The following article was written in 1974 and gives a background to our origins. Author unknown.
Almost any good reference book will tell you that Issac Walton, the first and probably the best known angling personality ever produced died in 1683 aged 85 years. But if you were to ask a member of The Kings Arms Angling Society, who feature a picture of the Elizabethan Angler on their club badge, how old their Society was they wouldn’t be able to answer.
For this is a mystery that Club Historian & Vice President, Mr A. Notman has been unable to unravel despite many years of research all he can say for certain that the club then known as the Kings Arms Otters was in existence a 100 years ago and could possibly date back as much as another 200 years.
You may ask at this point just what old Issac had to do with all this, well strangely enough there is a strong link. One of Mr Notman’s lines of enquiry has shown that the clubs first headquarters, the Kings Arms, which stood until demolished to make way for road improvements in the early 60’s, was a 16th century fishing Inn on the Lea Bank at Waltham Abbey and Issac Walton had often stayed there on trips to his favourite River Lea in the area. The old Kings Arms, which will be known to many of the older residents, if for know other reason that its front door which lay some three feet below the level if the road was entered by a flight of steps that formed part of the roadside pavement. The inside was certainly a part of angling history for it still contained bar long lockers to hold the guests rods and tackle as well as outbuilding where until a recent date the Landlord would brew the beer that was sold over the bar.
The Society which until recently was for match fishing only, joined the London Anglers Association in 1953, had a limit of 20 members, but this was lifted in 1960 and it remains to this date one of the few local clubs whose membership was open to any local adult and family who is interested in fishing at a fee below most clubs and has a current membership of 256. About 7 years ago (1967) the membership took a direct decision to lease its own local waters. At this time the only site available to them was a derelict area at Dark Lane, Cheshunt that had been a Moat and the land of a 16th Century Farmhouse. Over the next few months the members themselves set to work dredging and clearing out the tons of rubbish that had been dumped in the water. They raised the water level and restocked the Fishery. So impressed were the landlords, the Hertfordshire Education Committee with the results, they had the area classified as a Nature Reserve. Today, together with its fellow local club the Cheshunt AS, with whom they have recently amalgamated the joint Society control some eight acres of private fishing in three local fisheries.