Derek Hanson

I am sad to report that our previous chairman, Derek Hanson, passed away just before New Year.
Emin and I had visited him at his home in Billericay just a couple of weeks earlier and he was very interested to hear how the club is getting along since he resigned as chairman due to ill-health a few years ago.
I had known Derek for many years – since we had a ‘trial day’ together at the lakes where we both caught fish and joined-up as fast as we could!
The funeral will be held at 2pm on 22nd January – Emmanuel Church, 66-68 Laindon Road, Billericay CM12 9LD ; then at Bentley Crematorium CM15 9RZ, followed by a reception at Ashwell Country Club CM15 9SE.
(flowers: family only    donations: funeral directors)

Martyn Parker


John Keene : 1927 – 2017

It is with sadness that we learn of the passing of our friend and EFF club Life Member, John Keene, after six months of poor health. A passionate trout and salmon fisherman, he would often be seen travelling from his home at Cock Green to his beloved Leez Lakes to enjoy some summer evening sport. A cheerful, humorous soul, John was ever-willing to assist newcomers discover the joys, or to discuss any aspects, of the gentle art of fly-fishing.

Anglers who knew John are cordially invited by his family to attend a Thanksgiving Service held at 14:00 on Monday April 10 at Felsted Parish Church, followed by refreshments afterwards at the adjacent Smylie Hall. Donations to John’s chosen charity, the RNLI, may be made through the following link.

Derek Pedder


It is with great sadness that we received the news that our long-term member and friend Derek Pedder has passed away.  Derek was a passionate fly-fisher and, for many years, a dedicated club Warden who excelled in this role. He will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues at the lakes.
The funeral service will take place at 2:30pm on 10th February at Chelmsford Crematorium.

 Reply received from Roy Goodrum : (02/02/17 21:11)
Sorry to hear about Derek’s death as he was truly a very dedicated Fisherman both in his Fly and coarse fishing activities. He and (the previous Warden) Frank Tame were great buddies and they spent many hours together. He was always happy to pass on his knowledge to those new to fishing. His enthusiasm will certainly be missed, and lost to those that have yet to come into the sport.

Leez Lakes Opening Day “First Cast”

We received this lovely anecdote from Terry Surtees, one of our founder members, who attended the official opening of our fishing lakes in 1966… (excepts of which follow)

I recall, quite vividly, the opening day on Lavender lake. A name you may recall from the dim and distant past, Terry Thomas (early TV fishing presenter – ed.) , made the opening cast from the platform half way down the lake with a team of three flies.

To the amazement of the then Chairman, Dusty Miller, the Secretary, Don Birrell and the rest of the members, two trout attached themselves to his cast.

What an opening! Oh yes, he landed both.


Founding member’s gift to club..

Donated to EFFClub by Don BirrellDonald Birrell, a passionately keen angler who became the first long-term Hon Secretary of the newly-established Essex Fly Fishers’ Club in 1966, recently donated all his fishing tackle to be sold for the benefit of the club.

Now in his 90s, Donald said that after half a century of club membership, he has no plans to fish again, and would like his cherished EFFC to profit from his rods, reels and tackle.  These are listed below..


  • Hardy “Gold Medal Rod” Palakona split cane rod (1943 vintage)
  • early Hardy split cane rod – (rare 1914 vintage)
  • Hardy  “The St. George” 3 inch reel + extra spool (rare early-1950s)
  • Trout reel + spool (no manufacturer’s mark)
  • folding landing net
  • fishing bag
  • fishing flies , c.300, in flyboxes
  • miscellaneous items, spools of nylon, tools etc


1950s Hardy 3in 'The St. George' reelThese items were on all on view in our recent Open Day – giving members and guests alike the opportunity to closely inspect them prior to their being offered for sale to others.

These attracted much interest – both the smaller items and those which  will in most probability be snapped up by serious collectors of vintage fishing tackle.
(If you are interested in finding out more about the Hardy rods, reels and assorted tackle, please contact  for more details, or to make an offer.)


Social Pub Meet

Our first informal social get-together will be at the Compasses, Littley Green (side room) on Tuesday 8th March from 7:30p.m. onwards.Peter at Felsted Oct 2009
This is a perfect opportunity for members to get to know one another and perhaps exchange tales of the ones that got away ! Committee members will be there and very pleased to discuss any questions, suggestions or issues you’d like to air.
For those unfamiliar with the Compasses, this old country inn is not only the closest pub to our lakes, but also offers a range of fine real ales, and serves filled ‘huffers’ (a local bread speciality). Find all details on their site here.

If you are interested in attending, do let us know by emailing Peter Milner (pictured left), or by clicking the ‘leave a reply’ button on this post.