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Monday, 29 July, 2002, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Angling museum under threat
Angling
Isaak Walton wrote a renowned treatise on fishing
Fans of "a transcript of old English country life" are preparing to battle to save a Staffordshire museum.

The Isaak Walton Cottage in Shallowford, which has attracted 1,200 visitors this year, could face closure by Stafford Borough Council.

Mr Walton, the 17th-century author of The Compleat Angler, left the thatched, timber-framed cottage to the nearby city for the benefit of the poor, in his will.

A spokesman for the supporters of the cottage, Terry Davies, said they were ready to "orchestrate as much noise as we can" to save the building.

Isaak Walton Cottage
The cottage was left to the poor

Mr Davies, honorary secretary of the British Society of Friends of the Isaak Walton Cottage, believes the fishing museum housed in the cottage is the only one in the country.

Now campaigners say the house is under threat due to cost-cutting measures forced by governmental "best value" legislation.

The laws, introduced in 1999, oblige local authorities to review services periodically for efficiency and quality.

Mr Davies added the society had told the council that fans in America were prepared to help raise funds, but had received no response.

A spokesman for Stafford Borough Council said no decision on the future of the cottage had been taken, but closure to the public was "one of the options being considered".

However, he could guarantee it would not be closed this year.

Walton's treatise on fishing was described by 20th-century writer John Buchan as "a transcript of old English country life, a study of the folk heart".

Fans say only the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer have been reprinted in English more often.


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24 Jul 02 | Entertainment
16 Jul 02 | Entertainment
22 May 02 | England
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