There aren't many people for whom the mere mention of their name brings a smile to people's faces but Frank Barlow was one of them. You didn't have to hear that voice with its broad Nottinghamshire accent or see that face with its hint of an impish smile. His humour was in the words that he wrote and his character was in every line. Frank was a household name among anglers as famous for his fishing skill as for his waspish wit and hilarious way with words. He set a match record for the River Derwent with 104 lb 9 oz of chub at Borrowash and once had 72 bream for 180 lb in a pleasure session at Holme Pierrepont. In 40 years of match fishing he tasted success at the highest level on the Open circuit winning river championships and team titles with Shakespeare and Notts Fed helping the latter to two National wins one with a record weight and another with a record points tally. And every week he recounted the highs and lows of his previous weekend's outings in his eagerly awaited column leaving us with a legacy of home-spun phrases and notorious nicknames that were unmistakably Frank. It is strange and sad to think that a new generation of anglers has grown up never having benefited from Frank's words of wisdom and for whom the terms 'cesspit' 'grueller' and 'parrot cage' have no special meaning. But that is one of the reasons for creating this book to take the best of Frank's ten years of weekly columns and to present them to a new audience. For those who knew and fished with Frank it will be a stroll down memory lane with someone who was always great company win or lose. And for those who are new to Frank's writings it will be a chance to get to know a man who combined a love of angling and a unique turn of phrase with a wonderful gift for making people laugh. They broke the mould when they made Frank and no one has come along who can fill his waders but thankfully he left a golden legacy in his words. This book is a reminder of how good he was. Wherever he is now he's sure to be making someone smile.
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