BACK in the 1990s, a group of wayward youths expected to be chastised for fishing in private waters in the grounds of Newstead Abbey.
But rather than reprimanding the young people for their misdemeanour, a kindly bailiff is said to have encouraged them to show further interest.
The outcome was that tuition classes in fishing were set up once a week and in time, this led to the formation of an Eastwood-based club called CAST.
One of the club’s driving forces is David Goodall, from Bulwell, who is CAST’s project officer and is involved with Nottinghamshire Rural Community Council, whose headquarters are based at Cornerstone House on Tilford Road, Newstead.
He, along with part-time angling coach Nick Tofan, from Westwood, his partner, Velma Boreland, who is CAST’s chairman, and Jim Stirland, of Eastwood, have made major contributions to the success of the club, which is now regarded as one of the best of its kind in the Midlands.
CAST was officially registered in 2004 after sterling work by Mr Goodall, Nick Tofan and Jim Stirland, which led to classes being set up at St Mary’s Church Hall in Eastwoood.
The group, which has numerous teenagers registered, has since branched out and provides opportunities to their “fantastic” youngsters to take part in outdoor pursuits that include cycling, shooting and bowling as well as fishing.
In the last few weeks, the club has been visited by renowned fly-tying expert Wendy Gibson, who gave a fascinating insight into her remarkable talents in a talk to members.
Contributions in support of CAST have also been made by Chris Merriman and Tim Burke. Along with Lorna and Jim Stirland, they have donated fishing eequipment to CAST.
Paying a glowing tribute to CAST, the Mayor of Eastwood, Coun Brian Griffin (Lab), said: “This is a wonderful success story. Many of the young people attending have turned their lives round, showing a real interest in angling, which is a fascinating and rewarding sport.”
New members are welcome to join CAST, who meet at St Mary’s Church, Eastwood every Wednesday (6 pm to 7.30 pm). Anyone who would like to become a member is asked to ring Mr Stirland on 01773 719834.
OUR PHOTO shows CAST members and supporters with chairman Velma Boreland (second row, centre) and civic guest, Coun Griffin, the Mayor Of Eastwood (STORY AND PHOTO BY: Peter Jordan).