Horace the fisherman and gourmet
Dad was a keen fisherman and he would often take me with him
on his forays into darkest Shropshire.
Dad had no transport save his bike and so we would often
set out very early in the morning, walking to the Levedale dairy
yard in Trysull road where we would cadge a lift on a lorry that
was due to go out to the farms to collect the milk.
The driver would drop us off in some remote part of
Shropshire. After a
long mornings fishing, the train usually made the return
journey, in those days; the trains still ran to the small towns
and villages of the county.
Even at that early age the steam engine held a
fascination for me as great as any and the return journey would
be as enjoyable as the outward trip.
If I were lucky, the iron horse would be a hall, king,
grange or castle that ran on British railways western region.
These kings of the railways were often built or
maintained in the sheds of Wolverhampton.
Sadly the onset of diesel locomotives and the dastardly
Dr Beeching all but destroyed these country branch lines.
Not only did dad find fishing enjoyable but sometimes
nourishing as well.
Following the war, times were still relatively hard for the
majority of the working population.
There was little spare money about and some items were still
either scarce or rationed.
One of his favourite dishes was jellied-eels. These he would catch in the river Severn, usually at Atcham
during a night session, and once caught the eels would be kept
in an old pillowcase until they were ceremoniously handed over
to mother for cooking.
Personally I always thought they were thoroughly
revolting and I could never bring myself to at them.
Another of dad’s specialities was curry.
He had served in India and Burma during the war and
developed a taste for curry that in many ways was years ahead of
the curry and lager generation.
He had his own recipe and neither mother, or myself were
allowed in the kitchen during his culinary activities.
Now these, I did enjoy although the after effects were
sometimes quite alarming.