TEN Sheffield boys and girls, aged 12 to 14, have won an all-expenses-paid visit to the annual Chatsworth Angling Fair – to be held over the weekend of May 17 and 18 on the world-famed Chatsworth estate near Bakewell, Derbyshire.
Their trip is sponsored by the Chatsworth Bursary, an award provided by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and the fair’s organisers, which aims to offer an introduction to angling for children who might not otherwise get the chance.

The 10 youngsters all attend Handsworth Grange secondary school, which was nominated for the award by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Mrs Marjorie Barker, who is one of the school’s governors.
Chatsworth Angling Fair is Britain’s largest open-air show devoted solely to all branches of the sport, even including sea angling. During their day out, the children will be able to meet many of the sport’s biggest names, including four times world match champion Bob Nudd, “Passion for Angling” TV star Bob James, renowned Sheffield angling editor Jim Baxter, and former world title-holder Ian Heaps.
They will also see a cavalcade of “100 Years of Angling History”, taking spectators from some of the greatest Edwardian fishermen, appearing in appropriate costume and wielding the heavy old fishing tackle of the day, up to the latest innovations of modern times.
Characters encountered en route will include Bernard Venables’ much-loved “Mr Crabtree” and his son Peter – represented by top angling author/artist Charles Jardine and his 13-year-old son Alex (who already has a casting ability that most adult anglers would envy).
This unique display is one of several special events being staged at the fair to mark the centenaries of two bodies which have played a crucial part in promoting the sport: the Salmon and Trout Association and the National Federation of Anglers, both founded in 1903.
Under the Chatsworth Bursary scheme, Sheffield’s current Lord Mayor is invited to choose a school for the award each year. As the timing worked out, Mrs Barker was already in office when the organisers requested a choice for last year’s fair. On that occasion, she nominated Ballifield Nursery, Infant and Junior School, likewise in Handsworth ward. She was also able to attend the show with the children – the youngest ever to receive the award – but this time, to her regret, will not be free to do so.
Mrs Barker said: “I am very sorry I am unable to be with the children from Handsworth Grange school this year, as unfortunately I have prior engagements on that weekend. I really enjoyed last year’s event and I do hope all the children will have a wonderful day out this year, too. I am sure it will be a day to remember for them all.”
As it happens, however, the minibus taking the school party to Chatsworth will be driven by the man who was Sheffield’s youngest-ever Lord Mayor in 1989-90 – Cllr Tony Damms, himself a keen angler, who now works for Yorkshire’s “Safe Haven” charity.
Also accompanying the group will be one of the Handsworth Grange teachers, Barry Cartwright, a leading light of the Specialist Anglers’ Alliance (whose highly skilled members concentrate on catching fish of specimen size and are also at the forefront of angling politics).
“It’s now widely accepted that children don’t just enjoy angling but can get many other benefits from it,” Mr Damms said. “The sport keeps them off the streets, gives them greater self-confidence, and instils a lifelong appreciation of wildlife and the environment.
“Direct proof of this comes from four teenagers from Co. Durham whom the Handsworth Grange youngsters will see demonstrating their fishing abilities at Chatsworth next month. The four, aged 15 to 18, were trained under PC Mick Watson’s award-winning ‘Get Hooked on Fishing’ scheme, started originally as part of his police work to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. In its first two years, 65 of the 200-odd young people enrolled in the scheme had been classed by various official bodies as being at risk of falling into crime. Mr Watson has confirmed that, since taking up angling, not one of those 65 has got into trouble.”

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