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Fred French MBE - RIP

18.05.11

Fred French

We are very sorry to report the death of Fred French MBE after a long illness on Sunday 15th May 2011 at 5.00 p.m.

Fred had been a lifelong stalwart of angling from his early days in London, onto the River Lee and then into the North West.

Fred French, MBE FIFM, of Ambleside, Cumbria, was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in the New Year Honours List 2002 for services to angling, conservation and disabled anglers.

Fred was 78 and a retired insurance broker. He retired from Ware, Hertfordshire to Ambleside, Cumbria in 1985. His last business position was as Operations Director with national network of more than 120 retail insurance branches.

He had been a keen angler from the age of nine, first fishing the River Lee in north London. He left school at age 14 to train as carpenter/joiner and joined the RAF as Senior Aircraftman Organisation Clerk and served from 1950-52.

Fred started a new career as insurance agent, District Inspector then went into insurance broking apart from short period in early 1960s when he worked full time as Assistant Secretary to the then 48,000 membership London Anglers' Association. He held LAA posts of Trustee, Treasurer,
Chairman Bailiffs' Panel and Fisheries Committee.

He was secretary of Edmonton & Tottenham Angling Society but resigned in 1964 to set up the highly successful match fishing group Defiant Angling Society, which later became Defiant Mobile.

He was elected to the Executive Committee of the National Anglers' Council (NAC) in 1969 to represent London and South East England and served on Finance, Public Relations, Angling Education and Development (Chairman), Disabled Anglers', Re-organisation and Water Privatisation committees. He was on the NAC Exec. from 1969 to 1990 when NAC was dissolved.

In 1973 Fred was appointed, by the Secretary of State, to represent angling and fisheries on the Water Space Amenity Commission, (WSAC) with responsibility for advising the new Water Authorities on their duties to recreation and conservation. He served on WSAC for its entire life, from  1973-1984.

He was founder and main driver in the setting up of Lee Valley Anglers' Consultative Association, Thames Fisheries Consultative Council and several other angling and fisheries consultative bodies in London and the south east.

He served on the Thames Water Fisheries, Recreation, Conservation and Flood Defence Committees between 1968 and 1986, and was Vice Captain of the 1974 Hertfordshire Federation National Angling Championships Team silver medalists for third place in the 1st Division Championships on the River Welland.

He was founder and until very recently the organiser of both the annual Water Industry National Coarse Angling and Water Industry Fly Fishing Championships, member of the Environment Agency North West Region Fisheries, Ecology and Recreation, Area Environment Group and North Area Flood Defence Committees, member of United Utilities Conservation, Access and Recreation Committee (CARAC), Chairman of Furness & South Cumbria Fisheries Consultative Association and South Cumbria & North Lancashire Branch of the Salmon & Trout Association, founder and Chairman of both the North West Fisheries Consultative Council and the Lakeland Fly Dressers' Guild, Fellow of the Institute of Fisheries Management (FIFM) and Vice Chairman of the IFM North West Branch, Member of the National Council and Member Services Director of the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC), Member of Council and the Executive Committee of the Anglers' Conservation Association (ACA), individual member of the National Trust, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Countryside Alliance, Friends of the Lake District, Anglers' Conservation Association, The Wild Trout Trust, Freshwater Biological Association, The Fly Dressers' Guild, The Salmon & Trout Association, National Federation of Anglers, The Caravan Club, Camping and Caravanning Club and supporter of the Langdale, Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team.

Fred was a keen fly fisher, fell walker and motor caravanner, past Chairman of Ambleside Civic Trust and past Chairman of Ambleside Probus Club.  He was also President or Vice President and Life Member of many major angling organisations.

Fred will be sadly missed by his many friends at the Angling Trust and in the world of angling and fisheries.


The funeral will take place on 1st June. There will be a cremation service at 10.15 at Lancaster which will be attended by family members only. Family flowers only please but Donations if so wished to St. John's Hospice, Lancaster.

The funeral will be followed by a Thanksgiving Service for all to attend at 1 p.m. at St Mary's Church, Millans Park, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9AD and then refreshments at 2 p.m at Rothay Manor Hotel, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EH

If you wish to attend the memorial service please email Judith Clarke using fredfrenchmemorial@anglingtrust.net so that adequate arrangements can be made. Thank you.

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
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