Dartford lakes

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Mr B
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by Mr B »

I read this before work this morning and now have managed the link to. "Well worth a read!"
Very interesting... the old gravel pits really do come with a fine pedigree of anglers.
I only fished Horton Kerby a couple of times despite being so close. Carp then didn't interest me but they do now.
I was a member of Halls Angling Club at Daranth, 1973 ish, as a youngster, just round the corner from the above. (Might have been ready mixed concrete, RMC then?) but didn't include Dartford lakes.
We were living in Peckham then but it was only a 45 minutes drive in my dads Austin A35 van!
We often had the lakes to ourselves on summer midweek evenings catching big perch.
I thought this was interesting in the link, above written by Chris Ball about the lakes and enjoyed this re Jack Hilton....
"An insight into the how good the fishing could be at Brooklands in the mid-1960s was documented by no less a carp luminary than Jack Hilton, who wrote of it under the synonym of Goodwood lake. In his classic ‘Quest for Carp’ book he tells us, “Goodwood Lake had treated me very well. During the first full season I fished there (1964) I had been fortunate enough to take thirty-six carp in all, twenty-three of them being 10lb and over, and doubling the number of double-figure carp that I had taken during several seasons in the past at other venues.”

Yes, interesting reading.

Mr B
The close season is an important and interesting time for the Angler who set out to catch big fish. It is a timely opportunity for him to make new tackle or renovate old. There are no end of jobs to do, apart from those horrible things called Gardens!

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SussexMan
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by SussexMan »

Used to catch the Greenline double-decker in the evening (after work in St Pauls Cray) from St Mary Cray to the Orange Tree pub and walk down Powder Mill lane to fish Slaughterhouse Bay. Saw my first ever 20lb carp (a 21lb mirror) caught from the R. Darent side of Baldwins lake. Sometimes it was just an evening trip and while waiting at the bus-stop going home, used to buy a bag of chips from the nearby chip shop... hugely exciting, happy days. Can taste the salt and vinegar even now!
One other memory, once, the Greenline bus conductress was an ARP warden in World War 2 and she pointed out every house on the bus journey that had been destroyed by Hitler's flying bombs.

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John Milford
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by John Milford »

SussexMan wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 1:39 pm Used to catch the Greenline double-decker in the evening (after work in St Pauls Cray) from St Mary Cray to the Orange Tree pub and walk down Powder Mill lane to fish Slaughterhouse Bay. Saw my first ever 20lb carp (a 21lb mirror) caught from the R. Darent side of Baldwins lake. Sometimes it was just an evening trip and while waiting at the bus-stop going home, used to buy a bag of chips from the nearby chip shop... hugely exciting, happy days. Can taste the salt and vinegar even now!
One other memory, once, the Greenline bus conductress was an ARP warden in World War 2 and she pointed out every house on the bus journey that had been destroyed by Hitler's flying bombs.
Great memories SM. Isn't it amazing how seemingly inconsequential details, like the taste of chips and the wartime reminisces of a bus conductress, stay etched in the memory and can be conjured up, years later, by the mere mention of a lake? Marvelous! :Thumb:

Thanks for sharing them. :Hat:
A seeker of "the fell tyrant of the liquid plain".

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Mr B
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by Mr B »

It's funny,
When my kids were younger I hit hard times for a few months and took on a horrible job in Powder Mill lane industrial estate ( 1987) then that lovely storm came and got me back into tree work!
I walked out that job, picked up my chain saw and the rest is history.
I never did get to fish those lakes.
Perhaps I should just for historical reasons, but what I can see of it, its not the best of settings.
But reading your post has been very interesting.

Mr B
The close season is an important and interesting time for the Angler who set out to catch big fish. It is a timely opportunity for him to make new tackle or renovate old. There are no end of jobs to do, apart from those horrible things called Gardens!

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Treeman
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by Treeman »

Reading the posts have brought back many memories, I probably will never get back down that way again being in North Yorkshire now, it has been wonderful to hear other peoples stories of around the same time.

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Ian.R.McDonald
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by Ian.R.McDonald »

From my house for 10 years I could see the tree tops in the Darenth complex in the 80s.
With anglers staying in the same swim for 3 months, newspaper and milk deliveries to several bivvies and most carp over 20lb having their own name- I am very happy to be fishing 150 miles north.
Nice and quiet but occasionally I still get strange looks for my Mitchells and original Delkims😅

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Peter Wilde
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by Peter Wilde »

I fished Brooklands Lakes a dozen or so times in 1970. Once I’d heard about it I could get there from home in Bexley by the 401 bus. That was conveniently door to door (almost) but it was about a 4 mile walk when I wanted to arrive early, before the buses started running. I did do that a few times, as didn’t have much kit to carry in those days. Once I’d cottoned on to the then hot method of a floating crust, anchored by a lead and cast out to the middle, I caught 3 carp - to nearly 19lb. Unfortunately that year was also the time my family moved down to Sussex. I haven’t been back; these days I’m more keen on rural surroundings when I go fishing.

This is what the lake looked like in the summer of 1970:

Image

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SussexMan
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by SussexMan »

Many thanks John M. for your kind words.
The pinnacle of my time there was a 15 lb common taken from the margin of Slaughterhouse bay in the drought years of the mid 1970s. I was so over-excited to land it that I tried to photograph it before the sun had properly risen; three days later all that was visible on the film,, once developed, was blurry shape in the dawn murk...
One last memory of the lakes is the abundance of cats patrolling the banks throughout the darkness. They were utterly silent so you had to be concentrating on the footpath to detect them. Often they would glide invisible within inches of your chair, unbeknown to you. Sometimes patients from the Bexley 'institution' would be escorted round the lakes for 'therapy' reasons. One was caught knocking on a tree, awaiting a reply. After a night's blanking, I knew how the poor mite felt...

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RBTraditional
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by RBTraditional »

I fished at Brooklands just the once when I was around 13 years old 1975/76? Kev’s dad Pat had picked me up in his Lotus Elan + 2, quite why he didn’t take his Jaguar I’ll never know? But the three of us remarkably managed to squeeze in with our baskets and rods…!
When we arrived the weather had changed from calm and bright to squally rain. Within the first hour my new fishing umbrella had taken off and was floating upside down in the lake, I remember being quite distraught. Quick thinking by Kev saved it from becoming another piece of tackle laying on the bottom (I’d heard the stories of rods being towed in, never to be seen again), he tied on a spinner and caught it first cast and we managed to recover it thankfully. Upon returning home though and opening the boot of the Elan it was crawling with maggots Kev bless him went from being the hero of the day to the sinner, he hadn’t secured the lid on his bait tub….Pat was not happy! :whistle: :Hide:
" Angling is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it..."

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Ian.R.McDonald
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Re: Dartford lakes

Post by Ian.R.McDonald »

RBTraditional wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 7:02 am I fished at Brooklands just the once when I was around 13 years old 1975/76? Kev’s dad Pat had picked me up in his Lotus Elan + 2, quite why he didn’t take his Jaguar I’ll never know? But the three of us remarkably managed to squeeze in with our baskets and rods…!
When we arrived the weather had changed from calm and bright to squally rain. Within the first hour my new fishing umbrella had taken off and was floating upside down in the lake, I remember being quite distraught. Quick thinking by Kev saved it from becoming another piece of tackle laying on the bottom (I’d heard the stories of rods being towed in, never to be seen again), he tied on a spinner and caught it first cast and we managed to recover it thankfully. Upon returning home though and opening the boot of the Elan it was crawling with maggots Kev bless him went from being the hero of the day to the sinner, he hadn’t secured the lid on his bait tub….Pat was not happy! :whistle: :Hide:
" Loads of trouble usually serious" was the nickname for the cars- my Dad worked alongside Colin Chapman at British Aluminium

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