View Full Version : the leney lagacy,,,

jonny vegas
20-10-2011, 02:05
The Leney Legacy.

As some of you are awear we have in Pit's One and Two a small number of leney carp.Therefore when I read this artical in the Anglers Mail I wrote and asked if I could repeat it here for you. Thanks to Anglers mail I Can.

Ever wondered where the Carp came from that inspired the boom in Carp Angling. Many of the most famous carp fisheries and plenty of the most notable carp in the country are a direct result of one mans passion for carp.
A non-angling fish farmer working for the Surrey Trout Farm from 1923, Donald Leney almost single handedly sowed the seeds of some of the most magnificent carp and carp waters that have been seen in this country.
Donald travelled to Holland where he hand picked fast growing Galician strain of carp to bring back to England. They were indeed stunning fish, characterised by a long torpedo like body shape, heavy scaling and deep colours. These Galician strain carp, now referred to as Lene carp, have played a key role in the making of our carp heritage.
Donald Leney's carp went everywhere from Billling Aquadrome in Northamptonshire to Frensham Small Pond in Surrey to the mighty Savay in the Colne Valley.
But Redmire Pool, the most famous of all our carp waters benefited from Donald,s love of Galician carp like no other. In 1934, some 50 5 to 8 inch carp were introduced to the three-acre pond in Heretfordshire to try and control the weed.
In 1951 Bob Richards landed a 31lb 4oz mirror from the pool, the first of three consecutive British records from Redmire. Then on September 13 1952 **** Walker, the father of modern specimen fishing landed one of the few commons from the 1934 stocking - a 44 pounder he called Ravioli (later Clarissa). The giant claimed the British record untill the opening day of the 1980 season when another Leney giant - a 51lb 8oz linear- was caught by Chris Yates. Three consecutive record breakers came from 50 small carp, not all of which would have made it to adulthood - a remarkable statistic.
Another legacy of Donald's carp is their longevity. Until its sad death during the 2003/4 season another Redmire mirror carp first caught in 1961 - was thought to be the oldest documented carp caught in the U k , aged over 70 years and also suspected to have been part of the 1934 introduction.
It is suspected that Redmire pool still holds the crown for the oldest living carp in this country, another of of Donald Leney's amazing babies. A linear mirror, the last survivor from the original stocking from 1934 and probably spawned in 1932 is now if still alive as I write an amazing 73 years old. Although not banked for a decade, untill last year was known to be still swiming around this historical venue and is thought to be around 40lb.
Over a 25 year period up until 1956 there were hundereds of thousands of Galician carp imported and stocked throughout the U K, most delivered by rail. Many were stocked into unsuitable venues and fell by the wayside.
Through his beloved Galician's that prospered, Donald Leney perhaps contributed more to modern carp angling than any other.

This artical was originally written by Colin Davidson for Anglers Mail.

I have posted this information here so that should you be lucky enough to catch one from our waters you will understand that we would like you to take great care when handling and return it for others to see and possibly catch another day. It is not known where our stocking came from but they are not young fish that is for sure.

jonny vegas
20-10-2011, 02:07
The King Carp Waters is written by carp historian, Chris Ball, and tells the story of the Donald Leney stockings of Galician strain carp into a number of (now) famous waters in the 1930`s and 50`s. The book looks at 6 venues in detail: Redmire (of course!), Frensham, Billing Aquadome, Savay, The Army Lake and, the odd one out, The Electricity Cut on the River Nene at Peterborough. As a by-product, this book also stands as a testament to the development of modern carp fishing from **** Walker, who started out using a bait that Izaak would have recognised (bread dipped in honey), to the birth of the boilie.

Nearly a third of the book is dedicated to Redmire and it was this chapter that I was most interested in. Chris must be praised for his meticulous research and the style of the book is factual and down to earth. He will often quote from his original source material, so the story of Clarissa`s capture for example is told in **** Walker`s own words. (As an aside the name Clarissa was thought up by a journalist - **** wanted to call it Ravioli!).

Chris`s matter of fact style makes some of the revelations about Redmire all the more shocking. The standards of fish care in the 1950`s would cause uproar if practised today. Many of the early captures didn`t survive the experience! The victims of incompetence or vanity. The first 30 to be caught was gaffed (twice!), there being no net big enough. The next biggest fish (a 28lber) was removed to a water in Hitchin where it promptly expired. Two big fish (a 31 and a 25 ) died in inappropriate sacks, and another 25lb was taken away to be set up. The fish that was to become known as The Bishop and the new British record when Chris Yates caught it was actually once taken in a wet sack to the nearby village to be weighed - the anglers not having brought a big enough set of scales. Given that there were only 50 carp put into Redmire, anglers in the 50`s literally (as in 1 in 10!) decimated the original stock. It makes **** Walker`s efforts to get a still living fish to London Zoo seem positively enlightened! All this Chris reports dispassionately and without comment.

King Carp WatersI do have one big criticism with this chapter though. All the early legends pertaining to Redmire are faithfully reported. There`s the story of the HUGE (58lb) stranded mirror - rescued, weighed and released by Walker, and there`s a copy of the famous Eddie Price photo showing a leviathan of perhaps 60-70lb. But the story ends in the late 60`s. Of Yates`s capture - the first fish over 50lb and the third British record from the water - surely Redmire`s finest hour, there isn`t one word - just a single colour plate. I found it very strange that a story of Redmire didn`t contain this tale. I finished the chapter disappointed and feeling cheated that the full story of this extraordinary water hadn`t been told. A circle had been left incomplete.

The rest of the book may be described thus: tales of dedicated (and often secretive) men spending huge amounts of time to slowly reveal the potential of a water at a time when carp fishing wasn`t fashionable. The repeated tales of triumph and big fish caught sometimes de-sensitised me to the colossal effort that had gone into their capture. It is a credit to Chris Ball`s powers of persuasion that he got so many of them to talk of their experiences.

Perhaps the most interesting of the remaining chapters is the one on Savay. Modern carp fishing methods weren`t actually invented here but they certainly came of age here and allowed many a famous carper to `cut his teeth`. This was particularly so during the 1980 season when a syndicate containing such luminaries as Andy Little, Lenny Middleton, Kevin Maddocks, Ron Hutchinson and Mike Wilson (to name but a few) hammered the water week in, week out, with spectacular results. Long range casting, hair rigs, boilies and baiting pyramids were all `proved` at Savay.

All in all a fascinating angling history - well researched and well told.

20-10-2011, 10:15
Thanks for taking the time to get that posted up JV,, enjoyed reading that very much.:cool:

Jack Sparrow
20-10-2011, 10:18
Thank you Jonny for taking the time to post this, what a very interesting read indeed, I am very interested in the history of what I do, In my case hunting, but as a new commer to carp fishing I will find it very interesting to read the history of carp fishing, Im a great lover of the history of whatever sports I take part it, so you have made my day with these.

Once again thank you very much:tu:


20-10-2011, 11:30
Thanks for posing that very interesting reading .
It's updated my limited knowledge further.

20-10-2011, 13:20
although most anglers know some information about the leney stockings this article give me a little more info on this great man and his achivements so i was very interested to read it thanks for posting it:clap::clap:.

althouh i hate reading books this little snipet of what he was about has made me want to go and get a book and read more about the man any suggestions guys:cool:

brian c
12-02-2012, 16:13
another thanks for the posting. good reading.

12-02-2012, 23:42
JV, mint post :clap: Really good to know more about our common quarry and from whence it came, as not indigenous to these fair shores.

Like others that have commented so far, I love to delve into origins etc, and this generous sharing/work by you has opened yet another avenue of that. For that I thank you kindly :tu:


15-04-2012, 00:50
I knew there was something i wanted to read that you had posted ste :mrgreen:

Glad i found it after mooching, top post :clap:

jonny vegas
15-04-2012, 11:17
no problem john,, i thinks its impoertant for newcomers to have an in site into the history of the pioneers before them,, technology is a superb thing, but nowadays not much thought is given to how we got there in the first place,,,,,

ps, who invented the computor????????


15-04-2012, 15:41
no problem john,, i thinks its impoertant for newcomers to have an in site into the history of the pioneers before them,, technology is a superb thing, but nowadays not much thought is given to how we got there in the first place,,,,,

ps, who invented the computor????????

Wow JV,

Now ya opening a real can of worms :lol: Are we talking about stored program/memory, or just binary flashing lights etc? Do bear in mind that the Babylonians considered their abacuses to be computers :yes:

But if we are talking the copyright to the name PC, that would be IBM, but don't forget the valve driven behemoth that was made by a tea trader (Lyons - LEO).

I suppose it depends on what your definition of computer is to some degree..imho...


jonny vegas
15-04-2012, 17:10
exactly the point i was trying to make sean,,
its an item that we all take for granted,, that no one actually gives a thought on how and why its evolved to what it is today.

15-04-2012, 17:20

Only having had the pleasure of meeting you once, but having read many of your posts, I hope you sensed the spirit of my reply as as much as I did your question.

I will be brief :lol: but in my book there are no ultimates anymore, merely stages of progression towards a perceived goal. Do what you do and if you are happy with that and do not piss off other people with what you are doing/cause harm/etc, then both you and the people you mix with will be happier for it. And also our common quarry :yes: