One of the greats of Emap angling journalism has passed away with the death of Chris Dawn, development editor of Trout Fisherman, aged 63.
An Essex boy from Buckhurst Hill, Chris had served just under 40 years with Emap. He joined Emap's "periodicals division" back in July 1966 (the month that England won the World Cup) when he earned a salary of just £19 a week as a sub-editor on Angling Times. He had previously worked for Angler's Mail in London.
He worked for some of the bestknown editors of the time, many of whom went on to play a major part in the development of Emap's magazine business — Jack Thorndike, Pat Beasley, Mike Hughes, Russell Hole, Bob Feetham and Barry Dennis. He rapidly moved on to become a reporter, then news editor and finally features editor of Angling Times before editing, in 1983, The Coarse Fishing Handbook and The Sea Angling Handbook as quarterlies and bi-monthlies.
In July 1984 he began his long association with Trout Fisherman, taking over from John Wilshaw on his move to Trout and Salmon. The current game angling general manager, Steve Windsor, was his features editor and the magazine enjoyed some of its strongest years. Triumphs included a record ABC of 46,241 and the closure of competing title Stillwater Trout Fishing.
Chris mopped up most of Emap's writing and journalism awards on a regular basis. He then went on to launch and edit Bird Watching, before making the brave and difficult choice to hand the title over to Dave Cromack (who retired on the day Chris died). He continued as editor of Trout Fisherman.
In 2000, Chris moved into the role of development editor for Trout Fisherman, and in the next six years he achieved many of his greatest ambitions in feature writing and fishing travel journalism.
He was given a free hand to use his massive powers of observation and natural history knowledge to capture the feel, sounds and smells of every venue — and captivate his audiences.
Chris had never caught a double-figure trout until last year, when he was totally delighted to have landed three 10lb-plus rainbows (and an 8lb stillwater salmon).
He was still working right up to his last illness, setting standards of feature writing that were admired and aspired to by the very young angling team. We send our deepest sympathy to his wife Kath and his family.