UFO over Dunwear, Being Graced by the Mighty Des Shipp.

In nearly 50 years of fishing I have only seen a copper once at Dunwear ponds and ironically it was in my first season way way back in the summer of 1975. I was fishing in South pond in the swim which is now known as No Carp Bay with my much beloved Dad. We were both fishing away when we heard some one approach from behind, both turning around we saw this police constable wearing what I persume was summer attire. Not a tunic which was the mainstay of police uniform at the time, but owing to the warmth of the day just donned a white shirt with tie and a flat police cap. He didn’t say any thing he just passed on by. “Must be after some one” Dad remarked. About five minutes later the same copper returned and passed by our swim once more without a word. Nothing was thought of this little episode again. Until the following Tuesday when the local rag the Bridgwater Mercury came out. Dad was sat on the couch when he heard me come in. “Hey Pete have a look at this” and duly handed me the latest edition of the above said publication and pointed to an article on the front page. That’s what that copper was probably up to at Dunwear for.

The article on the front page of the Bridgwater Mercury

Now for all you people who like me who has been hooked on that fabulous Tv series on BBC1, Happy Valley on Sunday evenings I wonder if the copper we saw back then was the fore runner of PC Gorkem Tekeli. This poor sod had fallen victim to a prank instigated by Sgt Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) to apply for the position that is listed in the picture below.

During late summer last year Somerset Angling organised what is now their annual Durleigh feastival held over 4 days. There were 4 sections, 3 sections at Durleigh Reservoir and one section at Dunwear on the big pond. The sections were fished on a rotation basis. The feastival itself was graced with some of the countrys top anglers. One of the stars of the show was the well known angler Des Shipp. When its was Des’s turn to fish Dunwear, lucky for us he made a video of it. Des was drawn on the swim in big pit called Helicopter. As angling videos go this is up there with the very best . It is well produced, informative, and presented. It is well worth viewing all the way through to the end. Do yourselves a favour. Watch it.

This swim (helicopter) where fishing at Dunwear is concerned is embedded in angling folk lore. It used to be known as the headland or the spit owing to the way it protruded out in to the pond. At one stage way back and I mean way back and we’re talking the 1960’s and 70’s it was the most popular swim in Dunwear. This popularity did however cause some problems. During this period anglers used to come from as far as the midlands and beyond to fish Dunwear and would go out of their way to make a beeline for this swim. Once occupied they would stay in the swim for up to a week or more to the annoyance of other anglers. News of the anglers irritation got back to the committee of Bridgwater Angling Association who duly implemented a new ruling, one could only stay in the same swim for 24 hours. This ruling lasted for a few seasons until the problem evaporated, and now has been recinded for many years.

Saturday the 4th of February just gone a small works party which consisted of Paul Owens (Bill), Grant Booth, Matt Parr, Andy Hooper (Rips) and yours truly set ourselves a task of improving the Railway pit at Dunwear for fishing. The two main tasks were cutting back the bushes and brambles behind the pallets on the Railway bank to aid casting and the use of the pole. Also clearing under growth behind the swim called High Up. The purpose of this was to allow the wind access to the water for the purpose of oxygenation. The Railway pond as many will now probably know has been earmarked for match fishing and tuition for junior anglers. It’s a case of watch this space.

Andy, Matt and Bill.
The brambles and bushes were cleared from behind the pallets on Railway pond.
The pallets on Railway pond taken from near the entrance on Sedgemoor road.

I would like take this opportunity to advertise the fact that there is a works party over Dunwear on the first Saturday of every month. Every one is most welcome. It is also a chance to meet the water management team and some members of the Bridgwater Angling Committee and have a friendly chat about future goings on about the club and plans for the Dunwear complex. Folks we don’t bite.

In true Bugs Bunny it just remains to say

Thanks all folks

Pete C.

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