An Introduction to "Stoney & Friends"
1996 – 2017 and counting.......
Updated Total: 17th August 2017 - £543,215
For those of you who might not know, Stoney & Friends raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support by angling – attending angling shows with our pegboard, sky diving! Parachute jumping! Cycle riding, dressing up as nurses (some of the guys like that a little too much) and any other means at our disposal! We rely on the generosity of our supporters who donate tackle, clothing, bait etc. for prizes and our friends who buy tickets to attend our many fish-ins and generally empty their pockets for the Stoney & Friends / Macmillan cause. Every penny raised goes into the Macmillan coffers and all our committee members; helpers etc give their time and effort for free.
I (Allan Stone) started fund raising for Angling Projects in the early nineties and once the projects had come to fruition the fund raising became unnecessary; as the buildings etc. had been completed. I thought my fund raising days were over, WRONG!! People who had been involved in fish-ins started to want to know when the next event was, and that’s when Stoney & Friends was born.
Next problem was angling venues and which charity to support. Ian Welch who was the angling manager at Leisure Sport Angling offered us the use of their venues and facilities (Wraysbury, Thorpe Park and Yateley) this generous offer fortunately has continued throughout the life of RMC Angling and CEMEX., to this end we must thank all the past and present managers who have continued that support to this day, Mike Hutchison, Viv Shears, Mick Barnes, Roo Newby and now Pete Newman. One person who should not be forgotten is Sue Stringer, the CEMEX Angling office manager who has supported us from day one, with all her office skills. We finally managed to get her to join the Stoney & Friends committee.
At about this time my mother was taken ill (and unfortunately died of cancer) so the charity solution was solved, I approached Macmillan Cancer Support and asked if they would like to accept our raised monies, they thought I was mad, and so everything had come together. Then the hard work of organizing fish-ins on a larger scale began.
From the early days of 30 odd anglers raising three thousand pounds in a weekend to the dizzy heights of twenty three thousand pounds in 2005 with 168 anglers present the average in the last few years of August (Yateley) fish-ins is approximately sixteen thousand pounds. Yateley in August has become a regular diary date for many people anglers come from as far away as Durham, Suffolk, Cornwall and all other points of the compass.
Other slight problems then came to pass as the events got bigger and bigger catering was present for the events, lakes had to be stewarded and risk assessments/ insurances provided so a Stoney & Friends team of helpers was put together which would soon become an official committee as requested by Macmillan (which we were more than pleased to comply with). Ian Welch as Chairman and Des Taylor as our first President, I was secretary and Chris Isaacs (Treasurer) was the rest of the committee, haven’t things changed! They had to. We now have a committee of 11: -
Chairman Allan Stone
Treasurer Simon Hanson
Press Officer Mark “Jarvy” Jarvis
Secretary Jonathan “Tug” Wilson
And general committee members
Social Media Paul “Singy” Singleton
Web Master Carl Hoyle
Printing and drinking Jim Morson
Office expert Sue Stringer
Tackle trade liaison and pocket dynamo Ruth Lockwood
Transport Gary Sparks
Catering organizer / Mr Fix It Graham Plater
One non-committee member is John Paine, who brings so much to the table in the form of angling and non angling trade support it would be rude to leave him out.
With invites to angling shows and extending the fish-ins to include a Pike fish-in at Wraysbury (Thorpe Park in the early days) as well as the Yateley weekend, soon to come were fish-ins at Woolpack Fishery in Cambridge, courtesy of Andy Stafford and Old Bury Hill in Dorking courtesy David deVere and Jerry Hammond’s Carthegena Fisheries (organized by Tim Luffman) plus a few years on the river Stour at Throop thanks to RDAA. Angling shows became a regular feature at Sandown Park, Five Lakes (Essex) and The Big One in (Farnborough) during that time we had a couple of visits to The Game Fair courtesy of our late Vice President David Bird made the year a pretty full diary of events. The committee grew our president changed and we welcomed Tim Paisley on board as a step up from Vice President, other vice Presidents include Keith Arthur from Sky TV, Terry Hearn, John Wilson MBE, Martin Bowler, Ian Chillcott, Ian Russell, Mike Heylin OBE, Des Taylor and Ian Welch.. John Wilson was pleased to be involved because of our commitment to Macmillan Cancer Support and angling, the other Vice Presidents fully endorse John’s sentiments and frequently refer to the Yateley fish-in’s in the angling press.
Their support of the Yateley fish-in and our other events are vital to the continued fundraising of Stoney & Friends.
In addition to the present committee and president and vice presidents many people have contributed to the success of Stoney & Friends these include Blue Cole from the very beginning, Kevin West, Sean Gibson, Chris Isaacs, Andy Paice, (Mike Lyddon and Martin Lewis still continue to assist) Dave Green, Adrian Smith and many other who have contributed in various ways over the years from filling carrier bags with advertising literature to clearing up the car park and the rest of the venue, these volunteers insure the smooth running of the Yateley event .
Who could forget our intrepid marathon runners, Ruth Lockwood & Martin King from Yateley Angling Centre, Kevin ‘Hippy’ Winter and Dean Oram who all put themselves through punishing training schedules in order to raise significant amounts of money for us.
This is just one example of the dedication Stoney & Friends supporters have shown there are many more but a separate chapter would be needed to list them all.
With all the events we now undertake Yateley remains the Jewel in the Crown (our 16th year in 2012) many anglers meet on an annual basis rekindling friendships they have made over the years, sitting at the burger van in the evening discussing the last twelve months over food and the odd beer, a very popular way to pass a couple of hours.
There are of course many of Yateley’s much sought after fish caught over the weekend. Tim Paisley caught Match Lake Scaley one year after much hard work with a spod rod, the Split Lake has produced many of its splendid Cats and even the North Lake has surrendered! With one or two of it’s residents banked every year there are of course other lakes for dads & lads and the not too serious like Pumphouse and Horseshoe where a good weekends action is always on the cards Sandhurst Lake produces a good weekends sport and tickets are much sought after.
Tim Paisley makes his annual pilgrimage to Yateley to have a chilled weekend with Chilly Chillcott as his partner and many other celebrity anglers add their support by popping in Martin Bowler, Ian Russell, Gary Milky Lowe to name but a few, Keith Arthur is always on hand to add his unique brand of humour to our Sunday raffle, what a great occasion it is, tables laden with a multitude of donated prizes its as if you were walking into a tackle shop, rods-reels-bivvies’-bait-and the famous Stoney and Friends goodie bag prizes make buying raffle tickets and parting with money a pleasure.
Yateley will always be a very special place for Stoney & Friends, a wonderful social event which is now a very large part of our history, not just for the amount of money we raise but for the comradeship and awareness of the Macmillan cause and most of all their sheer beauty of the whole complex and its historical ambience.
Over the years there have been many amusing interludes probably the various catering vans have produced the most memorable, one turned up with lots of gas but no spanners to change the bottles and conversely one turned up with lots of spanners and no gas or water containers, one even turned up having forgotten to have the generator serviced and a bunch of anglers trying to fix a generator was almost Keystone Cops like! Our favourite was a young lad who was trying very had to impress the visiting female Macmillan staff (who had popped in to add some moral support and to see what a bunch of lunatic anglers were all about) once his back was turned two holes were put in his polystyrene cup then placed back on the table and filled up with red wine, the hilarity was unbelievable when he picked up his drink and ended up with most of a cup of wine rolling down his t-shirt, no nursery fun for him that day.
Things have changed as Stoney & Friends has got bigger and more organized the standards have improved no end.
We now have Stoney’s Friends band instigated by Ruth Lockwood and Keith Arthur including Roy, Nigel & Glyn who provide a musical ending to the Yateley fish-in and entertain at our Christmas parties etc
Two closely related events need a mention although not a part of Stoney & Friends they raise money on our behalf, firstly the Bubbles fish-ins (in memory of Bubbles who raised money via the CEMEX forum and was tragically killed in Cardiff in 2005) and then there is the Camp David mob (Steve Turner, Don Rowland Eugene Burke et al). Regulars at The Royal Oak pub in Caterham and the Wattenden Arms in Kenley who raise approximately a thousand pounds per year on our behalf holding their own events.
The Camp David mob were so named after they turned up to Yateley carrying everything including the kitchen sink for a weekends fishing after disappearing (probably for a pint) Chris Isaacs on a walkabout christened there area of semi-devastation ‘Camp David’. The Saturday night barbecue on the north lake is almost legendary the discussions on angling drinking trips to Thailand are the general topics of conversation unfortunately not many of them would pass the censor and be included in this chapter you can probably imagine conversations, after a beer or two between the likes of Terry Eustace, Tim Paisley, Ian Chillcott and the assembled company.
And now the poignant moment (Allan is not writing this) when all is done at a Yateley weekend Allan always disappears for his little walk around the back of the Pads lake just to have a private moment with his mum a lovely gesture and one which I am sure she appreciates.
This year Stoney & Friends will pass the four hundred thousand pounds barrier we must thank all the contributors to this book as all the proceeds are being given to Macmillan Cancer Support via Stoney & Friends, so if you have borrowed this book and not bought a copy please feel free to make a donation via www.stoneyandfriends.org.uk or better still go out and buy a copy.
Allan Stone & Graham Plater
So the story continues:
We have now passed the £500,000 barrier, which whilst we celebrate our success, we could not have achieved this phenomenal amount without the support of so many people, both in the trade and those who attend our events.
Our committee has grown over the years with Marc Trayler, Rachel Packham and Mike Lyddon joining the team. Our list of Vice Presidents has also grown with both Rob Eustace and Joan Briggs, being inducted onto the board. All have their own attributes, but above all they bring with them enthusiasm and effort to continue to support our efforts to raise monies for Macmillan.
The plan is to add to this story as the years go by, with a yearly blog of events and happenings…………………