Vincent Carron Wellington produced in 1952, by some reckonings, one of the best-loved books on angling to come out of the British Isles. His reputation in some quarters of the angling world is little short of legendary; to this day his readers retrace his steps in the far north-west of Scotland, book in hand, and equipment known to have been owned by him fetches high prices at auction.
But his readers may be surprised to learn that this ‘son of the Highlands’ was not quite all that he seemed. He was in fact a child of the Welsh valleys who turned his back on a life in the coal mines and reinvented himself. And not only once, but time and again, with a succession of women. The result of these liaisons has been a widely-distributed number of related families, who are now discovering one another.
There are so many ‘ways in’ to the remarkable story of our subject; my own will be found by clicking my name WYNNE on the FAMILIES menu at the top of the page. In my pursuit of it others’ stories have emerged, under the names WILLIAMS, BALDWIN, GOADBY, and, indeed, WELLINGTON, and there may be others still to emerge. My own story is no more important than any other. One day we may make a coherent narrative of them all; for now I hope this site will attract others related to, or with knowledge of VCW to come forward with what they know of him. But however significantly he may feature in all our stories — indeed many of us owe our very existence to him — we are, all of us, mere footnotes to the story of Vincent Carron Wellington himself.
It is not intended to pass judgement on VCW — readers can draw their own conclusions — but he touched, and indeed initiated, many lives, and there is surely no-one living who can be hurt by the details related here. I hope all those affected by him would agree that it is legitimate for us to discover all that we can of him, and perhaps even hope to understand why he did what he did. I can certainly recognize aspects of his personality in my father and myself, though their level of expression in us has fallen short of Vincent in at least one respect. Perhaps his experience in the Great War was a contributory factor in the pattern of his life.
If you can add anything to our account of his life or his reputation in the angling world and elsewhere, we would love to hear from you; please make use of the Contact form.
Not everything I have discovered about my grandfather’s relationships has been placed online; some sensitive details await discussion with other affected parties before (if at all) they will be made public.
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