Sellers have an early start, they sit on the A316 from 5am to get in and then the gates open for trade buyers from 7am. From 8am the general public descend on this fair which is noted to be one of the better car boot fairs in London and the South of England.
I was late in the great scheme of things by arriving at 9.30, I thought that anything worth having on the vintage fishing tackle front would have been snapped up. As I scanned the tables it wasn’t long before I came across an assortment of fly boxes, Devon Minnows, centre pin reels and other items, none really excited me, so I swiftly moved on scanning every table with the same intensity as an MI5 spy.
There were lots of old fixed spool reels, broken floats, modern tackle boxes and modern carbon rods, still moving on swiftly I visited a vendor who I know does house clearances and plies his trade on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Wimbledon car boot, if anyone is to have some interesting items at keen prices he will. Leant up against the side of his white van were three rods, one glass, one composite and the other a cane rod with distinctive green whipping. I had found a Chapman 500, a De Luxe at that as it had the onion but end to the cork handle though the rod wasn’t in great condition, it was missing two brass male ferrules, had the usual corroded rings but the cane was straight and the handle was in good condition. One of the missing ferrules was fixed fast into the top of the handle. To the side of the rods was a green canvas bag full of reels, spools of line and a green bait box with a cream coloured lid made by Feltham Plastics which had a couple of plugs and some wire traces in it. Also in the bottom of the bag were two vintage floats which had seen some action and I guess from the rest of the set up had been used for pike fishing.
I asked the leather faced trader ‘how much for the rod?’, his reply was a more than fair sum but I asked would that include the bait box and floats, it was met with a nod, so a deal was done for less than three pints of Guinness from the Sun Inn.
If this was to be the second day of Advent then things looked promising.