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Middy International under new ownership


Middy International, one of the UK and Europe’s oldest tackle brands, is now owned by Woodland Lakes Fisheries, of Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

The Derbyshire company closed its doors in September last year amid rumours on social media that it had gone bust. But Craig Kent (pictured) at Woodland Lakes Fisheries, put the record straight.

Commenting on the maggotdrowners.com Facebook group, Kent said: “Middy certainly hasn’t gone bust. It’s a thriving popular brand. There’s quite a bit of stock left and there are also lots of new and existing products in production now.”

Kent also said that there would be a big relaunch of the brand this year. The news will cheer Middy enthusiasts, many of whom had expressed their disappointment in the belief that the previous owners, the Middleton family, had closed the business.

Kent was unavailable for comment at the time of posting this story and Angling International is not sure in what form the brand will continue to trade. An ‘under construction’ website says simply that “Middy Tackle is now owned by Woodland Lakes Fisheries.”

The fishery complex, run by Craig and his father Jimmy, comprises 13 coarse lakes in 45 acres of landscaped countryside.

Middy began life in a council house and and rose to a thriving business supplying over 20 countries at its peak. It was started in 1968 by Rolls Royce Aerospace engineer Ken Middleton, a match angler who had begun making floats for his own use.

But when local tackle shop Herbert Blounts placed an order for 300 pieces, Middleton realised there was a commercial opportunity and soon other shops became his customers.

Growing demand for Middy Floats saw production moved from Ken’s council house into a small factory in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. It moved again in 1975, just a few minutes down the road to Borrowash, where production rose to 125 different patterns.

Expansion accelerated again when Ken’s son David joined the business in 1980 and in the late 80s Middy expanded its product range to include catapults, swim feeders and accessories.

The company name was changed to Middy International in the 90s and, with David now CEO, the business pioneered the supply of swivel adaptors, push-button rod rests, hair systems and other items, as well as producing poles and rods.

David’s brother Peter had also joined the business, along with the sons of both men. Rising demand led to a move to the current premises in Heanor, Derbyshire, where it remained until changing ownership.

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