3 December – ‘River’

River‘ by Andrew Thompson and Dominique Kenway.

I received an invitation to the launch of this book from one of the authors, Andrew Thompson,  who is the Keeper on the stretch of river where I fish. The trip to Petworth also enabled me to drop off my fishing diary at the book binders. More of that in a later post. Andrew has lived beside and worked on the Rother for many years. He is a Trustee of The Arun and Rother Rivers Trust and a life member of the Hawk and Owl Trust.

Dominique Kenway is an artist who uses the South Downs countryside as a source of inspiration. She selected the poetry and prose to complement Andrew’s photographs.

Max Egremont (Lord Egremont) contributed the Foreword. The Rother runs through his Petworth Estate. He is an author, historian and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

The launch party was hosted in a converted Sussex barn close to the river, a great location. I chatted to both authors about the design and production of the book. I also discussed the season’s fishing with other members. I had to wait until I got home before I could discover the books contents. It was worth the wait.


River‘ is a book about the beauty of a lowland river and it’s wildlife. The photographs preserve “an astonishing survival of calm and peace“.

Chris Yates wrote the following; “……the wide green fields behind, this part of the Rother must be the most exquisite piece of river fishing I’ve ever seen“. He describes his fishing trips and the wildlife in ‘River Diaries’. I first read Chris’ book in 1997 and formed pictures in my mind of swirling water, streamer weed and overhanging trees. Andrew’s photographs capture the serene and relaxing atmosphere that Yates described. ‘River‘ is not a fishing book. It is about why I go fishing. The unspoilt countryside, wildlife, sunsets and occasionally a Trout. I will keep the book close by and dip into it, accompanied by a glass of single malt. It would make a perfect Christmas present for anyone who loves the Sussex countryside.

The book is hardback, 28 x 24 cm, full colour, printed beautifully by The Lavenham Press, 96 pages, limited to 500 copies. Price £29.50 plus postage and packing.

The book is self-published. You can buy a copy from Andrew at rotherbridge@talktalk.net and from the bookshops in Petworth and Haslemere. 

I highly recommend the book, it will sell out quickly.