Pre 2019 News & Events

Autumn Show and Game Fair, Ardingly, 6th & 7th October 2018

The Sussex Branch of STC UK together with the Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate, were at the Autumn Show & Game Fair at Ardingly again this year on Saturday the 6th. and Sunday the 7th. of October. 

The weather forecast for the first day of the show was was not good with heavy rain anticipated in the afternoon. The Saturday morning was cloudy, breezy and cool and right on cue, the rain started at about 1pm.  Visitors to our stand were fewer than we had hoped in the morning and the rain in the afternoon kept people in the covered areas of the show with very few venturing our way. Luckily, the second day of the show was completely different, bright with long periods of sunshine and we were rewarded with a good public attendance. 

This year most of the Casting participants were adults with only a few juniors wanting to have a go. The casting prize fly rod kit was won by a young man from Hartfield. Our Syndicate “Taster Days” proved very popular with approximately 10 experienced anglers expressing interest in coming along to the fishery for a trial session with a view to future Syndicate membership. Maintaining an adequate membership is vital for the future of the Syndicate. We also provided S&TC UK application forms to several interested anglers.

Once again we are indebted to our Game Angling Instructors as well as Syndicate and Sussex Branch STC UK volunteer members who gave up most of their valuable weekends to make this a successful show for our two organisations once again, in spite of the weather.


Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate

in association with

Salmon & Trout Conservation UK, Sussex Branch,

Online Auction 2018

The 2018 Online Auction has now closed and successful bidders have been contacted with the good news.

This year the catalogue of auction lots was expanded further and included a broad range of interesting and valuable items.

Total bids in 2018 almost doubled the value of bids in 2017 demonstrating the popularity of the event and at the same time generating very valuable revenue for the Branch and Syndicate.

Thanks therefore to all our sponsors and individuals who gave so generously and have continued to support us. Thanks also to everyone else for all their hard work making this event possible.

Obituary: Brian Robert Raw. 29th October 1945 - 12th June 2018

  It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Brian Raw who was finally ‘brought to the net’

  on the 12th June.

  Brian was certainly a larger than life character, somewhat Falstaffian in appearance, big and bluff

  and occasionally opinionated, but the overall impression was of someone who was both genial and

  generous of his time and expertise to an extent that is rarely found today.

  Although he relinquished his membership last year, Brian had been a member of the S&TC UK

  Sussex Branch and Cinder Hill Syndicate or many years and was one of the very early members of

  the Syndicate where he involved himself enthusiastically in all aspects of the organization, whether it

  be arranging work parties to ensure that the lakes were kept in prime condition for the members

  (and the trout), managing our fishing courses and helping out at the shows.

  Brian was an angler of outstanding ability who could always manage to tease a fish out of the most

  unpromising waters or conditions.

Retirement from a distinguished career in teaching allowed him to devote even more time to game fishing whether for trout in the Home Counties, sea trout on the Dovey in Wales or salmon on the Findhorn in Scotland, coaching and guiding, as well as helping out at various local shoots. It was his fishing skills coupled with his background as a teacher that enabled him to organise numerous fishing opportunities for children (many with special needs) under the banner of the Masonic Fishing Charity (MTFSC).

The fact that Brian connected with so many people from different walks of life was evident from the packed church at his funeral.

His was certainly a life well-lived. Our thoughts go out to his widow Sheelagh and family for their sad loss

Sussex Branch STC UK and Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate

 at the South of England Show 2018.

The South of England Show was held at Ardingly this year on the 7th, 8th and 9th June and once again, the Sussex Branch of STC UK and the Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate were there. Thursday and Friday were a bit cloudy to start with but there were long periods of warm sunshine.  Saturday was warm and sunny all day and the visitors were out in force. The Instructors were kept very busy with large numbers of both adults and juniors wanting to “Have-a-Go” at fly casting.  Encouraging numbers of the people visited the tent during the day and approximately fifteen anglers signed up for our “Taster Sessions” with a view to joining the Syndicate.  Once again several of our existing Syndicate and Sussex Branch S&TC members called into the tent to say Hello.

Once again, I make no apology for mentioning our hard working band of volunteer Instructors as well as Syndicate and Sussex Branch S&TC Members without whom it would not be possible for us to attend these shows which are so valuable in helping with recruitment to the Syndicate as well as the Sussex Branch S&TC UK. The show was a great success for us and we are indebted to everyone who supported it.

We shall be attending the Autumn Show and Game Fair at Ardingly on the 6th. and 7th. of of October so do try to come along and see us there.

Match with the Sussex Branch of the Fly Dressers Guild,

Saturday the 14th of April 2018

Report Courtesy of Rod Yuill.

The Annual Match with the Sussex Branch of the Fly Dressers Guild was held on Saturday the 14th. of April and, once again, took place at Duncton Mill.  It was a cool misty morning and visibility on the drive over there was not good.  Everyone arrived at around 8:30am and, as usual, a welcome cup of coffee was available in the Lodge.

The Draw for the order of lakes to be fished took place at 9am and we all set off in the mist to our first lake. Initially, the mist seemed to become denser before eventually the sun managed to burn it off by mid-morning.

Some fish were caught within minutes of arriving at the lake but it took me some time and a few flies snagged in trees before I managed to break my duck and land my first fish.  By the time the bell rang to change lakes most people had been lucky and caught at least one.  We all moved to our second lake at 11:45am. and continued to fish until lunch when everyone made their way back to the Lodge.

Once again an excellent lunch was provided by Martin and Caroline and at 2pm we made our way back to our final lake of the day.   Fish continued to be caught in the afternoon until the final bell when we all convened for the weigh-in and a good number of people had managed to catch their 4 fish.

Unfortunately for us, the Fly Dressers had managed to catch a greater number of fish and two or three of their fish were in excess of 4lb. meaning that the total weight of their fish exceeded ours and they therefore retained the Trophy of yet another year.  However, it was a very enjoyable day and the weather had been good. Surely it has to be our turn soon.


Our Chairman's New Year Newsletter, January 2018

To view Rod Yuill's New Year Newsletter please click here.


November 2017 - Goodbye Alan Purnell


Unfortunately for us, Alan Purnell, our Lead Coach and Welfare Officer, who has run and organised our fly fishing courses for some 10 years running, is leaving the sunny south and moving ‘up-north’ to be closer to his family.

As a thank you and a memento of his many years of service to the Branch and latterly the Syndicate, at the Syndicate Committee meeting on the 25th November, he was presented with an engraved fly box on behalf of the Branch and Syndicate,

Alan will be greatly missed - his are big fishing boots to fill.

Thank you Alan for all your dedication, professionalism and friendship and best wishes for the future.




Autumn Show and Game Fair, Ardingly, 29th September & 1st October 2017

Report Courtesy of Rod Yuill.

The Sussex Branch STC UK together with the Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate attended the Autumn Show and Game Fair at the Ardingly showground again this year on Saturday the 29th September and Sunday 1st.of October.

We set up the tent, as usual, on the Friday afternoon and I must admit to arriving late for this, however, that seemed to have had a beneficial effect as, apparently, everything had gone very smoothly till then. There was a small shower but luckily that didn’t arrive until the roof was on.

The weather on Saturday started off cloudy and dry and we were kept moderately busy with a steady stream of visitors through the tent and the Instructors were also kept busy, mainly with juniors wishing to "Have-a-Go" at Fly Casting.

The weather forecasters had warned us to expect a day that was going to be

    wetter and windier on Sunday and indeed it was to some extent. However,

    the footfall of visitors to the tent seemed to be better than on the Saturday.

    Similar to previous years, there was steady interest in membership of the

    Fishing Syndicate as well as STC UK, however, we will have to wait

    and see whether this improves membership numbers next year.

    There was also a great deal of interest in the last course of the year which we

    understand is now fully subscribed. Several people left their details because

    they were interested in attending a course next year.

    Our attendance at these shows is probably the best way that we are able to

    recruit new members to STC UK  as well as the Syndicate and needless

    to say again, that it is wholly due to the time and hard work of our trusty band

    of Instructors and Volunteers to whom we owe our immense gratitude.

We shall be attending the iFish Event at Ardingly on Sunday the 19th. of November and then we shall again be at the South of England Show at Ardingly next June, so please put these dates into your diary and come along to see us.

On Line Auction 2017

As last year, in order to bolster our funds, we are holding an on-line auction of various items kindly donated by some of our sponsors, members and friends of the Syndicate and Branch.

A PDF copy of the catalogue of the lots on offer can be downloaded here and members are invited to make their bid for any one or more of the items via our Googlemail account:

The closing date for bids is the 20th October 2017 and regular updates of the current situation will be provided. Bidding is not restricted to members of the Syndicate or Branch, anyone can make an offer.

As soon as possible after the closing date, the winning bids will be announced, the successful bidders contacted and arrangements made for payment and delivery.

Connect with the Countryside 2019 13th July 2017

Once again this July, volunteers from the Cinder Hill Syndicate together with the Sussex Branch of S&TC UK, supported the team of GAIA Instructors at the Connect with the-Countryside event held for schoolchildren from local schools, at the Ardingly show-ground.

It was a warm and sunny day with just a slight occasional breeze. The children visited our enclosure by the lake in class groups and as many as possible were given the opportunity to learn the technique of Fly Casting by the team of Instructors. The pace was hectic from about 09:30 in the morning until around 2:30 in the afternoon, with barely a chance for anyone to stop for a drink.

The feedback from the candidates was good and, although brief, they all seemed to have enjoyed the experience. Finally, after the last child had been seen, with the school coaches filled and heading out of the show-ground, instructors and volunteers adjourned to the Norfolk Pavilion where a very welcome buffet lunch was provided for exhibitors by the Show Organisers.

Adult Course - 18th June 2017

Report Courtesy of Alan Purnell

What fly fisherman would contemplate an afternoon fishing on possibly the hottest afternoon of the year let alone running a course for four absolute beginners? 

What an afternoon it turned out to be. Following the “welcome”, Simon ran through the H & S brief, which did not scare off any participant, then, Tony K did a short presentation of the kit we anglers carry before I covered rod construction & assembly, reels, lines, leaders and flies. We then split into groups for practical experience of the Roll and Overhead casts. 

There were millions if not trillions of damsels hatching but no trout showing during the practice with yarn tag on Grubbero Pool. Following a short refreshment break fishing commenced and it was not long before two of Simon’s team were into fish on Grubbero. I took my team to Piplye Pool and it was not long before the lady participant was into a fish which she played beautifully. 

Judging by the screeches and "ooohs & aahs" reaching us, it was obvious the team on Grubber Row were having a great time, as was the lady on Piplye Pool. Sorry, no photos, Simon and I were too busy running back and forth netting fish.

Daren’t declare  how many fish were caught but suffice to say four absolute beginners had a cracking day and are likely to take up the sport.  I expect you will soon get enquiries about joining the Syndicate. 

The lady in my team caught on Rhubarb & Custard but the killer fly was the blue flash damsel (small, anorexic tying) fished on the floating line. Isn’t it wonderful the trout don’t read the text books!!!!!

Sussex Branch STC UK and the Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate at

the South of England Show 2017.

Report courtesy of Rod Yuill

June 2017 saw the Cinder Hill Fly Fishing Syndicate together with the Sussex Branch of the S&TC UK back at the South of England Show again and similar to previous years, we met up at the show-ground in Ardingly on the Tuesday before the show to set up our stand.  The gusty breeze brought with it some challenges as we erected the tent and, luckily for us, we had the roof on before there was a brief shower of rain.The weather on Thursday, the first day of the show, was dry but still rather breezy. Visitor numbers to the stand were moderate and well spaced with more adult casting candidates than juniors.

   Friday was very similar with the casting emphasis reversing and a larger

   number of juniors than adults.  Saturday was, however, our bumper day with

   warm sunny weather, a lighter breeze and plenty of visitors to the tent.

   We saw almost 40 juniors who wanted to ‘Have a Go’ at casting as well as a

   good number of adults too.

   Many of the juniors showed great interest in coming to one of our courses

   and our ‘Trial Sessions’ for people considering Syndicate membership

   proved very popular.





This year we were lucky enough to have Henry Gould, who is a member of the England Youth Fly Fishing team with us on one of the show days. It was also good to meet up with some of our members who popped into the tent to say hello.

Our prize rod this year was won by a very enthusiastic young man from Hurstpierpoint and our hamper went to a lady who lives in Henfield. 

Once again I make no apology for mentioning our hard working band of volunteer instructors and members who make it possible for us to attend these shows which help recruitment to the Syndicate as well as the national fishing organisations.

The show was a great success and we are indebted to everyone who supported us.

Annual Match, STC UK Sussex Branch/Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate versus

the Sussex Branch of the Fly Dressers Guild, Saturday 22nd April 2017

Sadly our team of 12 representing STC UK Sussex Branch / Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate came second again in the annual match fished against the Sussex Branch of the Fly Dressers Guild, the latter retaining the trophy by a substantial margin. With little breeze to ruffle the surface, the very clear water and bright sunshine made for difficult fishing, most fish being taken near the bottom on small flies, bloodworm patterns being particularly effective, even the usually reliable Birch lake proved tough going for many.


For the Guild team, 6 members managed their 4 fish limit and with just three blanks recorded, they caught a total of 30 fish for a weight of 46lb 15oz, giving them a final score of 76lb 15oz. For STCUK, only Mike Newman and Brian Raw caught their limit and despite them having the heaviest bags on the day, unfortunately the rest of our team, with 5 blanks, were unable to back up their efforts, resulting in a miserly 18 fish weighing in at 32lb 6oz, for a final score of 50lb 6oz.

All fish caught were rainbows, the best being fish of 2lb 8oz by Mr Gray fishing for the Guild and by Mike Newman for STC UK.


Our New Year Newsletter, January 2017

To view our New Year Newsletter please click here.


September 2015 - Obituary, Peter Neave

  It is with very great sadness that we have to inform members of the sudden, unexpected and untimely

  death of our friend and colleague Peter Neave.  Peter had been a member of the East Sussex and

  then the Sussex Branch of the Salmon & Trout Association and later the Angling Trust. He also became

  a member of the Sussex Branch of the Fly Dresser’s Guild and soon became a very proficient fly tyer. 

  During all of these years he has been an enthusiastic and immensely valuable member of the Cinder Hill

 Trouting Syndicate, shouldering the thankless responsibility for arranging and carrying out the stocking

  programme for almost a decade.  Peter was a very keen angler and enjoyed fishing excursions at home

  as well as abroad and only recently returned from a trip to Wales.   

  Whenever the Syndicate was faced with a problem, Peter was the person who could be relied upon to

  do the research, get the quotations and work out how the objective could be achieved.  We extend our

  deepest sympathy to Peter’s wife, Janet, daughter Lucy and his two sons, Ed. and Tom. We shall all

  miss him greatly. 

Sussex Branch STCUK

Any statements, opinions or information contained in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the Sussex Branch of Salmon & Trout Conservation UK

Updated January 2021