Fish challenge for village shop

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A PLEASURE fisherman has set himself a challenge to catch 100 fish a week for more than a year to help raise money for his community to buy the lease of their village shop.

Neil Williams has so far caught 200 gudgeon in the canal by his home in Wilstone and he has a group of 24 sponsors, who have agreed to give him a ha’penny for every fish that he catches between now and when the Wilstone Village Shop changes hands.

Keen angler Neil is on the committee of Tring Anglers and is also a member of a tongue-in-cheek group called The Gobi Gobi Society, which takes the Latin name for gudgeon and offers a fun alternative to serious fishing.

Neil said: “I can catch lots of gudgeon so I’m only taking a ha’penny a fish and capping myself to 100 fish a week so it doesn’t cost people too much. They will only have to pay 50p a week maximum.

“I know it won’t raise all the money they need to buy the shop lease but it will kick things off.”

The shop’s managers Liz and Ron Faulkner have been running it as a voluntary business for two years since saving it from closure when the previous leaseholder left after not making any money from it. Now Liz and Ron have turned the business around they want to hand it over to the people of Wilstone and retire.

The community held a meeting at the village hall earlier this month and decided to hold a variety of fundraising events to raise the £5,000 to buy the lease from the couple by the time they leave in October.

Another fundraiser will be a raffle for a Jubilee hamper.