LOCAL farmer Nigel Dudgeon became the new president of the world’s oldest fishing club and achieved an unusual hat-trick on Friday.
In taking the helm of Berwick Salmon Club - founded in 1743 - he follows his grandfather Willie and father Jack into the president’s role. It extends a family link of more than 60 years.
Nigel runs Conundrum Farm, just north of Berwick, and with his wife Lynn has set up a restaurant and visitor attraction. He is a well known sportsman and represented Berwick and the South of Scotland at rugby and cricket. He is also a keen angler.
Elected vice president is another farmer and sportsman, Peter Close. He came to Fishwick in 1950 and has built a big reputation with his longhorn and simmental cattle and fat sheep and also established a maize maze. A founder member of Berwick Rugby Club, he is a former player, club captain and coach.
Jim Coats was re-elected secretary and treasurer.
Welcoming an attendance of 38 of the 40-strong club at the annual meeting of Berlino’s, retiring president Trevor Calder said it had been the wettest year on record and, like farming, angling had also suffered and catches on the River Tweed were down.
Eighty days of fishing on the river had been lost because of the conditions.
However, results on the tributaries Whiteadder, Till and Teviot had held up well and some beats had set records. There were encouraging indications that it had been a good spawning season.
For sportsmen it had been a wonderful summer with the success of the Olympics and Paralympics, Andy Murray’s US Open victory, the Ryder Cup triumph and Bradley Wiggins’ win in the Tour de France. He was proud of the salmon club and its proud history.
Taking over, Nigel Dudgeon said the family tradition made it a special night for him. Peter Close was MC for the entertainment which followed.
Berwick boasts three dining clubs but the style of the salmon club is substantially different from the two younger clubs. It meets twice a year (once for the AGM and once for dinner). Club members are expected to entertain their colleagues, so there are songs, recitations, stories and readings.