Jack Hargreaves fishes Fiddleford Mill on the River Stour

This next expedition raises the philosophical
question of catching fish for sport or hunting anything for sport.
When I was young we didn’t have that idea we only pursued things for two reasons
either because they were pests like rats which we pursued relentlessly and had to
in the days when there were no concrete floors and the corn was all kept in sacks. Or
because they were free food like rabbits or pigeons. But when the Victorian country
gentleman raised the field-sports to a high art they introduced the idea that it was something
second-rate about trying to pursue things for food they would talk a man about a man being no more than a
blasted pot hunter I’ve never been able to see it that way myself it seems to me
the other two justifications are the stronger you take course fish for
instance which are not eating at all nowadays when I was young we caught
those for a very specific purpose which is not to provide some protein for the
chickens life was a struggle for protein for poor people and in the old days and
they kept a pig and they kept a few chicken and it was very nice to be able
to get fish protein and a man would go down to the river and he catch himself a
lot of Roach and dace and charm and he come back with a wet sack and they’d be
tipped into the copper and boiled up and then put through a grinder and mixed up
with a bit of meal for either the pig or the chickens and if you mixed it up
right you didn’t get over much fish you get you got your eggs
you had enough protein to get eggs and it was hard together and they didn’t
have a fishy fishy kind of taste nowadays that isn’t so because sea fish
comes in from the sea ever since the railways were built increasingly and
nobody has a taste anymore for the freshwater fish but the fish are caught
over and over and over again they’re put in keep Nets until the end of the day
when they can be weighed and then they’re put back in the water again on
the assumption that they have to be preserved and yet the curious thing
is very much harder to find and I start of course fish nowadays and it does when
they weren’t put back but the ones that were caught were taken away and used for
feeding pigs and chickens however we now go to a water mill I would like to show
you the water mills on our water and I said I’d try and catch a different fish
at every more at water mill we went to and this is the oldest of all the water
mills and a most beautiful place I thought she was due to carve she looks
to me as if she’s just about to start the house I say is built of local
limestone and it was built right back in Plantagenet days a remarkably beautiful
survival and beyond it is a Plantagenet Hall absolutely magnificent small
Plantagenet bore with a timber roof worthy of a cathedral and up under there
under the corrugated iron a skilled man has been working on this place restoring
it for at least two years and I hope one day I’ll be allowed in to take some
pictures and look at the millstones ever since the 11th century this bill has
been grinding corn and a number of mill stones they must have worn out in that
time it’s absolutely amazing there can you imagine anything more beautiful Ned
and yet here on the mill barn are the participants for cattle foods for the
last family of Miller’s who had it who still live instead nearby and took their
stuff out by horse wagons long after anybody else did and at a
place on the wall an ancient Miller secretary centuries ago had a noticed
calf to all who came by the English Tech the English script is so difficult I
thought at first it was in Latin but you can read it he that will have anything
done let him come friendly and he should be welcome a friend to the owner an
enemy to no man pass all here friendly become as they can and so far so on for
quite a long time and that lad has caught a chump incidentally he’s had to
who would have been perfectly normal in the days
this mill was first milling nowadays it’s silent and the water which was
given power for 11th centuries rests absolutely still but it remains an
absolutely beautiful place to be and for people to come quietly to fish the last
time I went to a water mill in my attempt to catch a variety of fish one
at each mill i caught eels which is very nice because I like jellied eels
this time it appears that the chubber on the feed so that’s what we have a go for my goodness everything seems to be
giving birth here she was dutiful when I was last along over there I think under
the bank just along the edge so there’s water that is well Philippian a little
groundbait with the catapult and I’ll see what we can do about a job and I think you’d be lying by the water
with this so if we chuck a little bit upstream of that and let the float come
down across the front what would you believe it first time we can keep this up at the other places
and a chub it is there for all to see well you see
there’s the point Isaac Walton if you have read that books pretty difficult to
read and I have viewers it’s a really a very boring book but it is the earliest
main work on fishing in the days of Isaac Walton one of the things you’ll
remember if you have read it that he eats everything he catches and he even
eats sharp I remember his instructions for cooking it and it contains an awful
lot of flavorings of herbs and so it should because by modern standards
chav are absolutely inedible somebody said quite rightly that they taste like
wet cotton wool full of pins and yet the fact of the matter is that alone is
absolutely no justification to go pot hunting for chubby
it isn’t a marvellous anglers fish because he takes all kinds of baits in
all kinds of with us at all seasons and he’s a very reliable quarry for the
sport fishermen so what do you say about it I reckon the answer is that everybody
has to keep his own conscience clear yeah if you enjoyed this program please
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44 thoughts on “Jack Hargreaves fishes Fiddleford Mill on the River Stour

  1. I've said it before but that theme music takes me back to a better time, take it easy.

  2. Can’t believe it’s been over 25 years since we lost Jack. I still miss him.

  3. That young man had a pike Mr Hargreaves…..🤭.
    Loved watching his programmes as a kid.

  4. Last year I was sea fishing at a popular Devon beach and I stopped to chat to a chap fishing who was using some old tackle. I commented that it was good to see someone using a Mitchell 300 reel to which he said " Yes, both the rod and reel belonged to my uncle, his name was Jack Hargreaves, don't know if you've ever heard of him?" Think Jack was an inspiration to many young lads, most definitely me included. 😁

  5. Always loved the programme I was a child but can still remember the music but Jack's eyes must have been going that lad was carrying a jack pike not a chub great upload


    This is one of three videos Jack made on water mills near where he lived in Dorset. The videos Cut Mill, Fiddleford Mill and Sturminster Mill featured in Old Country series 1 broadcast in 1983 on Channel 4 TV. If you would like to learn more about Jack and his programmes (both Out of Town and Old Country) please visit my web site https://daveknowles.net/jacks-country/ . 
    Also if you would like to see more programmes please subscribe and hit the bell if you want notification when I post new videos.
    All the best
    Dave – Producer of Old Country for Channel 4 Television.

  7. thanks again for posting up these clips…i had hair like the lad when i started fishing mid seventies but we never thought about taking a chub..grayling or trout yes..

  8. I'm really enjoying watching these episodes again after so much time has passed!

  9. This is one of my local mills. I live near the Stour very close to where Jack lived. I'm retracing his angling steps 37 years later…
    Still a beautiful place.

  10. Thanks Dave a rare treat to watch this with my tea! Haven't done that for a few decades 😁

  11. What ever happened to those days when you just took one rod and reel , a few floats and a tin of maggots instead of the van full of gear we all take now? I still don’t catch any more fish 😂 great video Dave 👍

  12. Thanks Dave, just brought back memories of me as a young lad sat with my Dad watching Jack. Lovely.

  13. What a treasure, Jack was. Also, in these days of political and snowflake 'catch and release', his musings on the theme hit the nail on the head. I'm a game fishermen, coming back to the sport after 25 years, and the Environment Agency has got game anglers on the run, guilt ridden, pressurised to put every salmon and sea trout back, despite the angler being one of the best conservationists for decades. Meanwhile the Environment Agency allows the wholesale murder of salmon and sea trout stocks off river mouths with drift netting, as they did 25 plus years ago. Something tells, me, this will be my last season paying their rod licence fee.

  14. Not much peace at Fiddleford since the water turbine was installed. I don't rememeber seeing any of these Old Country programmes when they came out. The Out of Town programmes I'd love to see again dates from 1973 and has Jack fihing with Owen Wentworth and Phil Coles.

  15. Dave, cheers, another corker….thanks for sharing with the people that remember and hopefully the young'uns who hadn't encountered Jack before.

  16. I used to watch Out of Town religiously when I was young. Also around about the same time was another programme called Kites Country, hosted by Ollie Kite. These were some of my fondest childhood memories.

  17. I love Jack goes fishing videos..for 10 minutes i was a boy again …many thanks Dave

  18. What a lovely program brilliant presenter real content no car chases or shootouts delightful

  19. If your ever having a bad day and cant unwind I recommend watching these videos! I cant think of anything more relaxing than Jack's voice and some fishing.

  20. Remember always trying to get tea finished in time for "Out of Town" , loved them all and he didn't mess about with political correctness so if mink needed culling he showed them being culled, sure he avoided the nitty gritty but at least kids grew up knowing how the countryside was managed. Programmes of today like "Countryfile" are about as misleading as can be and never tackle the tricky subjects of pest/vermin control in the countryside and kids grow up thinking its all "pink n fluffy" here.. I detest it now, all we have is Gender/political correctness and how long before we have a transgender interviewer or farmer on the programme.

  21. Fiddleford Mill is a wonderful spot for fishing. In low water or high, the chub will always feed and is available on a day ticket. Jack was a pioneer of ‘country type’ tv and portrayed beautifully the English countryside.

  22. Really enjoyed this…

    Someone mentioned Mitchell reels,well I still use a 300 and a 3.0.0 boomerang check,love those reels…

    I get comments about them,but remember,its not the tackle in use,its the angler behind the tackle…👍

  23. Wonder what Jack would make of the modern angler with his carp cradles, un- hooking mats and bait boats

  24. Fiddleford Mill – still as beautiful as when Jack visited. A pre-season checkout June 11th last year – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU5kylQfeLI

  25. I spent the 70s coarse fishing a tiny river, float n maggots, keep nét full of mixed fishes…. Joyful childhood, back in the day Jack was the only fishing on TV…

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