Rocklands fishery, near Attleborough, bounces back after burglary
A fishery is casting out to a new future after overcoming the blow of a burglary which cleared out its headquarters.
The Rocklands Mere lakes near Attleborough lost �20,000 worth of specialist fly fishing equipment and clothing in a break in 15 months ago.
Owner James Harrold was devastated by the crime having created the business, with two lakes and a shelter-cum-shop, from scratch - especially as the night-time raiders even took his personal belongings including a coat hanging on the back of a door.
But the 31-year-old from Hingham has literally dug in to determinedly carry on - by building a new, more secure, lodge and shop, as well as a bigger lake .
'The break-in was a low point. It cleared us out of all our stock which we sold to visitors and on-line and equipment, even down to scissors for making flies,' he explained.
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'Police said the thieves must have been here before, possibly even fishing, which shatters your trust in people, because I probably even made them a cup of tea.
'I briefly contemplated not carrying on with the shop side, but my father kindly helped out to replace stock. I initially ran it from home with the help of my wife Katie, which was difficult because I was dashing between the lakes and the sales side - so I decided to put everything on one site.'
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Work on the new lodge headquarters began in February last year, and was combined with extending one of the two lakes on the site - which used to be a sugar beet field and woodland until James bought it and 2001 and set about transforming it into a fishing and nature haven.
Having initially spend 18 months creating the lakes with chain saws and diggers in time for a 2002 opening, he now set about extending the former shed shop into a lodge with office, shop, toilets and cosy lounge with woodburner stove.
'I have dug the footings, learned to plaster, tiled the floors and fitted the windows and doors,' said Mr Harrold.
The extended lake has been hampered by a lack of rainfall, which has yet to top it up.
But it is aimed to reopen for April 1 next year, which looks set to be a busy month for the Harrold family with their first baby due and James aiming to resume his rallycross career in his late uncle Peter's 1970s VW Beetle.
The new facilities, and the new shop will be showcased at an open day on December 3-4. For more information call 01953 483971, 07900 004953, or visit www.rocklandsmere.co.uk