History on 7th October

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Biggest British Salmon Caught

Dunkeld, Perthshire The 7th of October 1922 AD

It was a story that inspired women throughout Britain and beyond to take up the sport of fishing; and men to create pseudo-scientific reasons why it should have been a woman who managed the feat of catching the greatest salmon yet landed within these shores. For example they cited pheromones as an explanation Ė women it appeared had an unfair natural advantage. It wasnít sporting really. The reality is far simpler: Georgina Ballantine was very good at fishing .
That unpalatable truth is shown by her catch earlier that Saturday: she had taken fish of 17lb, 22lb, and 25lb. It was past six in the evening when, while fishing from her ferryman fatherís boat on the River Tay near Caputh in Perthshire, her hook attracted another bite. This was evidently larger than anything else she had taken previously, ripping 500 yards or more of line off her reel. She fought the fish from the boat, and then stepped ashore to put some side-strain on the monster fish, before embarking again. It is to her fatherís credit that he did not try to take over as some would, only complaining to his daughter about the length of time it was taking to land the creature.
Finally it was manoeuvred near enough to use the gaff and despatch it with a priest (the little club used to kill fish rather than some pious official). The fish weighed 64lb, and measured 54 inches nose to tail. Nine decades on and nobody has yet threatened Georginaís astounding record.

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Pride the first peer and president of hell. - Daniel Defoe
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On this day:
Battle of Ashingdon - 1016, Chewing Gum first goes on sale - 1911, BBC Formed - 1922, First Brit Awards - 1977
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