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JUST 350 years after the publication
of IzaakWalton's "Compleat Angler", a battle is on to
preserve his cottage at Shallowford, Staffordshire, as an angling
The threat by Stafford Borough Council to close the cottage has
been greeted with dismay by officials and members of the 50,000
members of the Izaak Walton League in America.
This cottage, together with
the farm of Halfhead, and the surrounding land, was purchased
by Walton in 1654, and left as a charity to the people of Stafford
in his will. Time has seen the disposal of the surrounding farm
and land, but the sixteenth century, thatched cottage remains
as a small angling museum and a link with that father of angling,
Izaak Walton. This year is the 350th anniversary of that most
famous of English classics "The Compleat Angler', the third
most published book in the world, next to the Bible and the works
Members of the Izaak Walton League of America have decided to
raise funds and have set up a trust fund to run the cottage as
an independent charity, to remain as a small museum to the memory
of Walton and lovers of his books.
Tony Bridgett, who is the main source of information and interest
in the Cottage in the UK, as well as of Walton and his life, recently
raised $10,500 after giving a talk on the subject to the US charity.
Tony has now formed a branch of the League here in England, called
the UK Izaak Walton Cottage Chapter. He is at present in negotiations
with Stafford Borough Council to set up an independent charitable
trust, to raise funds to ensure the future of the cottage. They
started their fund-raising campaign at the British Flyfair, at
Trentham Gardens on the weekend of 25th and 26th October and are
now looking for funds to help with this project.
Tony hopes to save the cottage so that future generations of anglers
can enjoy this link with our angling heritage.
For further details contact Tony Bridgett on 01538 373163.
Reproduced with kind permission
of Trout Fisherman ©Trout Fisherman 2004