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Reeling in the history of sea angling

David Chamberlain reels in his new book
David Chamberlain reels in his new book

A glimpse into the angling past of Deal, as well as an insight into the boatmen’s trials and tribulations of survival, are all packed into a new book by David Chamberlain.

Deal and Walmer’s Piscatorial Past features many fascinating photos to take the reader back to a hey-day now lost, mostly due to changes in laws and regulations.

Mr Chamberlain, 69, first picked up a rod when he was five and was a full-time boatman for 40 years, now enjoying a quieter life in retirement.

He said: “My passion for angling and the sea has provided me with a living throughout my working life.

“Sadly many of the local skippers have passed away and the hardships to eke out a living from the beach have not appealed to the younger generation. When I retired I became the last full time, licensed charter skipper from Walmer and now there is only one charter skipper working from Deal beach. Many years ago the town could offer boat places for up to 200 anglers and it would not be unusual to see more than 50 boats at sea accommodating them.”

Mr Chamberlain has already written six books and said he hopes it will capture and bring back many memories. He consulted his old working diaries in his research, which gave him a nostalgic trip into the past and recalled many happy times.

He said: “I still like to cast a line at least once a week and will do so until I am no longer able to. This is my last book although I would like to continue with short stories for the Mercury’s Those Were The Days.”

* For full story and pictures from the book see the East Kent Mercury's page two, Thursday, October 10 edition.

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