With the death of Ken Slaymaker the Kilnsey Angling Club has lost a much cherished member, servant and friend.

In earlier life Ken had been a successful farmer, haulier and publican, but it will be as ‘keeper of the slate’ that we Kilnsey members will always remember him. For something like thirty years, initially at the Tennant Arms and latterly at the Café by the Lake, Ken helped members and their guests to choose and book their beats for the day, at the same time dispensing sound advice and good cheer.

For many members booking our beat and the ritual of the slate is all part of the pleasure of a fishing day. Chatting to fellow members, drinking a cup of coffee, discussing past sport and the prospects for the day ahead; this all forms a delightful prelude to the generally solitary business of going fishing and catching trout. It was a prelude we all enjoyed even more when we knew that Ken would be there with his own quiet wisdom and unfailing good humour. Several of my regular guests always looked forward to meeting Ken again as we drove to the river at the beginning of a fishing day, and he always remembered them and was clearly genuinely pleased to see them again. He had the knack of making visitors feel welcome.

Ken loved the club and loved his role as warden of the slate. In recent years declining health meant that it was a role he could not always fulfil, but he was there in the pub or the café when he could be and I think he felt better for being there and we certainly felt better for seeing him. Personally I greatly enjoyed my occasional encounters with Ken on the riverbank; I would probably have been struggling to catch fish all day; Ken would probably have just returned a three pounder! He was an accomplished dry fly fisherman and it is a great pity that illness kept him from the river for the last few seasons.

Spring is here again and members of the KAC are hoping that at some stage of the coming season we shall find that we can gather again at the start of a fishing day to book our beats and talk for a while before we head off to the river. It will be a pleasure restored but at the same time there will be a real sense of sadness because Ken can no longer be there to share it with us. To Ben and Lynne we offer our sincere condolences together with the assurance that the members of the Kilnsey Angling Club will long cherish the memory of Ken Slaymaker. May he rest in peace.

Dr Laurence Catlow.


Dear Members,

Here is an important update from our Honorary Secretary made on Monday 29th March 2021 :

As foreshadowed in my last email, I am writing to confirm the current position relative to Kilnsey Angling Club following: 

  • The Prime Minister’s address to the Nation earlier this evening;
  • Your Committee meeting (virtually) this evening; and 
  • The Angling Trust updating its web page (a link to which can be found here

The good news is that fishing remains permissible, and the river is open, subject to Members adhering to the lockdown restrictions currently in force.
Members should not expect the Club to provide specific advice as to what falls within or without the revised lock-down restrictions/guidelines. Members will have to form their own views as to what is, and is not, acceptable relative to travelling.
The booking of beats, and operation of the Slate, will commence tomorrow and be by telephone (07768 623764) between 09.00hrs and 10.00hrs until 11th April 2021.
Thereafter, assuming that the lockdown restrictions continue, as expected, we hope to be able to move to both a physical and telephone operation of the Slate based from the Cafe by the Lake.
The Cafe by the Lake will be open for take-away food from 1st April 2021.
We will not be selling any day tickets for fishing on the river until 21st June 2021 at the earliest.