KEN Pearce, a man who many of our readers will know, sadly passed away whilst fishing on Tuesday, October 17. Ken was 82 years old, not that anyone would have guessed it, and he had a real passion for the sport. I first met Ken about 15 years ago when he
KEN Pearce, a man who many of our readers will know, sadly passed away whilst fishing on Tuesday, October 17. Ken was 82 years old, not that anyone would have guessed it, and he had a real passion for the sport.
I first met Ken about 15 years ago when he was fishing for the Ouse Valley Match group in the Cambridge Winter League. I remember him being very kind and supportive as I struggled to catch in a gale in a shallow weedy peg on the Cam below Bottisham Lock in one of my first ever league matches.
I was worried about finishing last in my section and from the peg next door he encouraged me to keep going as I "was probably going to beat him at least!"
Ken lived in St Ives and had been in the area for 30 years, ever since his job as a Unilever salesman brought him here. Surrounded by waters to fish in, Ken was in his element and would not entertain moving away.
He retired aged 60, but kept busy and took his fishing very seriously. Some years after Ouse Valley disbanded, Ken asked if he could spend a season with our Stanjay Tackle Match Group so he could learn and improve his technique.
Ken attended meetings and practice matches, and the highlight of his time with us was a Christmas match at Raveley Drain when we had broken the ice to fish. Ken finished second and trounced the team regulars either side of him - a feat that he never forgot. After he left us he joined the Peterborough-based Allsorts Angling Club, with whom he could get a regular fish.
Ken was not, even in his 80s, a fair weather angler. He still went fishing even in the depths of winter, when many half his age would have settled for a warm house. Of all the local waters, Raveley Drain was perhaps Ken's favourite venue, whatever the season, and he had been disappointed that algae had prevented him from fishing there as regularly as usual this summer.
His passing was in a manner that many anglers would envy. Last Tuesday he went fishing for the day, leaving home in a cheerful and enthusiastic mood and with the sun shining. Sadly, Ken suffered a heart attack as he fished.
His widow Barbara has said that Ken would have hated to have lost his independence and being able to drive himself to fish wherever the mood took him.
Ken Pearce was a character, an incredible man for his years and we will miss him as a friend and customer but we will not forget him. Our thoughts are with Barbara, his children and their families at this sad time.
The funeral is this Friday at 10.30am in the West Chapel at Cambridge Crematorium.