Some Members’ Comments on Steve Burke’s Retirement


It’s been an absolute pleasure fishing where future Tiger Bays and Basil’s Bushes will be written and cemented in history.


What you have done with the place is legendary & you should be proud!


Your legacy is there for us lucky band to immerse ourselves in and gain so very much more than just angling of the highest calibre. I wish you and Peggy all the very best for a long and restful retirement, enjoy your fishing, keep recounting the Wingham story and please write it down in order that memories and inspiration are preserved.


You created for me the best fishing in the most wonderful of surroundings.


I’m sure I speak for the whole membership when I say I am privileged to have been a Wingham member under your captaincy over the years.  I was saddened to read your email, you have made Wingham into one of the best fisheries, if not the best fishery, in the country. Your membership policy has kept the wrong types out and made Wingham a lovely place to escape to. I do hope you will still be about as I’ve always enjoyed our chats about fishing, wildlife and everything else. Thanks for the most memorable fishing I’ve ever enjoyed.


Thank you very much for all you have done, to a man the syndicate and the wider carp fishing fraternity owe you a great debt of gratitude.


Got to be the hardest decision you have had to make in your angling life. It’s been a great privilege to have fished on both of your waters and have to say the Main Lake is my favourite water of over 40 years of carp fishing. Hope your retirement brings all that you wish for and I’m sure Wingham will be your legacy.


India and Matt have a lot to live up to, but I trust your judgement that they will continue the great work and fulfil your legacy. It is good to know you will still be vetting new members. I have only been a member a short time, but have been made to feel welcome by the other members and have really enjoyed the limited time I have so far been able to fish.


I realise I’ve not spent a load of time with you but when I have I have had nothing but admiration and respect for you.  I remember the early conversations about me joining and your patience was greatly appreciated as I chartered my way through time in the Middle East.  Then when I finally joined, the great day we spent in August 2016 walking round the Main Lake as you vetted me will be cherished.  I truly love Wingham and will never give up my ticket.  Its atmosphere so tells of a man committed to making a wonderful place – so it is truly a reflection of you.


Sad to read this email, however as long as I’m a member I’ll look to uphold the principles you the founder have laid down.


You have created a fantastic world. Being a new member and just viewing the whole situation I feel privileged to be a part of it.   I know you don’t drink but raise a glass sir. Or a cup of tea!

That’s big news Steve.  I wonder if you will write a book on Wingham?


I’m not sure whether to be sad, or happy for you.  Definitely the end of an era! I have so many happy memories of Wingham and often talk about it….you must have millions of memories, so not being at the helm will leave a massive gap in your life, but I’m sure you’ll fill it.


You have done a fantastic job here.  I for one can say I haven’t enjoyed my fishing as much for years as I have since joining Wingham.  Long may it continue.


Sorry to read this but not surprised. Very pleased you will still be vetting new members. And hopefully getting in a lot more fishing!  I’m glad to hear both that no major changes are planned and you will still be involved in some way. Both lakes are a real credit to you, and you have undoubtedly created something incredibly special.


Thanks for all your hard work, you have indeed created a carp fisherman’s heaven.


You’ve done such an amazing job with Wingham.  What a fantastic achievement, especially with all the unforeseen obstacles of various kinds and the unpredictability of nature to contend with.  The only problem is that it ruins every other lake for me as the fish, the nature and the surroundings at Wingham can’t be beaten in my opinion.


It’s a relief to hear that you will still have a part to play in the future of Wingham and I’m sure the Radbournes are grateful to continue to benefit from your guidance.


Steve, I can only imagine how much of a difficult decision this must have been………one in which I’m very familiar as I have decided to fully retire in Sept myself.  I am most grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to fish at Wingham, it really is a special place. Whilst we have only met a few times it’s been a real pleasure to get to know you a little and I have nothing but admiration for what you have achieved at Wingham. It’s quite a legacy!


Sorry to hear that Steve, I’m glad you are staying on in a consultancy role.


I must admit to some mixed feelings regarding your news, happy that you will finally have the time to reap some of the angling benefits of your fine work and enjoy ‘retirement’. On the other hand, I do not think I will ever find someone in your position so committed and flexible regarding the conservation aspects of the site.  Apart from the fishery achievements, we still see a very significant Nightingale population each year, and some Turtle Doves maintain a toe hold, both red listed species in Britain. You have been as excellent manager from my point of view and the conservation value of the site has benefitted enormously.


It was a pleasure and privilege to have fished Wingham particularly before it became as high profile as it is today, I still remember my first session back in 2007 very well.


This news is received with mixed feelings.  I’m really pleased the result will hopefully mean you’ll get more time for fishing.  However, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness that you’re stepping down.  May I just say a huge thank you for letting me become a Wingham member, I feel very privileged.  Also thank you for maintaining your vision over the years, your dedication and diligence in creating Wingham.  Although I’ve only been a member for a Winter season so far, I intend to make Wingham a fishery that I’ll now be a member of for life.  Wingham truly is a stunningly beautiful place and I hope it remains so for many years to come.  One day I hope my son will be able to join and fish alongside me and I’ll get to tell him the story of your legacy (hopefully though you’ll meet him on the bank one day and be able to tell him yourself!).


Thank you for creating a very special place that I thoroughly enjoy fishing.


Sorry to hear that you are retiring,you have done a brilliant job of making Wingham what it is today  & should be proud of what you have achieved. Hope it continues to be the same.


I have just become aware of your announcement to retire, it was a pleasure to have met you. I sincerely wish you all the best for the future, very few people get to leave behind a legacy. It is such an achievement you must feel very proud. You are a gentleman and a scholar, I therefore raise a glass/cup to you. Good health Sir.



I imagine it will be very difficult to ‘let go’ but the consultancy role will no doubt be beneficial to you and certainly the fishery. I hope you can now relax and enjoy some more fishing and writing (a Wingham book perhaps…).
As many others have said, what you have created and preserved at Wingham is a fantastic achievement and one you can been immensely proud of and we members are extremely privileged to be allowed to fish such a beautiful and rich fishery. It is testament to the place that I continue to return to the banks despite my own lack of success, battling the traffic, the dreaded Dartford Tunnel and probably driving past 100s of carp lakes on the way from Essex!
I fully expect your legacy will be up there with the likes of Donald Leney in carp fishing history and that Wingham will produce future record fish.


Sorry to hear you’re retiring, but very appreciative of what you’ve created over the years, it’s certainly a special place.


You should be very proud and you deserve to happily retire with all that you have achieved.


Very pleased for you, a shame for the lake and the members….You must be very proud of what you have achieved at Wingham, you set out a clear and ambitious vision and have over achieved this in every way, amazing!


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