West & Fens Fishing: Pivotal moment in the history of King’s Lynn club

Next week sees one of the most important AGMs in the 132-year history of King's Lynn Angling Association.

Times have changed since the association was formed to provide trout fishing for the landed gentry on the Nar and Gaywood rivers around Lynn.

They let just about anyone on the banks these days, for starters. And running an angling club is a health and safety minefield.

Officials have to carry out a risk assessment before they have the banks strimmed or trim overhanging trees.

The very real risk is that if there was an accident, the club committee could find themselves on the end of a very big legal settlement.

Fear of same could well deter otherwise competent people from using their skills and enthusiasm in support of the club by tidying up a few swims, fixing platforms or helping out with the junior coaching.

An EGM in September voted through the change. The new KLAA Limited (KILAAL..?) will be unveiled in more detail next Wednesday at the Wm Burt Club, at West Winch (7.30pm).

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The new company will take over all the assets of the previous club – meaning it will keep all its waters. It has a slightly different structure in name – directors and members, as opposed to committee members.

The 19 directors and members are all club stalwarts, well-known to the membership.

Some of the articles of association read more like some dusty Dickensian ledger than the constitution of a fishing club.

For example: 'In these articles unless the context otherwise requires references to nouns in the plural form shall be deemed to include the singular and vice versa.'

But there are some laudable objectives when it comes to conservation and promoting the sport, along with a commitment to keep permits affordable: 'The company shall keep permits at levels that will not pose a significant obstacle to people participating.'

You probably won't see much change on the banks. Bailiffs won't be wearing bowler hats and pin-striped suits.

But the crucial thing is the survivial of the club and access to all to its waters should be preserved for posterity.

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