The All-England Angling Championship
- Theme - Sport
- Year - 1912
- Location - Cambridge
- Filmmaker - Warwick Trading Company
The film opens with a panoramic view of the River Great Ouse, the main waterway in the Fens. The distinctive outline of Ely cathedral, known locally as, “The Ship of the Fens” dominates the horizon as a steam train passes by.
The film's titles suggest that 240 competitors were lining the banks to take part in this important national fishing event. Some fisherman are filming landing their catch. The gentleman conducting the weigh-in has been identified as Mr Meadows. The weight of fish caught determined who would win the competition. The overall winner in 1912 was a local man, George Beales from nearby Boston, who poses proudly with his catch in the film.
Fishing had become an immensely popular sport and hobby for all social classes following the publication of Izaak Walton’s influential book “The Compleat Angler” in 1653. The result was an increase in the number of fishing clubs and competitions formed around the UK. This competition was clearly considered sufficiently important to warrant film coverage. It is a good record of fishing equipment and sporting dress in the early 1900’s.
The reference to the Band of Hope in the titles at the beginning of the film may simply be an amusing way of describing the optimism of the competitors as they prepare to fish. Alternatively, the competition may have been held in association with the Band of Hope organisation –a temperance group dedicated to the education of the population about the harmful effects - both moral and physical - of alcohol consumption. The Band of Hope organisation may have been advocating fishing as a healthy recreational activity.
EAFA CAT 544