the loch and was a perfectly acceptable practice, and as I’m no expert in the bio-hazard field, I’ll let SEPA be the judge of that.
At that point I left the boathouse and went to speak to Lisa and we decided that due to his unreasonable behaviour I’d go back to the boathouse and tender my resignation with immediate effect.  On arriving at the boathouse again, I told him that I didn’t want to fall out with anybody, but I thought that my time as loch keeper was up. I asked once more as to why he hadn’t contacted me regarding the two bags of missing cement, and once again I received no response. I then left and went into Selkirk for the two bags of cement that I had used, which have now been replaced, as always.

During the following week I took the opportunity to read his blog regarding the missing cement, and having spoken to members it became clear from their opinions and what I already knew, that Richard had engineered a situation in order to bring about some type of conflict.
The following Saturday I arrived at the boathouse to hand in the keys and club phone. I asked Richard why he had tried to set me up and from that point on it all went wrong. The whole thing descended into a shouting match with Richard telling me that he was “going to destroy me”, and that I was “a useless cunt” and to “get my stuff out the boathouse and fuck off”.
 Now, this is when these alleged threats to various club officials were said to have taken place, and that these threats were witnessed. Well the only other person I can recall being there was Les Henderson, who was fly fishing from the bank right outside the boathouse and well within earshot of what was being said. In fact as I arrived at the boathouse door he quickly took off to get out of the way, probably knowing what was about to unfold.
I really feel sorry for Les, as the guy just comes down each Saturday and enjoys a bit fishing, and doesn’t like getting involved in club politics, but now due to the actions of his buddy he’ll be getting a visit from the police. (Nice one Richard, the man has had more to worry about over the past year than saving your ass, but that doesn’t really matter to you, does it?).
I’d like to highlight a couple of concerns regarding club officials?
At each AMG club officials are elected by the membership to serve for the next 12 months (because that’s what the club constitution dictates), but having attended the last 3 AGM’s I’ve only ever witnessed one club official being elected, that being Elliot the club treasurer (and the only one with a spine). I have noted that the election of club officials has always been on the AGM agenda, but I’m yet to witness these so-called club officials/committee members having ever being elected, and further more that item on the agenda is simply glossed over. I think it’s time the membership knew that your so-called club officials are in fact self-appointed club officials, which is quite blatantly at odds with the club constitution, but is allowed to continue within the club.
At the 2014 AGM I expressed my concern (twice) that only half the committee had bothered to turn up, but low and behold the missing committee members were serving on the committee the next year, without being elected. I think the least qualifying factor for being a committee member is that you attend the AGM, where if successfully nominated, you are then voted in as a committee’ve got to laugh, this is what these comedians get up to!
And while we’re on the subject of the committee, I think Richard should show a little more respect for the people who serve on his committee and give him support. Calling a committee member “a gibbering fuck”  on a regular basis (that’s right Stevie, that’s how your buddy refers to you), probably isn’t the best way forward. And among one of my personal favourites, “don’t listen to that fat useless cunt”, which he reserves for our club secretary, Alasdair.
It doesn’t stop there; he has no hesitation in turning on the local community, but calling a local hotelier “a drug addict” and “the sooner he’s out of the valley, the better”.
I’m absolutely astounded that you would refer to someone like that, while asking them to sell permits and hold events for the club, if this is even 1% of what goes on in this man’s mind, I shudder to think what the rest is up to.

According to Richard’s weekly rant, I have been demoted to the top 20, of people who have done the most for the club, but if that be the case, were does that leave him and his cronies?
He assures me that he has been running the club single handed for years, but all I seem to witness is him arriving on a Saturday morning, finding something to complain about, then taking off to his wee hidey hole at the bottom of the loch to enjoy this week’s exciting episode of the archers.
As for the rest of the committee, you do find then round the loch from time to time, with a rod in their hand and an opinion to share, but that’s usually the total sum of their involvement.
Richard has also pointed out that I’m relatively new to the area, and that I don’t fully understand the way it works here. Well in my defence, I think this is another one of Richard’s delusions. I go out of my way (sometimes to the irritation of those close to me) to help people within the community, because that is the way it works within an isolated community. Always help your neighbours, because you never know when you’ll need their help.
Most of these people are friends of mine, and not people I just interact with once a week, which is all Mr Plisga can claim. It’s Richard who is out of touch with the area, and for the most part he is simply tolerated by the locals, most of whom would be happy to see the back of him given the amount of grief he’s given the community and those working round the loch over the years.

Now let’s get wired in about the lack of investment and club resources.
There’s been a noticeable decline in investment of club equipment over the past 3 years, so let’s start with the outboard engines. We have 3 engines belonging to the club, with only two being used at the club. The third, a white 5hp mariner had an attempted repair by club members some years ago, but the repair was unsuccessful and the outboard has lain in the engine safe since.
The Chinese engine has to be the worst purchase the club ever made! Whoever thought it would be a good idea to buy this piece of crap and send it out for public hire has clearly lost the plot, but trying to find out who actually commissioned it seems to fall on deaf ears.  This engine is now producing white smoke from the exhaust, a clear sign of impending engine failure, and when the inevitable happens and it does expire, I feel the costs to repair it would outweigh the value, leaving the club with an expensive paper weight.
The silver 4hp mariner has proven to be the most reliable engine the club owns, and should have only required a service at the start of the year. However, due to the actions of one committee member attempting to “repair it” a few months ago, it has never run smoothly since. It will start up, but as soon as you give it any throttle it dies (probably a fuel/air starvation problem).
So now we have no working engines for members or visiting anglers, and at this time of year these engines should be out all weekend and throughout the week generating income for the club, but right now it’s a total loss to the club!
The orange life jackets owned by the club are also suffering from the lack of maintenance, with most of them having one problem or another, making them unfit for hire or use by members.
The ethos of the club these days seems to be one of “make do and mend”, but this approach is unsustainable and has given rise inevitable safety concerns with the equipment we provide.
This is yet another reason I decided to step down as loch keeper, as I was expected to hire this stuff out to the general public, and I’m sure that if the worst happened it would be hung round my neck, while others washed their hands of it.
The planned pier that should have been ready by now seems to be going nowhere, as the digger I was promised by Richard last September never materialize, and until the bay is dredged no work on the pier can commence. This brings me on to the two bags of aggregate and ten bags of cement purchased last year by the club at a cost of £200 for use in constructing the pier. The bags of aggregate have been sitting there for a year and those bags will give way shortly, spilling the contents down the bank, and I don’t expect anyone will be picking it up. As for the ten bags of cement in the boathouse, after using two of them myself I can confirm they are blown and are not fit for purpose (apart from the two replacement bags I put back).
Richard claims that the club has a good bank balance these days, and that is true after seeing the figures for myself at the last AGM. However, having a good bank balance is commendable, but by not investing in the club and slowly running it into the ground, this in my opinion is a clear case of mismanagement and something which should be addressed straight away.
So who’s the crack enforcement team he’s put in place?
The answer to that quest ion is, we don’t really know as Richard has just told the members a few helpful locals (probably the only friends he’s got left) have come forward and will be checking/issuing permits, and that it won’t return to a free-for-all, as it was before Aaron and I sorted it out.
Myself and others in the community have been closely monitoring the situation on the lochs to see how many anglers are fishing without permits, any instances of anti-social behaviour, rubbishing been left, theft/damage and general mayhem. And I can confirm to the membership that all of the above has been happening, and at an alarming rate!
Lisa and I arrived back from holiday on Saturday 16th
 July, and as we drove down the loch there was a campervan on the private road to bowerhope with rods out (obviously not members), so we took a drive right down the lochs. At the cafe green, three anglers were sawing down the trees at the back of the James Hogg monument (which I’m sure the estate will appreciate!)
And it just gets worse! I was out last night (Sat 23rd
 July), and after speaking to one member, he confirmed he had counted 12 visiting anglers without permits that day alone.
Further down the loch I bumped into another two members, one of whom told me that he had been robbed earlier that day. It turns out, while the members were fishing in the green lomond, three wee cherubs in a silver corsa (Reg SO52 HNR) ran over to their rods on summerhope, cut the lines and headed off into the sunset with two rods and two reels. Thankfully a passing member of the public witnessed the theft, took the car registration and the theft has been reported to the police, so hopefully the members property can be recovered and these little bastards can be dragged before the courts. The fact is, if Myself and my enforcement team had been on the lochs yesterday (as we have been all day every Saturday) these people would have stood out like a sore thumb to us, and this theft need never have taken place, but it’s been allowed to take place through the mismanagement of Richard Plisga and his yes men!
In addition, I’m receiving pictures of rubbish being left by visiting anglers from pissed off riparian owners, who have had to bag the mess up themselves and put it in the bin next to the boathouse.
Why are these people having to do this! All that’s going to happen is the club will start losing the rights to fish from their land. And I have it on good authority that local businesses (much of whom we rely on) are going to withdraw their support for the angling club due to the way Richard Plisga conducts his business. I can tell you 100%, that without the continued support of the local community and its business, the club will struggle to function.
But I have no doubt that Mr Plisga will attempt to paint some kind of utopia in his weekly blog, in order to appease the membership.

The club property that I have?
Let’s get one thing straight, I have no intension of depriving the club of
 ANY property belonging to it.
The property has been bagged up for weeks and ready to hand over to Les Henderson at the boathouse on a Saturday morning as requested, and the only problem I’m having returning it (other than being on holiday)is that our glorious leader is hanging about the place like a bad smell. There’s no chance I’m risking another confrontation with this man, only to hand him more ammunition that can be used against me in his weekly blog. In addition, my solicitor has advised me not to approach Mr Plisga until the allegations of threats being made to various club officials are concluded.

I also have club accounts pertaining to the membership list and permit books that have to be checked and handed in, also receipts for parts, stamps and stationery etc.
 Upon resigning my position as loch keeper, I requested all permits books that I have handed in to the club to be checked by my accountant and solicitor, but Mr Plisga refused my request, citing that these were club property and would not be handed over for scrutiny.
To date I have not received these books, and I’m unable to work out exactly how much monies either the club owes me, or I’m due them.
Instead what’s happening is Richard Plisga is using his weekly blog to blame me for the delay in bringing this matter to a conclusion, and in addition suggests that “I have something to hide”.
I would like this matter to be drawn to a successful conclusion quickly, and for
 all accounts to be checked independently to avoid confusion.

In conclusion?
There should never have been any need for me to write this letter to the membership if not for the actions of one individual. The last thing that I wanted to do is commence legal action against the club, but due to the continued attacks by Mr Plisga and the effects that this has had on me, my family and my health there is no other option available to me.
At one time I had considered Richard a friend, and even wrote him a personal reference for a position as delivery driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx which I believe he was successful in getting, but it goes without saying that I will have to retract my original reference, and furnish them with a more open and honest account of this mans character.
I’m thoroughly disgusted that a so-called friend (or so I thought), could turn out to be such a vile human being.

Lastly, I’d like to thank all the members, locals and friends who have offered me support during this difficult time.
Hope to see you on the bank.

Keith Young.
PS I’ll shortly be emailing you the web address of my new blog “a clear view of the loch”, where you’ll be kept up to speed with ALLthat’s happening round the loch.

Thats his attempt at a statement of case regarding his dismissal ours will appear tomorrow to give you time to digest all he says.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Thieving Muppets!

Photo 01 - A fine plump Trout caught by who else - Elliot Fraser!

Thieving Muppets!

There is not a year gone by without a blatant act of theft taking place and sadly this year is no different! Yes two of our members decided to have a go at spinning for the Pike and left their dead bait rods laid on their pods and they set off a short distance away to see if they could attract a hungry Pike.

A short time later they noticed a few lads close to their rods and then as bold as brass the two Muppets cut the bait off the rods took them down and sped off to their car. The car was a silver coloured Vauxhall Corsa and thanks to an observant camper the registration number was noted and passed on to the lads who by this time had beached their boat.

They came along and reported the incident and we urged them to report the matter to the police. They did this on the 101 number where a remote phone operator told them that their incident had been logged and an officer would be in touch in due course! Now this was not the response we had hoped for whilst we acknowledge it was not a heinous crime it did merit some quick action! By the time the investigations take place their rods would have disappeared without a trace, exchanged for their drug of choice!
It’s a rather salutary reminder that in peak Muppet season there is a real risk of thefts and violence so keep your wits about you!

More thieving Muppets!

Whilst we were repairing our engines in the boat house a chap appeared asking if he could hire a rod as he had broken his fly fishing with his partner. Now we don’t like to see honest anglers stuck so I gave him my fly fishing rod and asked him to leave it with Alastair at the Tibbie when he was done. Whilst we were blethering he said that a couple foreign anglers had been fishing overnight up at the Tibbie and had caught a good few Eels not all of which were returned!

They were obviously fishing for the pot contrary to EU wide regulations which prohibit the taking of Eels from any freshwater! This regulation has been in operation for some considerable time and most anglers know of its existence! When we went up to the Tibbie they had gone so we will prepare an advice sheet informing anglers of the following no Eels or Pike may be removed from the loch dead or alive!

Photo 02 - Gritted teeth shows determination!

Benevolent members!

Elliot Fraser our treasurer came down today to enjoy his usual boat fishing session but when I got there he was baling out the only boat available for two visiting anglers. When I enquired as to what was going on he said that he could not see the two anglers disappointed and in a selfless act gave them his boat so the question now was what to do!

Knowing of his mechanical competence I asked if he would mind looking over the two engines which our ex loch keeper said were completely goosed and needed to be replaced! He agreed, and with me for moral support he systematically worked through the factors required for internal combustion. In an hour or so the Mariner roared into action. We tried this several times over the next hour and she started without any problem.

Next to the Hidea engine and this was an easy fix with the advance/retard mechanism simply being out of adjustment. When this was properly set she also started without any protestations! Unfortunately due to no boats being available till late afternoon it was not possible to test them on the loch. Subject to boats being available we will test them next week.

So when a boat became available we both set out for a bash trolling. I managed two lots of weed and Elliot one lot but he also came up with a plump Trout, well done that man! Naturally we are indebted to Elliot for allowing the club to avail itself of his mechanical wizardry thanks mate!

Photo 03 - from the middle of the loch!

Private boats on the loch!

Cath at the Glen Cafe came along to the boathouse today for clarification on a couple of points after failing to get me on the phone (get a grip BT, her calls only appeared on my phone at 8.00pm when I got to Gala, I had no signal all day!). The first query was regarding the use of inflatable craft on our lochs with an electric engine. The situation in law is that if you can carry your craft you may launch it on our waters for purposes other than fishing. However if it is motorised (electric or petrol) you must first obtain permission from the relevant riparian owners.

With regard to fishing on the lochs only club boats or those belonging to riparian owners may be used! Therefore no fishing is to take place from any inflatable craft, kayak or canoe! Our rules will be updated to reflect this amendment. The other query was regarding the taking of Pike and the situation is that no Pike may be taken! Thanks to Cath for bringing this anomaly to our attention.

Thank you!

Whilst engaging in conversation with many members and local residents over the last week we would like to take this opportunity to thank one and all for their support and suggestions which ranged from the unprintable to the very sensible regarding the issue of the resignation of our loch keeper! The events which took place were deplorable and completely without justification and he has still not returned the club property he holds! Almost all who conversed with us were concerned by the refusal to hand back the permit book and club pay in book since these pertain to club money management! The committee will meet within the next few weeks to decide by which route we will take further action! We are most grateful for your support!

The wider world in my view!

Out with the old...

Now whilst for the most part I do no longer concern myself with the goings on in the English parliament given we are on course for independence I must admit to a huge sense of relief at recent events. Lord Snooty’s reign is over, his tenure at No10 which comprised of bungling and blunders the likes of which the country has never seen before is finally ended! In a rather ignominious end he slouched off with the weight of plunging the country into the biggest political crisis ever experienced on his shoulders.

To add further to his shame he will be remembered as the galoot who started the breakup of the UK! To her credit the new PM Theresa May got rid of minister without a clue Gideon Osborne he of the infamous pie and granny tax! Several other jokers including Michael Gove and Nicky Morgan were also sent packing and this can only serve to increase the standing of the UK in global politics!

It’s a good start for a Tory government but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here! Yes there is a new team but it is one that is completely untested and if the Tories are true to form new bungling on a hitherto unseen scale is a distinct possibility! The pointers are all there Theresa May as Prime Minister Boris Johnston as foreign secretary and Liz Truss as justice secretary!

Ms May has uttered some words that for normal working class people offers some hope, well they would be if they emanated from anyone other than a Tory! Tories seem to have perfected the art of saying one thing and doing another!
Is it a new dawn for the working classes? I very much doubt it; the working class people of England Wales and Northern Ireland will suffer greatly under these inexperienced fools! However I presume too much, let’s be fair and give them a chance as there is a slim chance they will formulate coherent thought out policy. Note, I do not say socially fair and equitable policy, for Tories are incapable of that!

Why the High street is doomed!

It’s apparent in every town throughout the land shopkeepers pulling down the shutters for the last time! I needed a 40 amp blade fuse for one of my vehicles and went off to Halfords to source one. They had packs of 5 fuses including the forty amp one I was looking for at £5.76! A blatant rip off price if ever I saw one!

Next I went to an independent motor store where a pack of ten could be had for £3.50 which was better but not great. Next up e bay and the choice was immense ranging from 100 assorted fuses for £6.00 all in to 60 assorted fuses for £2.86 inclusive. I opted for the sixty pack and the next morning they came through the letterbox! No more really needs to be said methinks!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

A shameful episode!

Photo 01 - The petals of the Dog Rose are delicious with vanilla ice cream!

A shameful episode!

Over the years we have had a few loch keepers, some who had to give up due to other commitments, some simply moving out of the area and others who because of ill health could not continue in the job. In all cases the split has been amicable with the club making sure that all monies due to the retiring keeper were paid, club property returned and the integrity of the club was maintained.

This however is not the case with the current divorce which is proceeding rather bizarrely entirely due to the exiting loch keeper! In order to settle correctly with Mr Xxxxx we need to have his permit book which belongs to the club so we can calculate how much if anything we owe him or vice versa how much he owes us! Mr Xxxxx however refuses to hand over this piece of club property in spite of emails asking for this and a recorded delivery letter which was delivered by Royal Mail!

Why he does not want to hand over this book and the clubs pay in book is open to speculation and club members must draw their own conclusions! The other club property being held by Mr Xxxxx is as follows-

Four two way radios donated to the club by a member who we are trying to contact.
The club pay in book for paying in monies due to the club detailing individual payments received.
The membership database containing contact details for our current membership.
The clubs high power spotlight used for night time surveillance.
The clubs Samsung Galaxy Ace phone donated to the club by me.

Now it’s not a huge list but the lack of a membership database means we do not have contact details for our newer members. Why is he holding on to these items and not getting in touch with us regarding their return?  Most people behaving in an adult fashion would want to tie up these loose ends in a professional manner, but for some reason known only to him he does not! Normally if a person has a grievance, he raises that grievance so that together we can work through it to a satisfactory conclusion. We have no record of a grievance being lodged! Behaving in the manner of a child and taking umbrage solves nothing!

When he made his resignation “speech” in the club boathouse he uttered threats towards club officials witnessed by another member. He also went on to say that he had a long memory and would see the current committee out! He also said that large numbers of members were unhappy with the way the club was being run. He accused me and other club officials of dishonesty and defrauding the club of large amounts of money. He accused the committee of running the club for a select group of members.

Now I would like to answer these allegations in open forum as the current club committee has nothing to hide! Elliot Fraser our treasurer phoned today and stated that the club has in balance the most money in its history and that our accounts will be made available to any member at the club AGM for scrutiny as they are every year! Contrary to his scurrilous allegation it should be noted that 95% of expenses claimable by club officials are not in fact claimed! Examples are having to drive up from Gala to sort out some Muppets on a farmers land. Driving down from Motherwell to clarify a financial query. Donating their own consumables in order to carry out a project. I could mention dozens more and believe me this unfounded allegation has caused some ructions! Mr Xxxxx has made no friends here!

Regarding members being unhappy with the running of the club, of all the members I have engaged with over the last four weeks none has expressed dissatisfaction! More to the point only one request from a club member has been turned down in the last 5 years and I will come to that later.  We have acted quickly and positively to all points raised by members! Mr Xxxxx claims to have done more for the club than any other member, the truth however is that he would be lucky if he made it into the top twenty! When I think of some of the past and present members and their unstinting contributions his statement is little more than a joke!

In reply to his allegation that the club is run for a select few we dismiss this as utter rubbish! Every member of the club is treated in the same manner with respect and empathy! No one in the club expects or receives favour beyond that of any other member. You might have been fooled into thinking that a few names appear regularly on the news page and they were being treated as a superior class. Not so, the same names keep appearing as it is these people that are always on hand to help us out of a tight spot and I make no apology for this and will continue to highlight all those who give up their time in such a selfless manner!

Mr Xxxxx had a request to the club dismissed and that request was for the club to purchase a further two petrol outboard engines. He said that we needed two other engines to step in when the originals failed. We felt that the outlay for two other engines which would be in the range of £1,200 - £2,400 new or used could not under any circumstances be justified. We are charged with using club money wisely and just because we have some in the bank does not mean we should squander it! The usage of the club engines is low and we decided the better more cost effective option was to place under repair our existing engines either in house or farmed out to marine engineering establishments. This did not go down well and it could be considered as the start of the slide! Mr Xxxxxx is relatively new to the area and has obviously not grasped how the club operates!

Two further incidents took place the first being his demolition of our ability to pull boats into the boat house by means of two very long wooden beams acting as runners. These wooden beams are 30ft long 4in thick and 1 foot in width! He said that I had said on a previous occasion that he could take any wood he wanted. However any right thinking person would have looked at these beams which we have had for around thirty years and thought perhaps I had better ask if it’s ok to cut these beams but he did not, he simply cut one in half! It might be postulated that his inexperience in club operations was to blame but any right thinking individual would employ the old adage “if in doubt ask”!

Of course we now have no means of pulling boats into the boat house as only one beam is long enough! The cost of replacing one of these beams is over £400 and it can only be supplied when stocks are available which is not very often due to the dimensions! Delivery of such an item would be extremely expensive as it would have to come via articulated transport! The other incident involved 2 bags of cement. He apparently needed 2 bags of cement so just helped himself without telling anyone or leaving a note and as such they were presumed stolen! Had he phoned and asked we would of course have given him the go ahead as we would do for any member!

I’m sorry that club members who have boathouse keys were initially under suspicion but it was entirely because of his ill thought out actions that the situation arose! In other areas there was a heap of stinking rubbish piled up at the boathouse which had built up over the preceding months and the white boats were almost green in colour with algae! When a bag of rubbish is filled it can easily be removed we cannot understand why the rubbish was allowed to build up to ten bags in total! Both of these jobs are part of the loch keepers remit to be carried out by himself (removal of rubbish) and with others (removal of algae).

That is the situation preceding Mr Xxxxx’s resignation and I would say to every member if you see him ask why he is holding on to your equipment, for as a member that is your equipment it does not belong to Mr Xxxxx! I suppose in correct parlance it is theft by keeping but we won’t go into that at this stage. We do not under any circumstances tolerate threatening violent behaviour from members or visitors, consequently Mr Xxxxx has been stripped of his membership and he no longer has any association with the club!  He has been barred from fishing on the lochs for an as yet undetermined length of time! At this time our investigations are ongoing and will take some considerable time! 

 I regret that this has become necessary but I will not stand idly by as good honest people who have given so much to the club and the wider area are accused and belittled by a man clearly unfit to tie their shoelaces!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The one that didn't get away!

photo 01 - mass killing!

Apologies for the no show last week, family illness meant I did not have time to compile the blog!

The one that didn’t get away!

The day started for Elliot Fraser with the business of sorting out the club finances and bringing the committee members present up to speed on various matters. We now have to pay the council for the right to fish in the regulator area and stretch of the yarrow as opposed to Scottish Water as had been the case in the past. A few more items dispensed with and soon it was time to fish.

The date was the 2nd of July but looking at the weather you would not have guessed it! A blustery cool wind laced with torrential showers made for a wave and conditions to deter the most ardent boat angler. Elliot however does not fit into that class, if there is water and a boat then he is out! As a favour to me first he motored up and collected a Lomond from the Tibbie which I had towed up last week – Thanks mate!

Soon he ventured out into the choppy water with both rods set and ready for action and in no time at all he had a fine 12 oz Trout caught unhooked and released back into the loch. It wasn’t long before another Trout latched on to his line and this one topped 1.5 lbs! And a short time later a sturdy one pounder came to the net and was swiftly returned! You might say a good day indeed but there was more!

One of the rods bent into a curvaceous loop and it was fish on and it was a vicious pull so boat stopped and the fish pulled the boat here and there as line was given and vigorously taken back. However after a good few minutes the feeling that every angler dreads descended and a slack line confirmed fish lost! However before the inevitable post mortem took place Elliot’s other rod screamed and he was into a fish!

Again he sensed it was a good one by the power of its runs! This time however there was no escape for the fish and it was duly landed. It was a corker estimated 2.5 – 3.5lbs and it was prudent in this case to place the Trout in the large baling bucket and headed to the boat house where boathouse manager Les Henderson weighed it on the scales and it came home at 3lbs 1oz a new heavy Trout for the season!

However paramount in their minds was the safe return of the fish and it was held in the boathouse bay facing the current until it was recovered sufficiently to power away to fight another day! And again you might think indeed that was a great day, but there was more. What actually happened when the trace gave way the escaping fish became tangled on his second trace so the same fish was now hooked on his second rod! Normally a tangle is a disaster in this case it was a saviour! The veterans in the club say the worse the weather the better the fishing and it was again proved today, so if it looks hellish get your line out. a record fish could be waiting! Well done Elliot!

Photo 02= the makings of a proper breakfast!

Lochside carnage!

The first photo this week shows more than words ever could the effect of unrestrained killing by a wild animal! This steading has over the last few months suffered the loss of a lame lamb four chickens two hens and a cockerel, some disappeared without a trace others stripped or just killed and left Naturally the suspect was marked down as a fox!

Missing however in all cases was the distinctive aroma that lingers after a fox has visited! The culprit however was identified on Monday when it was found in a shed with some dead hens it was a fully grown dog otter! Now we have had an otter family residing in the area for at least ten years and they are occasionally spotted all over the lochs.

They are magnificent creatures in their natural environment and catching sight of one certainly makes your day. Yes they hunt our fish that is what they do and in a way they benefit our fishing by removing the weak and the injured. The stocks of fish become more astute, wary of any unusual movement making them fish of the highest order and very difficult to catch excepting Elliot Fraser of course!

Now what can be done to preserve fish stocks in the loch? The simple answer is that nothing that would be effective is possible, the loch is much too large to fence off, and several areas are SSSIs. We have had to live with these animals in the past and will continue to do so in the future. The hen situation also seems insurmountable as again the cost involved of erecting fencing is prohibitive!
Worse still is that now the otter has found an area where easy nutritious food can be found it will return, so any restocking with new hens will ultimately end in tears! Fencing off a small area would work but the concept of having free ranging hens would be lost!

Maybe in these cases there is a need for governmental compensation and grants to protect the livestock! No one wants these elegant creatures destroyed but when they impact on a farmer’s livelihood then consideration needs to be given to some form of action!  Maybe other farmers have lost the odd small lamb we do not know.
A compensation scheme along the lines of the sea eagle/ lamb situation in the north of Scotland might be a starting point. I will urge the affected farmer to get in touch with a local MP (not a Tory) to explore any potential solutions. It’s just a great shame that these magnificent animals have strayed off course and impinge on the livelihood of farmers around the loch!

Good people!

Photo 02 above shows the ingenuity of some of our members, these lads procured a fireguard from the Gordon Arms Hotel and turned it into an adjustable heating plate. One way for normal cooking then flip it over for extra fast heat, the sausages smelled delicious! Just a group of lads who enjoy their fishing bothering no one, people we are happy to call our members!

At the other end of the loch Mick from Manchester and his son Nick came up to fish for three days and it wasn't long before they were into fish. Between them the tally yesterday stood at three fish a fourteen and a half pounder, an eight and a young three pounder. Mick will send photos later and we will show them next week. Both groups of anglers enjoying their fishing without getting rat arsed and causing havoc and leaving a mess. The kind of angler we are keen to encourage! An added bonus for the Manchester lads was to witness at close range one of our Osprey's carrying out a hunt diving from height. No doubt a memory that will remain with them forever!

Apologies to the first group mentioned above for forgetting your names lads, as I have already stated our ex loch keeper has still not forwarded on our membership database!

The wider world in my view!

Oh what a circus!

The Tory leadership race is providing some much needed laughter following the catastrophic decision made by the people to leave the European union! The decision however is made and we must make the best of what lies in front. Yes many people did not know what they were voting for but frankly that is down to them. It has been often said that there are many people who are too thick to vote, the effects of that statement in action is no more clearly displayed than the post EU referendum!

However it seems following lord Snooty’s massive bungling and subsequent abdication we are presented with two females who want to run the country. The first is would be Butcher Thatcher candidate Theresa May whose bungling is second only to Lord Snooty himself! A right winger whose sole intention is to see the rich prosper at the expense of the poor! For those looking for fairness and equity there is no hope with this zealot who will seek to emulate her hero Butcher Thatcher!

The other candidate Andrea Leadsom is a bit of an unknown and will just be there to make up the numbers. Suffice to say she is a blue nosed Tory therefore for the working classes she offers no hope whatsoever! The race is between two duds one who secretly wants us out of the EU but was blinded by her lust for power and fell in with the “remain” camp and the other who openly wants us out!

It is not possible for the likes of me to influence the upcoming vote as it will be decided by the twinset and pearls brigade and the winner foisted upon us! If it had not been for the SNPs renewed call for independence this would indeed be a dark moment! However a second referendum is coming and for us Scots there is hope for a better and fairer future! Enjoy the shenanigans rustled up by frantic Tories and relax in the joy that soon we will be rid of the lot of them!

Next week we put the record straight regarding the resignation of our loch keeper, dispel erroneous rumours circulating and highlight our property no returned!