Caught by the River

Arcadia biogs

27th July 2007

Caught By The River is a website concieved by Jeff Barrett & Andrew Walsh, edited with the help of Robin Turner. All three work at Heavenly Recordings.

John Andrews

“Once upon a time I was a fully paid up member of the Creation/Heavenly mafia but now I spend my time writing about angling history for waterlog magazine, classic angling, southern and midland angler. I also do occasional pieces for the field, country illustrated and the independent. I’ve been writing since 2002 when I had my first book ‘for all those left behind’ published through mainstream in Edinburgh. It’s a book about angling, loss and redemption and is available on Amazon; I live above the new river in stoke Newington and when I’m not writing or fishing I deal in antique fishing tackle. You can find me on Lamb Street next to Spitalfields market every Thursday where I will sell you anything from a kennet perfection to a clockwork bite alarm. I’ve known Dexter Petley since the day he kindly agreed to give me a quote for the jacket of my book and sent me a copy of his second novel ‘joyride’ by return of post writing in it, “to john, author of THAT fishing book: for the opening up of disused roads, for caravans and carp, for the roasting of sparrows on pen-knibs, sacks of hares, buckets of eels, breakfast gudgeons and books galore” since then we’ve pursued the above, fished rivers, canals, chateau lakes, rezzies and farm ponds together, made radio programmes about the 1930’s French groundbait wars and have corresponded via e mail about everything from old land rovers to subterranean London angling. Our e-mails come to you from across the Imaginot Line.”

Dexter Petley

“These days the tow-hitch on the caravan has rusted up and I’ve pulled over. The last 3 years with the same view, a tiny pond, a field in Normandy, willows weeping over my tin roof, writing fiction in the mornings, gardening in the afternoon, fishing for carp in the evenings, coming in for a midnight omelette from the chickens in the tumbledown shed out back. I live on rainwater and the vegetables I grow, eeking a living as a fiction editor, what is now known as literary consultancy. It hasn’t always been thus. Until 2004 I moved 40 times in 30 years and never earned a penny which wasn’t scavenged. Fiction and fishing throughout, accepting no authority which led quite naturally to self-expulsion from England in 1995 when I headed for the lanes and lakes of France. 3 novels published since: “Little Niveveh” Polygon 1995, “Joyride” Fourth Estate 1999 and “White Lies” Fourth Estate 2003. A fourth appears in Jan 2008: “One True Void” from Two Ravens Press. A co-translation with Laure Claesen, from the French, of “the fishing box” by Maurice Genevoix was published by the medlar press in 2006. Meeting John Andrews has been as inspirational as he describes. Between us, I think, we’ve developed a new wave of angling writing in Waterlog magazine, casting off the end of the world – forget the sun. Carp fishing’s more like Bladerunner than Walker’s Pitch today, and since I’ve infiltrated it John came in as ground control, sensing I was in danger there alone. We developed a language to shift experience between occupied zones, a language with abrasion resistance and hidden truth. We’re buskers at heart, behind the lines, exposing the crimes, hunting down the forgotten magic. In persuading me to do this, John said: time is thin but this is an over a cuppa job early in the morning or late at night – just pull the suitcase down from the top of the barn and start the morse.”