Jim Smith obituary

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Stewart Allum

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Jim Smith, who has died aged 75, devoted his entire adult life to the River Ouse in Sussex. In his role as head bailiff for the Ouse Angling Preservation Society for 55 years and a trustee of the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust, he sold and checked fishing permits, policed the fishery, supervised the work of volunteers and helped monitor sewage and pollution.

With his battered tweed trilby and deep Sussex brogue, Jim was the archetypal river bailiff. I first met him some 20 years ago when I began fishing the Ouse for its elusive sea trout. In 2015 Jim was interviewed by the Guardian for a feature headlined The Old Man and the River, highlighting environmental problems facing the Ouse and other rivers throughout Britain.

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