Book dedicated to old Beccles character

A LONG NETTING expert has published a book in honour of the old Beccles character who taught him his trade nearly 30 years ago - and put him back on the straight and narrow.

A LONG NETTING expert has published a book in honour of the old Beccles character who taught him his trade nearly 30 years ago - and put him back on the straight and narrow.

Martin King, who now runs a business making pest control nets in Oulton Broad, was moved to write a book in honour of Beccles poacher and well-known character Albert 'Runner' Rix, who died aged 76 in 1984.

Mr King only knew Runner for less than two years before the poacher died of a stroke, however he feels that the time they spent together saved him from “losing his way” during a difficult time in his teens.

“I was in a hell of a state at school,” explained Mr King, 38, who runs The Net Loft in Camps Heath. “I was getting into all sorts of trouble and he took me to one side and put me back on the straight and narrow.


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“Before he died he said 'whatever I taught you, boy, make sure you pass it back on.' I had been carrying this debt of gratitude for ages, so I thought I'd write the book for him.”

Mr Rix, who lived in Ingate, died of a stroke in 1984.

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When Mr King himself also had a stroke three and a half years ago, he was moved to write the book because the experience had brought back memories of Runner.

The book, entitled Long Netting from Peg to Peg, explains every stage of making and working the long nets, as well as chapters on the advances in equipment over the last quarter of a century.

It passes on the knowledge he learnt from Runner, as well as over 27 years of working the long nets.

Mr King, whose mother and father ran the old Crown pub in Blyburgate, was just 12 when he met Runner at the pub.

“We struck up an instant bond, a bond born from our love of the countryside,” said Mr King, who still owns Runner's great great grandfather's hand-made catapult that was given to him.

“His tales were mostly of poaching and I hung on his every word. To me he was more than just a customer, he was my mentor for he taught me the ways of the countryside, ways of pest control and ways in which I would do well to conduct myself if I were to get on in life.”

Long Netting from Peg to Peg is published by Quiller Publishing Ltd and can be purchased from www.thenetloft.net priced at �16.95.

Through to moving to Oulton Broad, Mr King has lost contact with the Rix family. If they would like to get in touch they can contact him at his business on 07779 720289 or www.thenetloft.net.

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