Monday, 1 August 2016

The naked truth!

Dear Member,
                        I am sorry this is such a long letter however if I were to include all  that took place during Mr Xxxxx’s tenure it would be akin to Tolstoy’s War & Peace! The purpose of this letter is not to make a chump out of Mr Xxxxx for he has done that himself, it is merely to set the record straight by means of verifiable facts! I apologise it has not been possible to send this by e mail but we still do not have the club database which he is keeping from us! As a member you obviously want the fishing to be the best it can be, we will show below just what you would end up with if one such as Mr Xxxxx got his hands on the reins!

By now I have no doubt you have received a rather woolly and very nasty and defamatory e mail from Mr Xxxxx our ex loch keeper outlining a whole host of imaginary grievances that he has. When he resigned he shouted in a loud voice that he would see the whole lot of us out and that he had a long memory and accusing the club officials of dishonesty and defrauding the club of large amounts of money! We still await proof of this allegation. When someone confronts you with a raised voice and threatening posture people usually assume they mean you harm and this is the way I interpreted his actions. Naturally the aftermath for the safety of others was that his membership of the club was terminated with immediate effect and later ratified by other committee members.  

Mr Xxxxx is no longer a member of St Mary’s Angling Club confirmed by his resignation and more importantly his subsequent dismissal. He is barred from fishing on the lochs and the length of that ban will be decided when the executive committee next meets. He said in his “letter” that he would not walk away from the club in which he has invested so much time and effort but correct me if I am mistaken that is exactly what he did do as written by his own hand and subsequently ratified when he was sacked! Under the terms of our lease we the club committee administer the fishing and are the ultimate arbiters of who can and cannot fish on our waters!

 He claims a member postulated that he was “set up” by me, I do not think we have any members who are that stupid! Why would I bother to go to the trouble of fabricating an elaborate scheme to get rid of him when all that needed to happen was one member to complain and there is no shortage of them, the committee to meet and his dismissal be approved! Plain and simple, no prevarication, no schemes! To think of the times I had to defend him from angry members frankly makes me cringe!

Regarding a previous article on a shopkeeper the offending post was removed because of a copyright infringement due to my inexperience in such matters, yes like any other (excepting Mr Xxxxx of course) I do get it wrong sometimes. The man that never made a mistake never made anything! The thrust of my argument that unqualified people should not advertise themselves as fishing guides by means of a flashy website has been proved to be the correct viewpoint and is now universally accepted. Our site informs and protects the angling public from hiring an unqualified person who has no angling qualification, vetting certificate or emergency health training. These qualifications are now the expected minimum standard for anyone calling themselves a fishing guide! It was a long and tortuous journey but from huge feedback received it was very well received by anglers. Someone has to grasp the mettle and tackle wrongdoing and because of our actions anglers now have a higher quality and safer experience if they choose to hire one of these people! In effect our site is the bible for anglers seeking a fishing guide.

It’s poetically comedic but when the “racial incident” took place Mr Xxxxx was among the most vociferous in his condemnation of people from a certain country. His war cry was always going out to hunt anglers from another country unfortunately he failed in this venture as can be seen from our news reports! It was a mistake in this politically correct climate but we complied fully with the request from the police to remove the poster. At no time did Mr Xxxxx raise any concerns about our initial stance. As for Mr Young having a quiet word with the inspector we agreed in open forum that such a stance would not be employed again! I doubt that Mr Xxxxx’s reassurance if indeed it took place would carry any weight at all. As for me resigning over this incident I could see no reason at all for so doing as there was a consensus regarding our actions. If any resigning was to take place then all would have to resign! If I had cost the club half as much as Mr Xxxxx has then I would have no hesitation in resigning!

I won’t descend into the gutter to return Mr Xxxxx’s jibes and his erroneous remarks about my trade’s union duties they are irrelevant, unfounded and legally actionable, I await the proof regarding this slur on my character? As for being thrown out of an angling club in Gala. I can tell you now such an event never took place, and once again I look forward to the proof of his unfounded spiteful allegations. When these are received I will publish them here. I left Gala Angling club after a spell on the committee in the eighties without a blemish on my character. Yet again he has defamed me by publishing two statements which are completely untrue and I challenge him to prove them!

Again with his statement that I pestered an old donkey to join the club committee he is wide of the mark again, can this man not get anything right? The real situation which was way before Mr Xxxxx appeared was in fact the contrary. The incumbents pestered me to join the committee as the person they wanted to be president refused the position. I was pressured into accepting the position lest the club fold which was a real possibility at this point as we had around a dozen member’s mainly elderly fellows! Isn’t it funny how actually being there allows you to recollect the real events that took place! Mr Xxxxx however shows extreme gullibility in taking as read the twisted hearsay from his “friends”! I really do wonder regarding Mr Xxxxx’s cognitive abilities!

Mr Xxxxx really hits the bottom of the barrel when he tries to imply our Salmon day is a day out for the privileged few. Long before Mr Xxxxx appeared on the scene we secured the Salmon day as a prize in our competition and since we have the whole beat we expanded the outing to accommodate those who turn up for work parties to push the club forward. Incidentally Mr Xxxxx did not feature heavily in that respect for if he did he would have been invited to come along. Our other competitions are open to any member who wishes to fish just check our news pages to see our adverts asking for participants! Mr Xxxxx either cannot or does not fish for Trout so such a competition would be of no interest to him. Looks like another fail for Mr Xxxxx!

With regard to the wider world in the news page it is merely a bit of fun outlining my own views as the title suggests previously lauded by Mr Xxxxx himself, and if members wish it to cease then it will cease. No such request has been received. As for being a dictator it’s obvious I’m not a very good one because any real dictator worth his salt would have had the likes of Mr Xxxxx removed from post a long time ago! I have a zero tolerance stance on Muppet like behaviour as do the committee and this will continue! It’s worth reiterating here only one request to the committee has been refused in five years and that was Mr Xxxxx’s outlandish request that we purchase two further engines!

Now regarding past loch keepers, he spoke to all of them from the last 30 yrs – No he didn’t! Let me outline the circumstances which led to their leaving since newer members especially Mr Xxxxx will be unaware of the circumstances. One left because he did not turn up to furnish boats and engines to visiting Pike anglers who had travelled great distances (one group was from Manchester) to come and fish. This meant that I had to drop everything and severely inconvenience my customer and come up from Gala to kit them out and come back late afternoon to deal with the boats and engines as well as refunding part of the cost for time lost lest our reputation be trashed! I never once made any claim for any petrol or loss of earnings because of this. This deplorable situation continued for a couple of months before we called a halt and terminated his employment paying in full all that was due to him around £630.00 I seem to recollect. 

Another restricted membership of the club forcing anglers to buy day permits on 10 occasions (on which 50% commission was paid) rather than taking out a membership on which no commission was paid and we still have current members who were affected by this scheme. Another just stopped turning up leading to me yet again having to step in and forsake my fishing and help the club out! Piotr finished with regret seeking to move to another part of the country and we still converse in fact I furnished him with a job reference only a few days ago. Another who gave us great service moved on to other things and again we parted on good terms. That is the real situation but then again Mr Xxxxx was not here to witness this but plenty others were! Facts always trump fantasy hearsay as Mr Xxxxx is finding out!

Mr Xxxxx goes on about unreasonable demands. All we ask of our loch keepers is to check and sell tickets, keep the boat house area clean and clean the boats with the help of others once a year. He was made aware of this when he commenced his job and agreed they were not onerous! In regard to our engines both engines are now running well and as usually happens our mechanically minded committee members will maintain them. Mr Xxxxx harps on about servicing the engines free of charge yet at the start of the season both were choked with overwintered fuel so that’s an example of top notch servicing then! Mr Xxxxx highlights the poor condition of our Chinese engine and it’s true it’s in a bit of a state. What he did not tell you was that he dropped the engine and allowed it to fall smashing the undercarriage leaving loose components everywhere and causing god knows what internal damage. A relatively new and decent engine trashed!

When he phoned to tell me (that was in the good old days when he did report to us) he said not to worry as he had repaired it and indeed he had, it was like something constructed from a Meccano set in a Beano comic. Luckily one of the committee stepped in and formed a billet alloy handle which at least made it usable! His carelessness cost us dear and did we discipline him for this, we did not! I am now led to think our benevolence was severely misplaced! We did offer Mr Xxxxx £50 cash per engine for servicing but that was a starting point for a basic service comprising of plugs & oils and we asked him to come back with a different figure but he did not, any work beyond servicing would attract extra payment. On reflection it was probably for the best. Did I mention he broke the gear lever on our Mariner, a new one was only £40 but it took a whole day, time given up by Elliot Fraser to dismantle the engine from the prop shaft to fit the new one! A pretty decent record I don’t think, the man is the embodiment of mechanical mayhem! Oh and there is a length of metal for that Lomond which will be fitted in due course. Once again everything here is verifiable from multiple sources unlike Mr Xxxxx’s unfounded and vicious fiction!

Lack of communication is a two way process. Mr Xxxxx used to come round every week to fill us in on what had been going on but this stopped suddenly around the time of the engine scenario. At this time we knew his days were numbered. Regarding the rubbish, yes a member used to burn some but some rubbish will not burn, wet bait, tins and discarded foodstuff. Remember the fire was only to burn that members rubbish and that collected in the boat house, not the entire angling population of the lochs rubbish. I did move the ten bags of rubbish to the verge and hey presto it was gone the next day. I did mention that it might be possible to use the cafes bin and fair do that was not acceptable.

 What is rather more difficult to understand is how such a well revered and connected man was not able to find another bucket among his many friends. We are only tolerated in the area he says but within a few days we were able to find a bin where our rubbish would be welcome! We have here a man with too much time on his hands, a huge chip on his shoulder and a vastly overinflated opinion of himself! Oh and Mr Xxxxx very kindly expressed concern for Les and yes he has had a torrid time of it this year. Now is that the same Les who you left to clear up the almighty mess you left when “clearing” the boat house front? It took him 3 weeks to get rid of all your rubbish, not showing much respect to our older members now are you! Incidentally all you achieved was to coppice the area now instead of trees there are branches everywhere.  It nearly slipped my mind but I do believe you were going to stump the area will that take place anytime soon or was that another half job?

Now regarding the boat cleaning, he saw me mid afternoon scrubbing the boats but declined to help and I was left to get on with it as I have been for the last 3 years. Admittedly when he first started he did bring a pressure washer down to clean them but I think it packed in or something similar and the event did not take place. This same pressure washer was to be used to remove moss from the boathouse roof but again this did not take place! Our Arran boat being beached is a bit of a joke for a man that is around every day carrying out enforcement work. Surely a wee nudge as the level drops would see it back in the water, surely that’s not beyond his intellect. I would have thought the “enforcement team” would have easily managed to push it into the water after all two lesser individuals (me and Elliot) got it afloat on Saturday in no time at all!

Mr Xxxxx mentions the two bags of cement as being the best bit and he is halfway there. Couple that with the massive beam he cut in half that we use as runners to haul in our boats (apparently it was to repair a boat he fished out of the Lowes and it doesn’t even belong to him!) and we are 100% there! Mr Xxxxx was told in no uncertain terms to make use of any item after he had cleared it with us! I think he thought he was the loch supremo able to overrule anyone and do anything he liked without fear of challenge. No one else displays such arrogance everyone else including me clears it first.  In fact the damning blow is if you extrapolate his thinking to a real world workplace how many employers would tolerate his way of working with employees removing equipment or consumables as they thought fit! As an employee the onus is on him to ask and the committee to adjudicate.

 He says he had authority to use and replace anything he used, just how is he going to replace the 30ft long beam he cut in half that we use for pulling the boats into the boat house? It will cost us dear to replace this! After usage last week it appears our Lowes boat needs to come in for overwinter refurbishment by his thoughtless actions he has turned this simple task into major logistics operation. If you ever saw the Lowes boat recently I am sure you would think it was a paddling pool as it was always full of water! The weight of this water has pushed the sides apart breaking the joins to the floatation tanks yet another of his achievements. Past loch keepers at least had the sense to unscrew the drainage port to allow the water to drain out! He seems to make a habit of giving us extra work and costing us money. As for the members comments I can furnish many more who are astounded at his warped way of thinking and yet again he flounders against the facts.

I would certainly agree with Mr Xxxxx that chemistry is not his subject. The amount of bleach used to clean all the boats was 2 litres which had reacted with the large amounts of green algae on the boats rendering it harmless before it was discharged into the loch! The advice we were given by SEPA when a potential spill of 25 litres of high strength sodium hypochlorite was suspected of being dumped in the Megget was that we were not to worry as it would kill everything immediately where it spills out but would be inactivated and broken into harmless components in the process. That is why it is considered suitable as a household bleach. So two litres of inactivated bleach discharged into the bay doesn’t really make it as wildlife crime of the century. In his increasingly desperate search to try and rubbish the committee this is another song and dance about nothing! At this point Mr Xxxxx says he asked me why I had not contacted him regarding the missing cement He did not get a wall of silence as he claimed rather he was told that like any other member if you want something you ask, he did not like that.

On club AGMs he has attended 3 AGMs, all of the committee have attended loads more and it is here that Mr Xxxxx’s inexperience and superficial understanding shines through. Although he is a greenhorn had he bothered to ask he would have found we do not have the luxury of electing members of the committee because they are as rare as hen’s teeth! Anyone attending such a meeting barring a fool would have deduced this! Everyone wants the fishing but no one wants the work so yes they are collectively appointed. If we did not do this the club would have folded many years ago. Oh and the club constitution which you quote shows again just how out of touch you are, it was amended six years ago to account for low turnouts. Collective appointment is by necessity not choice. He moans that half the committee never turn up, in fact again he shows his inexperience and superficial understanding because any committee member not being able to attend go out of their way to let us know, its common courtesy. Another triumph for facts over lies!

Now, the really nasty part in his “letter” where he hoped to drive a wedge between the committee members something he will not do, for we are resolute in our stance. We all say things that on reflection we probably should not have said. I have no recollection of the phrases cited by Mr Xxxxx in fact I would have thought they were more in his style! I have used Anglo Saxon expletives to describe many people as we all do, it is not done with malice in mind. The classic however is accusing me of calling a local hotelier a drug addict! I have no beef with the chap in fact as fellow bikers we get along well. Mr Xxxxx however has a longstanding feud with this chap over money. In fact when he was the loch keeper he was forbidden to enter his property to check anglers it fell to others to do this (me), which meant we ended up with a sort of part time restricted access loch keeper yes, he could only do part of the job, oops he must have forgot to pass that gem on! 

You really do wonder how low some people will stoop to try and convince others, a whole paragraph devoted to name calling is complete childish nonsense but what we have come to expect of him. I have passed his “letter” to the hotelier with who I spoke at length on Saturday. This is something Mr Xxxxx would be unable to do! Whoever heard of a loch being administered by a man who is barred by one of the riparian owners from entering upon his land! Well I suppose there is always a first time! Sometimes the facts can sting, as they say “the truth often hurts"!

He appears a bit miffed that he has not made the top twenty when it comes to work done for the club. Believe me he is nothing when compared to others! He has just arrived and all of a sudden he is the self proclaimed saviour of the club. Quite frankly we do not need saving especially Mr Xxxxx’s type of salvation. Was it not for the hard work of a few members you would not be able to walk into the club boathouse as the floor would have collapsed by now because the joist was rotten at the door! It took four members weeks to put right this damage coupled with much club money! Similarly we would not even have the boathouse as according to the terms of our lease it needs to be repainted every 7 years and we are hugely grateful to the lads all six of them who stepped in to help us out! We also installed the safety rail and landing on entry to the boat house to comply with health and safety regulations. Again Mr Xxxxx is oblivious to our many obligations!

I haven’t been running the club single handed for years as he claims rather with the aid of a group of others every one of whom pushes Mr Xxxxx into the shade. Mr Xxxxx seems to think I have no opinions I believe he now thinks differently, oh and the Archers are on a Sunday. Mr Xxxxx is keen to blow his own trumpet regarding his status in the area I know many who sing a different tune. He alludes to the incident with the dogs at Riskinhope where a member was bitten by an out of control dog. The police issued a warning to the offending shepherd (one time Mr. Xxxxx’s drinking pal) and we would take the same course of action again. Again he relies on hearsay as the mainstay regarding our journey, pity he wasn’t there to get the facts straight because others were. Clearly he is a man on the outside looking in!

On our engines it seems Mr Xxxxx once again is sadly lacking, we do not have two outboards we have four (two of which are spares) and the white one he mentions does not even belong to the club it belongs to me and Les and is in fact working. He has been with us for 3 years and he seems to be unaware of the simplest things! As already mentioned the Chinese engine is not in the best of condition mostly thanks to Mr Xxxxx but will be under heavy repair soon. He goes on to say our engines should be out every weekend and through the week, clearly the voice of a novice! Obviously the concept of sustainable fishery management has completely passed him by and exposes his complete lack of understanding as to how a wild fishery runs! The lochs are not a stocked commercial fishery and using the above formula the lochs would become barren in no time at all with massive overfishing, injured and dying fish all over the place. I find it strange that in his “letter” to members he never once mentioned keeping our lochs sustainable, all the words pointed to increased revenue which would benefit him, maybe he was trying to turn our part time job into a full time one with commensurate wages!  He has not a clue regarding our population of fish or how to sustain them, thank your lucky stars he has nothing to do with the club!

Interestingly over the last few weeks I have sold over £200.00 worth of tickets and as I do not take any commission the club has an extra £100.00 and there will be more! Collecting today from our other sellers we are another £100 up looks like Mr Xxxxx not being here has no effect on us at all. At this point I must thank all our permit sellers you are doing an absolutely splendid job, thank you!
We have permission from SNH for two petrol outboard engines (again he is oblivious to this) as the lochs are a SSSI, if we wish any more we would have to justify this with concrete evidence supporting our request and we do not have any. Stating we would like our loch keeper to earn extra revenue is pretty flimsy stuff and is against our long term vision for the lochs. He wants anglers everywhere which will generate lots of cash for himself whereas we and the majority of our members want a sustainable fishery! 

A survey which was carried out for us by a leading ecologist gave us an idea of the angling pressure the lochs could sustain and we restrict angling to remain within these parameters. Now this is becoming extremely tiresome but this chap seems to have no understanding whatsoever regarding our history and the way we operate! The engines were never purchased to earn us money, they were primarily provided merely as a service to members and secondly visitors. This statement has appeared many times in our news pages. We expect at the end of their commercial life to have made a significant loss on them! We could not justify spending large amounts of money on a resource that is little used. Running the club along the lines of a commercial fishery will lead to the death of the club in a very short time something that we found out in 2006 by accident, again something he knows nothing about. Mr Xxxxx tries to imply that only he knows the way forward for the club. The reality is however before he even arrived we had been through all the so called “improvement” scenario’s he envisages! In ideas and actions we are years ahead of him! There is no substitute for experience when it comes to fishery management clearly from his “letter” Mr Xxxxx does not possess any, he is a lightweight!

He states we have no working engines in fact as of last Saturday we have two and two in reserve! Mr Xxxxx seems to be viewing the fishery as a business, maybe a cheeky bit of self interest there. Mr Xxxxx gives the impression that the loch keeper’s job is akin to that of an estate gamekeeper giving him extra powers and kudos. We were going to get him a Scottish Office warrant card to give him increased powers but we decided jointly not to apply as rejection was a strong possibility!  Both Ian and Piotr held such authority along with me and Les. Being our loch keeper is in fact a part time job that pays little has no extra status. Thus on the basis of being unable to justify the huge outlay and our wish to keep in pristine condition our fish stocks we have ignored his wish to increase angling traffic therefore increasing his wage and damning our fishery. We are here to serve the membership by seeking to provide and optimise the fishing so that members can have the best experience possible!  There seem to be two opposing views here, what is best for Mr Xxxxx’s pocket, and our view what is best for the members and the lochs!

Our Pike tagging project ran for five years and resulted in over 140 Pike being tagged from 2lbs to 24lbs 13oz. It gave us a fascinating insight into their growth, feeding habits and movement in the loch. It also showed the effects of poor angling and just how fragile these fish are. Our Pike would be absolutely decimated if Mr Xxxxx had his way and motorised boats were trolling about everywhere most days of the week. I think the above demonstrates clearly just how poor Mr Xxxxx’s grasp of fishery management is if indeed he has any skill at all in this area. He claims expert knowledge with regard to Pike, that facet of his persona has yet to show itself! He was the one that proposed the club rule that Pike anglers rods should be no more than 30yards apart meaning an angler fishing 3 rods could have his rods spread over 90 yards! We had decided to give him a long leash and give him more autonomy in the club and this was the result. That one didn’t go down well, certainly not coming from an expert. Increased autonomy was a mistake and we quickly reversed this freedom. It was in fact embarrassing fending off the negative comments that came in, that rule has now been rescinded! And he wonders why no one takes him seriously!

Mr Xxxxx was very keen to have a pier and indeed we did order cement and aggregate at Mr Xxxxx’s behest however he made no attempt to start the project. He blames me for the non appearance of a digger; the digger would be supplied by the Selkirk flood protection works and will arrive when it arrives. No one on the committee has any favour in this matter and Mr Xxxxx certainly has no clout. Supply of this digger is entirely down to the flood protection people with two plus points – it will be supplied free gratis and it will have all the required consent to meet SEPA regulations when it arrives. Yet again all this seems to have flown straight over his head.

With regard to enforcement, the current situation is not ideal but much better than it was during the final six months of Mr Xxxxx’s tenure, I have lost count of the number of anglers I had to issue permits to because Mr Xxxxx was AWOL. However as our new loch keeper starts in September the situation will change again. He says there is currently a free for all, not so. The angler at Bowerhope he mentions did in fact have a permit (a very nice chap with his wife and dog from the Cumbria region) and was approached not by one but by two of our agents one of whom was me. Incidents like this which clearly have been fabricated do I feel cast doubt over Mr Xxxxx’s credibility with regard to speaking the truth! Mr Xxxxx is keen to highlight an incident of anglers cutting trees which I grant you is not good. He forgets however an episode two years ago when some of his personal angler friends were cutting trees opposite the secret swim something I had to sort out, I wonder where his crack enforcement team were then! There appears to be a touch of Walter Mitty syndrome here maybe watching too much Bodie and Doyle repeats on the TV. They were also missing when a group of foreign anglers drove into a field at the top of Riskinhope armed with a chainsaw and copious amounts of beer which again I had to sort out!  He also seems to be unable to move on the cars parked on the grass verge in this area and on the small loch something which I have to do regularly.

Mr Xxxxx implies that if he is on the go illegal anglers would disappear; of course this is absolute nonsense and he knows it! Mr Xxxxx has no permission to be on the land of the Tibbie Shiels for a start, a sort of loch keeper lite who can only police part of the loch! We should have dismissed him when this was made known to us but yet again we gave him the benefit of the doubt! Look back on our news pages to see the widespread evidence of illegal anglers during his tenure! He states that the unfortunate theft that took place would have been avoided if he was still in post which of course is utter and fantastic rubbish, this man has a terrific imagination. No one, not even Mr Xxxxx’s crack enforcement team can police the area and stop all incidents, his time at the club has proved that beyond doubt. It is clear Mr Xxxxx talks a good job but that is where it ends! In summary a good loch keeper is an undoubted asset to the club however to try and claim that all incidents could be tackled is frankly ridiculous! We can and will survive indeed thrive without Mr Xxxxx’s assistance!

He talks of local business’s withdrawing support to the club; we do not get any support. I suppose he means our competition day where we start at the cafe and end at the Tibbie. We are most grateful to both of these establishments however if the cafe did not host the morning rolls the Tibbie or the Gordon would be happy to do so. We would much rather get on with any businesses in the area but we can happily move forward without them! I was just about to mention a time when the cafe was excluded from selling tickets and the Tibbie restricted in this matter but again it strikes me Mr Xxxxx is completely unaware of this as wasn’t even here! It was the current administrators who invited the cafe to sell our permits. I wonder why one of the past loch keepers who he has conversed with and who are his personal friends did not relay this fact to him, everyone in the valley knows of this except Mr Xxxxx.

With regard to the local community we do all we can to help them out. We regularly cleaned out the Megget when dumping took place something that was not our responsibility yet something we were happy to do. We make a donation of £50.00 every year to the village hall fund it’s not a lot but it’s better than taking away. When we were asked we arranged for repairs to be carried out to the roof of the village hall. The bona fide roofing contractor did not have transport so I ran him up and back home at no cost to the village hall committee or the club. Similarly we provided a couple of sanders (my machines) complete with consumables to allow Piotr to sand and varnish the floor of the hall.

When Ian Fernyhough said that Mrs Mitchell Snr was disappointed at the condition of the war memorial we both went down and on a Sunday afternoon cleaned it up and restored the plaque to a bright satinised finish and filled the inscriptions in black so they could be read easily. We gave out free of charge our two electric generators on four occasions to different residents to help out during electricity power cuts. We carried out emergency repairs to the door on the cafe after it had been broken into, the filler and glass fibre can still be seen to this day! Through Piotr we returned to the Mitchell family the components of their bridge which was washed away during a flood coming from Megget dam depositing that material all over the loch. Through two of the best loch keepers we ever had Piotr and Ian we cleaned up rubbish in the lay bys, on the roads and on the shores of the loch. This was not part of their remit but they did it nevertheless, people with a real sense of community! There was no banging on about crack enforcement team’s then just good old fashioned hard work which they did diligently to the benefit of the area. So clearly it can be seen if we are asked or if we see an anomaly we do all that we can to help. I apologise for repeating this phrase but yet again Mr Xxxxx in his glorious naivety knows nothing about this and more importantly nothing about our club!

The lack of investment mentioned by Mr. Xxxxx is another misnomer. This is the problem with a newbie that has not done their homework they invariably talk nonsense! In the last ten years we have spent close to £8,000 on club equipment and fishery development, show me another local angling club that has invested to this extent! We paid out £800.00 alone to have the lochs surveyed and a plan of action implemented by a marine biologist from the Wild Trout Trust with a view to maximising Trout recruitment! Mr Young waffles on about the poor state of our lifejackets yet we wonder if this is the case why he did not inform us. As a good employee that is part of his function, it is he who comes into contact with our lifejackets more than any other. He says if the worst happened it would be hung round his neck and you know what he is correct! As an employee it is his duty to report any substandard equipment so we can allocate funds and resolve the problem. We have received no such notification of a problem with our life jackets.

 Mr Xxxxx has the gall to talk of mismanagement; the biggest instance of mismanagement was carried out by Mr Xxxxx in not answering phone calls and texts thereby diverting them to me. Offhand I can think of 8 anglers who were inconvenienced by his actions on a regular basis. Anglers looking to book boats ignored, hell two even had to go up to his abode and then on to the gamekeepers house where he was found lounging around his garden and yet again we did not discipline him giving him the benefit of the doubt! Mr Xxxxx says he is closely monitoring the lochs well there’s a novelty. In the last six months he was hardly ever seen, a situation relayed to me by many anglers and yet he maintains he is there with his crack enforcement team (I wonder who they are?) every Saturday! I would very much like to speak with the member who counted 12 visiting anglers (do non members glow yellow in the dark!) without a permit methinks he has had too much of the amber nectar coupled with Mr Xxxxx’s undoubted talent for fabrication and exaggeration! In fact one of our sellers who was around that night says he is talking utter rubbish, methinks since he has no facts he relies on his vivid imagination!

Mr Xxxxx claims that he sorted the problem with illegal anglers but again he is guilty here of little more than self aggrandisement. Indeed his presence was a bonus as would the presence of any loch keeper but a cure all – never in a lifetime! It is clear to me that his next employer will be a lucky one. Imagine being able to cure all ills just with his presence! I am beginning to wonder if he is that chap who goes into a phone box and comes out in a blue cape and tight leggings to save the world! I am sure our new loch keeper who will take up his duties soon (September) will seek to have a presence such as Mr Xxxxx clearly professes to have. He says that he is receiving pictures of rubbish sent in by riparian owners. Now I wasn’t aware he knew any of our riparian owners or even knew who they are excepting the hotelier he speaks of but then again he is persona non grata in this situation, I would be most interested to hear who these riparian owners are, please enlighten me!

I am glad Mr Xxxxx has no plans to hold on to club property it is still a mystery why he has not handed this over. He states he wants to avoid a confrontation well he is the one who started the whole business. You would have thought that such a bold enforcement officer could conjure up a scheme whereby the property is dropped off without risking his life. He wants this matter concluded quickly as do we, he knows how this could be achieved. Indeed he did ask for the clubs books which he will not get as only members have access to club accounts and he is not a member. All he needs do is hand back the club property we will calculate who is due what and any monies due paid and the accounts will be audited prior to the AGM for any member to see. All this nonsense about independent examination of our books relating to him, he has had 3 years to examine our books and now he is on the road out he wants this to take place. Hand the club property back we will pay in full all we are due and that ends the matter!

He has asked for all the clubs old permit books. This is a spoof if ever I heard of one. For all of these books he has been paid and by not registering a complaint or query he has rubber stamped and accepted that payment as being correct, he is not a stupid man just inexperienced and misguided and clearly capable of working out what he is due!  He accepts this mode of operation without question for two and a half years then when he chooses its suddenly all wrong! He gets a weekly amount plus 50% of every permit sold, now that can’t be such a difficult calculation that he needs an accountant! Don’t be taken for a fool here, what manner of person hands over books of receipts without asking for payment it’s beyond belief! Our treasurer has squared up Mr Xxxxx for every book he has handed over paying him whatever he asked after checking, the only ones that might require payment are the ones he is keeping from us! Are we to believe that books get handed over and then passed back and forth until the loch keeper decides he wants paid!

What follows is a cautionary note for Mr Xxxxx.

By your vindictive “letter” in which you try and belittle me there are many defamatory statements on which I may choose to initiate further action. You have attempted to rubbish me and the work of a core group of St Mary’s Angling Club without whose help the club would not exist! You will not be forgiven for your treachery you have no future at St Marys Angling Club! Please think very carefully before you write to my employers because any defamatory statements in such a letter will be actioned. Oh and my employers for whom I do unpaid voluntary work to help disadvantaged individuals have agreed to furnish me with a copy of any letter sent by you, I have already briefed them on your despicable behaviour!

If Mr Xxxxx wants to initiate legal action then he should do so we will of course do likewise. It’s a shame that this situation has come about particularly the blatant attack on me personally in that scurrilous jumble of words he calls a letter. During his resignation speech we offered to sit down calmly and thrash out any problems. He did not take up that offer! I could easily have filled a page with Mr Xxxxx’s colourful personal past history but I am not currently inclined to do so, I won’t stoop to his level. Nor will I resort to name calling which seems to be one of the main thrusts in his statement of case. This committee has guided the club through the years to a position where we have a sustainable fishery with adequate resources for our needs. All of the committee and some other members have worked tirelessly to push the club forward and received little thanks for so doing. Trashing the good work of these people will not endear Mr Xxxxx to the aggrieved members.

Our record is there for all to see, we purchased the outboard engines and the wave beating 4 man plus luggage Arran boats to make multi party Pike angling easier. We have worked with the Wild Trout Trust who recommended much of the bank work we carried out under guidance from the Tweed Forum. We almost achieved the reintroduction of Arctic Char into the lochs in conjunction with Scottish National Heritage (Dr Colin Bean) and Professor Peter Maitland, Professor Colin Adams and his team from Glasgow University establishing vitally important contacts which will serve us well in the future! Only when a Tory/Puppet administration seized power did the project flounder as SNHs budget was slashed leaving them unable to fund the project. The issue is however still on the cards and if an administration that values quality of life comes to power we will again seek their reintroduction. 

We carried out much bank work with the Tweed Forum at Riskinhope which turned into a disaster area due in full to a shepherd putting in markers for the fence inches from the bank. We revived and reinvented our club competition and have plans for another. Our Pike tagging project which was sent all over the UK and a copy was even sent to some enthusiasts in the US who expressed interest in our project. We have built up a solid relationship with the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain and the Pike Anglers Alliance Scotland.  There are many more initiatives and relationships which we have cultivated. Mr Young’s total achievements appears to be zero excepting the odd relationship with a few Muppets in fact in the latter stages of his career at the club he was simply a liability! The club was on its last legs when we took over with only a handful of members it is currently thriving thanks to good and thought out management. Suddenly a wee windbag arrives with no contacts ideas or knowledge and it’s all bad – on yer bike mate!

There are indeed two sides to every story and the above is ours. Everything said here is true and can easily be verified unlike the pages of Mr Xxxxx’s vengeful fiction. We are looking here at a committee who have governed wisely and prudently for over ten years over a club that has grown by the actions of that right thinking committee along with the local community or a newly arrived deity who talks a great job, is a wizard at writing fiction, transmitting twisted hearsay but can only administer part of the loch due to the restrictions placed upon him by one of our riparian owners and in all aspects he is an inexperienced lightweight who has not a clue as to how our club operates! 

Please note that any correspondence emanating from Mr Xxxxx has nothing whatsoever to do with the club and if he is found to be using club property in this case the database we WILL take legal action against him.
I would like to thank the many members who have been in touch I very much value your support in the light of such a cowardly and venomous personal attack by an individual who has a personal grudge to bear.

You have seen his statement of case and above is ours. He will try and pull himself out of his self made hole but will fail! I am sorry that members have had to read his drivel and from mails received many of you are furious. Bitter people like him turn up from time to time the best advice I can give to members is to ignore him and carry on enjoying your fishing! 

There is no argument without the facts and as you can clearly see he hasn’t got any! Hearsay, innuendo and outright lies fall well short of the mark!  With regard to running our club Mr Xxxxx knows nothing! He is simply an opportunist beginner who thought he could do better but as we have shown his actions do not marry his words and rather fittingly his words damn him! His record paints a picture of inadequacy, fantasy and confusion!

He has been judged as unfit to be our loch keeper more importantly he has been judged as unfit to have any association whatsoever with St Mary’s Angling Club! Whilst engaging in this sport with Mr Xxxxx has been fun it will now cease. Sacked employees are not on our horizon! We need to once again to turn our attention back to focus on the lochs and the club members who fish here! Once we have the database this treatise will be sent to all members by e mail and paper copy as the situation requires.

Thank you for your perseverance in reading our statement of case.
Tight lines

The club committee
St Mary’s Angling Club

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