The Origins of Hull & DAA

The history of many of the large Amalgamations or Associations begins in a similar way. But over the years the term ‘Amalgamation’ has gone out of fashion and has often been lost through name changes. For example Birmingham & District Amalgamated Angling Association has become the Birmingham Anglers Association. Similarly, the Hull Amalgamated Anglers’ Association nowadays is known as the Hull & District Anglers’ Association.

Prior to ‘Amalgamations’ there were angling clubs. These were small groups of individuals who got together and invited others to join their club or society. Often they were centred around a public house or a place of work. They began in the early 1800s and took off as the decade progressed. The latter part of that 19th century and early 20th century being the golden years when they existed in very considerable numbers. Amalgamations and Association allowed these small membership clubs a way of representing anglers and angling with a larger, more powerful voice and lobby.

The case of the Hull Amalgamated Anglers’ Association followed a similar early path to many other Amalgamations in the late 1800s. In 1868 John Cheeseman, W.H Barker, Mr Hildyard, Mr Chapman and Mr Ward formed the Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Angling Society. There followed the Universal AC in 1872. Then we had the Hull Roach Club formed in 1877 with their headquarters at the Victoria Hotel on Anlaby Road. John Cheesman was one of the main promoters of angling clubs in the Hull area, closely assisted by W.H. Barker. Cheeseman was a builder and surveyor by trade, and wrote the “Angling Notes” in the Hull Critic newspaper under the name of Piscator. W.H. Barker was a law clerk and worked in Bishop Lane.

The Hull Amalgamated Anglers’ Association was originally formed on the 2nd November 1892. The first President was F. Jordan and the first Secretary was George William Schofield. He was a clerk and lived in Trinity Street.

In 1898 some of the clubs affiliated to the Hull Amalgamated Anglers’ Association were: Derringham, Red Lion, North Myton, Central Hull, River Hull, Minerva, Sheffield Arms, Osborne, Imperial, Victoria, Newington, Wednesday, City, Grapes, Waltonian, Amos and Smiths, Navigation, St. Georges, Marlborough and the Duke of York.

In June 1895 the Hull Angling Preservation Society was formed under the following circumstances. A pond in Mill Lane was being drained for clay extraction and several anglers from the River Hull AC and Imperial AC approached the Hull AAA with the suggestion that they should mount a fish rescue. The Hull AAA declined to become involved and so anglers from the River Hull, Universal, Victoria and Imperial angling clubs obtained permission from the pond owner (Mr Fawcett of Leeds) to net the fish. They also contacted the owner of a pond of about 4-acres at Wheeler Street, in Hull, and gained agreement to release the fish and entered into an arrangement to rent the pond. A meeting was called of anglers interested in these proposals with the result that the Preservation was formed. The president was John Dickinson, the vice-president was J. Wilson, secretary C. Wurr and the treasurer G. Dixon. The netting obtained 2300 roach, perch and bream that were transferred to the Wheeler Street pond. The Preservation also soon obtained the fishing on the Kingston Model Yacht Club pond at Inglemire Lane.

It would be fair to assume that the Hull AAA may have felt that the Preservation was stepping on their toes, and indeed there is evidence that some animosity did exist. At the annual Yorkshire Anglers’ Conference in Sheffield, in 1897, Mr Barker, representing Hull AAA, proposed that Hull Angling and Preservation Society should not be allowed to attend future Conferences. The motion was however defeated.

In an attempt to resolve their difficulties, the president of the Preservation Society, John Dickinson, at the annual dinner of the Universal AC in February 1897 referred to the relationship between the Preservation and Hull Amalgamated Anglers’ Association as such: “With regard to the Preservation Society, of which I had the honour to be one of the promoters, I beg leave to take the opportunity of correcting an erroneous idea prevalent with a certain section of anglers throughout the town, that the Society was formed with the direct intention of acting detrimental to the Hull Amalgamation, and I desire it to go forth to the angling community of Hull that the Preservation Society was formed simply and purely to promote the interests of anglers generally, and so long as it exists I hope and trust without fear, that such will always be the aim and object of the Society.”

They ran as separate organisations for several years, initially competing over obtaining local fishing, but with the Preservation being more involved in fish rescues, nettings and the purchase of fish. They both entered teams for the National Angling Championship for many years. The Preservation were leasing Market Weighton Canal from the Market Weighton Drainage & Navigation Commissioners in 1899 (the original lease still exists). But by 1902 they were sharing it with the Hull Association. In the 1950s the two organisations also rented several local drains together.

An organisation named the Hull Anglers’ Joint Committee was functioning in the 1950s, but certainly existed in some form much earlier, and was a way in which the two organisations could administer the renting and use of the waters between themselves. From 1957 to 1969 the secretary of the Joint Committee was Frank Wilson.

Ken Bone became the secretary of Hull & DAAA in 1969 and admirably held the reins for many years until health issues caused him to retire in 1982. When Ken took over as secretary, the following clubs were affiliated to the Association: Balta House, Walton, EHSH, British Oil & Cake Mills, River Hull, Fish Trades, Hollis Bros., Regency, Longcroft, Rising Sun, Bilton Grange, Angel Hotel, Humber St. Andrews, Southcoates Piscatorials, Willows, Hull Brewery, Sissons, North Eastern Gas Board, Albert, Hessle Ex Service, Fire Brigade, Milton, New Blacksmiths, Reckitts, Ideal Standard, Ranks, Wm. Jacksons, Bay Horse, British Rail S.A. Trades & Labour, Hangar, Northgate, Waterworks, Trinity, Ambassador, Kennings.

Brandesburton ponds were first formally leased by Hoveringham Gravel to Hull & DAAA and Hull Angling Preservation Society jointly in April 1966 for £900 annually (but they had rented the fishing earlier, probably by verbal arrangement in the late 1950s for £15 per year). I think by the early 1970s the Preservation had ceased to exist and its interests had been absorbed within the Hull & DAAA.

At some stage the original name of Hull Amalgamated Anglers’ Association had the “District” bit added and we became the Hull & District Amalgamated Anglers’ Association, which was an even bigger mouthful. In 1973 a bit of common sense came to the fore and a name change again was formulated and we finally became known as the Hull & District Anglers’ Association.

One of the very earliest clubs in Hull was the Universal Angling Society and was principally composed of the former members of the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire AA that had ceased to exist the previous year. It had a large membership for the time (1873) of 80, with an annual subscription of 8 shillings. The secretary was W.H. Barker.

There was also the Hull Roach Club that started in 1877 but morphed into the River Hull A.A. in 1899. The first secretary was A. Whitehead, but was replaced by William Edward Hay in 1913. His son, William (Billy) Hay, took over the role in 1925 and continued in various positions until he retired in 1958. The following year Billy passed away. His funeral was well attended by members of the local angling community, not least because Billy had been an active member of Hull & DAA for 36 years and the president for 12 years. The River Hull club continued until 1962. [Copyright Kevin Clifford].

Top left: Billy Hay, the president of Hull & DAAA for 12 years. Top right: Hull & DAAA’s National winning team in 1938. Bottom left: The River Hull club setting out for a match. Bottom right: The Hull Preservation’s National winning team in 1954.