Story so far
Set in a 100 acre wooded valley, Docklow Pools is established as the oldest fishery in the country, and certainly one of most beautiful. But it wasn’t always so easy.
Mike & Josie Bozward bought West End Farm, Docklow at auction in 1972, with the intention of transforming a boggy delict farm into a holiday business. The farmhouse was to home their young family & also some of the cows and sheep too. The bar area today, actually had animals in back then.
They mortgaged themselves to the maximum, and did what they could to start their new life & business. Mike had always been a keen fisherman, and could see the opportunity to use the precious fresh water springs to make pools. Back then, that was unheard of. A farmer wouldn’t really want West End Farm, because it was in such a mess. So with Mike’s vision and Josie’s hard graft they set to work on building the countries first commercial fishing holiday venue.
Shortly after moving in, the Mickey Mouse lake or Old pool as it was back then, was dug out. There were no cottages or lodges, so to stay the accommodation was a £1 a night in the farm house.
In 1976 the Match pool was dug and in 1979 the Stock pool. The first cottages were available to stay around 79 too. Don’t forget that even whilst the pools and accommodation were becoming established, Josie was still farming the rough farmland. Having such a huge mortgage and limited income Mike continued to travel to Birmingham to work at British Leyland. It had to be done. He’d even take bags & buckets of cow manure to work to sell for peoples gardens.
Having a place in the country to stay in late 70s & early 80s with lakes & fishing was a master stroke but it wasn’t until the bar opened 1986 that he finally left his job. By then there were 10 cottages or so, and Moby Dick & Snake were new too.
We have been very careful to remember all the old values - Looking after loyal customers. Having a lovely place to enjoy that you’re proud of. No hassles. No problem customers. Great fishing. Beautiful pools. Friendships. Country life. Look after people to come back.
Docklow is more than a fishing business. It’s been around for 50 years, and means the world to so many people. Sure you can go to places where you’ll catch more fish, big fish... Our fishing is great, its renowned for its fishing, but its also famous for good times too. “Yes” its country. “Yes” its got character. “Yes” it doesn’t feel commercial. There are so many places these days that feel the same as the next competitor. You’ll find Docklow is like no other. In a way its still the same as when Mike & Josie started it all those years ago
We hope you really enjoy your stay.