Thornbury and District Museum Salmon Fishing Book Launch
Thornbury Baptist Church
‘The Glorious Uncertainty - Salmon Fishing in the River Severn’ was written by Nick Large and is jam packed with over 120 photographs.
Nick started recording this local industry in the mid-1960s, not knowing that he was documenting the end of 1,000 years of history. The decline of the industry accelerated during the time that Nick was investigating it. In June last year the Environment Agency placed a prohibition order on taking salmon from the Severn at all, such has been the deterioration of stocks.
Nick Large was a good friend to the museum and mounted several exhibitions there on salmon fishing. Following one of the exhibitions, some five years ago, attempts were made to persuade Nick to write a book on the subject. He declined and it took three years of regular requests before he finally agreed.
At last all of Nick’s comprehensive knowledge was to be gathered into one source. Nick wasn’t into computers so he would bring handwritten chapters to us along with the photographs relating to the chapter. Gradually the book built up and was taking shape nicely. Nick was scheduled to come into the museum in January 2019 to put captions to his pictures, having said that the book was almost finished.
Sadly, he died unexpectedly two days before Christmas 2018.
Nick’s widow, Maggie, kindly agreed that the museum could continue with the book. She handed over an extensive range of paperwork and photographs. This revealed a great many stories that had not been included in the book. Meg Wise then set about incorporating them into the text along with the photos that accompanied the additional stories. This required some painstaking detective work.
After that came the writing of the photograph captions, including the tracking down of people living on the other side of the river to provide information. Reg King was enlisted to draw maps and finally the page layouts could be designed. Whilst others have contributed to the final outcome it was a mammoth undertaking and fell largely on Meg’s shoulders.
But it has all been worth it. The book is stunning. Nick was a brilliant photographer and he wrote in a most engaging style. This is local history at its best and serves as a fitting tribute to its author.
At the launch volunteers from the museum will talk about the book and how they were able to complete it.
Free and tea and coffee will be provided. The book is of coffee table quality and will be available on the night (£20). Thereafter the book will be available at the museum.