The William Gentles Memorial Scholarship was established in 2007 by the United Clyde Angling Protective Association (UCAPA) in conjunction with Glasgow University and the Clyde River Foundation. The Scholarship with a “prize” of £500 is awarded annually by UCAPA, a voluntary non-profit organisation which has existed since 1887.
Bill Gentles was involved with UCAPA from the late 1970s and was a well known ambassador for the Association and especially the Clyde. His ethos was that of those anglers from whom he learned the sport; “look after the river for future generations – it is the past generations who have made it available for you.“
He died suddenly on 26 December 2005 and was the first President or Chairman of the United Clyde Angling Protective Association to die whilst “in office”. He was also the longest serving Chairman of the Limited Company.
Bill Gentles’ work for UCAPA
Bill Gentles became involved with UCAPA’s work at the Abington Ponds and Hatchery in the 1970s. He was present at many an Annual General Meeting and was unsuccessful when he was first nominated to become a Director. However this did not detract from his efforts at the ponds where he continued to spend lots of time and energy on. He was appointed as a Director in January 1980 and by the end of that year, in November, he agreed to take on the post of Lease Committee Convenor. As well as time spent at the ponds he spent many hours visiting and negotiating with the riparian owners. He was instrumental in making sure that all riparian owners had been visited in preparation for the Protection Order which was subsequently granted to the Association.
He was also nominated by the then Secretary of State to serve as a member on the Clyde River Purification Board and he served that board for many years until the CRPB was reformed as Sepa. For a time, he represented UCAPA on the River Clyde Fisheries Management Trust, and had been a regular participant in all negotiations leading to the setting up of that organisation.
In 1993, Bill was appointed Chairman of UCAPA Ltd for the first time, and when he vacated the Chair to make way for John McGregor, his departure was short-lived. As Vice-Chairman he readily stepped in when John had to leave the post due to business commitments.
In recent years Bill was convinced that the way forward for the Clyde Fishery would be based on scientific evidence and not merely on conjecture. The formation of the Clyde River Foundation and its efforts to find out what is going on in the river system was welcomed by Bill. To mark his commitment to the Association and his love of the Clyde, the Directors of United Clyde Angling Protective Association Limited agreed to establish a Memorial Scholarship in his name.
Initially, Professor Graham Ruxton of Glasgow University’s Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences agreed to become involved in the project and arranged for suitable candidates to apply for specific study projects on the Upper Clyde and tributaries during the summer months.
Dr Willie Yeomans of the Clyde River Foundation provides “hands on” support for the successful candidate who is supervised by him throughout the study period.
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