Fisherman’s search for the stuffed pike that got away

Paul James from Helmdon is looking for his grandfather's stuffed pike. 131119M-B336
Paul James from Helmdon is looking for his grandfather's stuffed pike. 131119M-B336

A Helmdon man is hoping someone can reunite him with a stuffed fish he remembers from his childhood.

Design engineer Paul James, told the Advertiser the 20lb pike was caught many years ago by his late grandfather, Cecil James.

He said: “It was caught at Wooton Lake and very nicely preserved in a bow-fronted glass case with the details of the capture written on the front.

“I well remember seeing this fish on the wall in his house in Gawcott when I was a lad.

“I’m sure it went with some other cased fish to auction locally, possibly Bonners in Buckingham at the time.

“He also had other fish as well. I think there were roach, dace and perch.”

Born in 1909, Cecil James lived in the Gawcott area all his life. He owned a bicycle shop and a taxi business and also ran a garage with a hand-pumped petrol pump.

He was a keen fisherman, and a member of the Buckingham and District Angling Association.

In 1951, after winning outright a number of the trophies that belonged to the fishing club, he donated them back to the club, which presented him with an illustrated letter of thanks.

Mr James hopes to trace the fish’s whereabouts, although he understands the current owner may not wish to part with it.

He said: “My grandfather used to take me fishing as a youngster and my interest grew from there.

“I keep thinking that pike would be a lovely memento to have.

“Grandfather was my fishing mentor and I’ve got very few things left of his.”

To contact Mr James, email ducatiman@btconnect.com or 07798 525482.