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I came upon the name of Harvey Torbett by chance, having acquired an Allcock's rod named after him on a certain auction website (more on another page on my site) ... and started to investigate why they had chosen to accord him this honour.

An all round angler, he took pleasure in coarse, game, and sea angling and, not only that, he wrote on all of them too !

As well as under his own name he contributed to many publications under his 'nom de plume' "Isis."

The publications to which he contributed included :-

'Angler's News.'
'Angling.'
'The Angler.'
'Fishing Gazette.'
'Midland Angler.'
'Angling Times.'
'Trout and Salmon.'
'Field Sports.'
'The Gamekeeper.'

He had books published as follows, one of which is believed to be the first volume dedicated solely to the arts of leger fishing :-

"Coarse Fishing." Museum Press Ltd. 1961.
"Sea Fishing." Museaum Press Ltd. 1964.
"The Handbook for Fishermen." Paul Hamlyn Ltd. 1964.
"Towpath Tours." A Fishing Gazette Publication. 1959
"The Angler's Freshwater Fishes." Putnam. 1961.
"Techniques of Ledgering." Thorsons Publishers Limited. 1960.

Working as a teacher, he brought those skills to angling too where he coached, ran groups for young people, was an L.C.C. Angling Instructor (which is why I believe Allcock's named their 'avon' rod for young people after him), made a short film (which I'm trying to source a copy of, but I think the chances are thin).

He also broadcast on angling on the BBC Home Service in a series called 'Fishing Reel,' and was Angling Correspondent for Associated Rediffusion (the forerunner of ITV).

He was 'Honorary Biologist to the Thames Federation of Anglers,' and served on CCPR (Central Council for Physical Recreation) committees promoting angling in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Not only that, but he also found time, somehow, to write a book on another of his loves :-

"Swimmimg and Diving." W. Foulsham and Co. Ltd. 1961

Something of a 'Renaissance Man,' I think you'll agree, which is why he fascinates me so.

I am attempting to collate an archive of all his writings, and therefore ask if anyone comes across anything in old publications under the name of "Isis" ... could they contact me via this site so that I can add it to my collection of his life's work.

Harvey Torbett ... the man ...