A History of the Society

The Society was formed in April 1936 following an inaugural meeting at the Kings Arms Hotel in Haslemere. At this meeting a committee was established which the minutes show comprised Dr.R J Hutchinson as president and two vice presidents Mrs J H Baker and A Aubefin. Elected Treasurer was Mr G Moorey the proprietor of the Kings Arms, the secretary was Mr B Elliott and the committee - Messrs A Bicknell senior, W Young, P Barnett, E Pringle, N Penycate and F Strudwick. Chairman was Capt G Bellamy.

Prior to this date angling in Haslemere was carried out by groups of anglers on an informal basis, fishing local waters, with and without permission of the owners! Following this meeting local papers reported on the new Society, stating ‘this club should prove an asset to Haslemere and district’. Shortly after, the club was granted permission by the local council to fish Sicklemill pond (now a sports centre), and since this time the club has fished many local waters, arranged guest tickets with fellow Angling Clubs for river fishing, and even undertaken sea fishing trips.

Many will be unaware of the great and very influential Donald Leney who was a Haslemere man, starting up Surrey Trout farms in 1923 responsible for importing Dutch strain Galician carp and directly having a profound effect on shaping carp fishing in England. Many waters to this day still hold ‘Leney carp’ including Redmire. The reputations of the likes of Richard Walker and Chris Yates can at least partly be attributed to Mr Leney’s heritage.

Since its foundation the club have been fortunate to have a handful of dedicated officers, the most notable of whom was Barry Elliott serving as Secretary and Chairman from 1936 to his retirement due to ill health in 1970. Norman Penycate served on the committee to become Treasurer until his death in 1971. F Strudwick from 1936 to 1954. Alec Bicknell junior was elected to the committee in 1954, became Secretary in 1963 until 1972, then Treasurer, and in 1984 became Life President. Alec died in 1998 and in recognition of his devotion to the cause, the pond formally known as the Channel Pond at Shillinglee was renamed Bicknell Pond - a fitting tribute to a man still remembered fondly by many of today’s members.

Malcolm Traviss the Chairman until 2018, was elected on to the committee in 1966 and has served as Secretary and/or Chairman for in excess of 50 years, during which time his leadership and acknowledged business acumen have made a major contribution to the Society's very healthy asset and financial base.

In 2003 Fernhurst Angling Club amalgamated with Haslemere. HAS will continue to pursue a policy of seeking suitable additional waters and/or amalgamations with other like-minded Angling Societies if thought beneficial and in accordance with Society objectives, to ensure continuity through the 21st.century.