Sunday, October 28, 2012

Remembering Johnny Block

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Johnny Block's death from cancer.  I was hoping to get out but ended up going out to remember him today.

He lived on steak and potatoes, washed down with the odd whisky, in a log cabin in the woods. Johnny wore his love of the countryside on his sleeve and if you shared his fascination with the weather, the changing seasons and the comings and goings of the wildlife, you were on his wavelength.

I still miss him now, for all the laughs and all the wisdom he shared in the 10 years or so I knew him. I fished some swims which held John-shaped memories, times I'll always treasure, on the sprawl of gravel pits he used to look after.

I nearly caught one in a spot he used to rib me rotten about, as the drizzle quickened into a shower. The float shot off as I twitched a joey along some trailing alders, but it came off as I pulled into it.

I could just picture him laughing his head off up there somewhere, great puffs of cigar smoke making the angels splutter.


  1. Loved your tribute to John. I only ever met him at Wisbech St Mary Willowcroft, but he was a true one-off. You sensed that there was something of 'the dark side' about him, and that he had run with dangerous folk in his time, but he was unfailingly kind and thoughtful, especially in the way he encouraged young anglers, and tolerated older fishermen like myself, who were keen but totally incompetent. I once turned up on a Bank Holiday, naively expecting somewhere to fish. the place was heaving, but with the patience and diplomatic skills that could have been put to use at the UN, he found my young son and me a peg. A great man, much missed.

  2. Hi Dave, we'll have to get you out fishing one day soon.

  3. He was a great character loved him to bits too

  4. Chris,

    Always nice to remember characters met upon the way,while on the bank.Any man who lived on steak and potatoes,with a drop of scotch and a cigar is good enough for me.He sounds like my late Grandad ;-0

  5. Have you been down there lately Bish

  6. Just found this on Google you describes him so well. He was a loverly old chap, liked seeing people catching fish and enjoying the surroundings. Do you kno tyhe new chap down there Chriss