Found on a table at a sale of vintage and collectables this disguised Abu Toby lure. Clearly decorated in the original owners favourite colours I wonder if this was for predatory fish or for a Spring or Autumn Salmon. I guess the only way to find out is to fish with it, but in the meantime it can be used as a decoration on the tree, once the treble has been removed.
Under bright skies the farmers market was quieter then usual, some new vendors stalled amoungst the regulars and the usual banter filled the air, then one stall holder shouted ‘Downton how are you?, that’s the nickname given to me by Ed the purveyor of Sushi, I have to say it is rather good, better than what you’ll get in M&S, Yo Sushi and other fast food outlets.
Having spent a good part of the morning in the loft looking for the Christmas decorations and trying to have a good tidy up, just that I need to find some space to store things before Mum comes for Christmas. Having a passion for collecting art and an eclectic mix of decorative items I’ve seemed to have collected enough to fill Downton Abbey let alone our humble home which is comfortable but a bit on the small size, I guess that’s the compromise for living in this leafy part of London. Amoungst all the boxes of collectables, paperwork, mirrors, old furniture and obsolete electrical goods. However, in one area of the loft are several boxes of Speyside Whisky, a collection put together over several years and have remain unopened for at least a decade.
I have always had a passion for whisky in fact I was fortunate enough to work for the well respected merchant of fine wines and spirits, Berry Bros & Rudd. The heritage of the company in St James’s spans over 300 years and the owners of the Glenrothes brand and that familiar tipple when on holiday, Cutty Sark, which they have now sold on. For me the crisp winter nights becon a dram or two of a fine malt and a dash of Franklin & Sons Artesian Water which comes from a well know Scottish spring. I’ve still not acquired any whisky stones yet as I have in the past used a large round ice mould to chill my glass down so maybe a trip to Whisky World this week to see what new releases there are to add to the Christmas drinks list.
I’m behind this year on my writing and sadly I’m behind on my Advent posts so I will aim to put one together for tomorrow. With the loss of my father earlier this year, a new job which has become all consuming and with little opportunity to fish, source vintage tackle or walk the shoreline I’ve been short on inspiration, hopefully I’ll get back to more activity in the New Year. For now I’ll raise a glass of the fine spirit and think about returning to the water over the Christmas holidays for an early frosty and crisp mornings Perch or Grayling fishing…now there’s a thought.
Over recent months it has been noticeable of the absence of Andrews of Arcadia, no longer a dedicated piscatorial stall fills a space at the far end of the market, no more mugs of victory tea, banter, stories of trips to the ends of the island in search of ‘Vintage Tackle For The Soul’ – this an now only be found by viewing on my iPad.
Spitalfields Market always excites me in much the same as Sunbury Antiques Market who’s home is Kempton Racecourse. You simply never know what you may find but if you wish for something you’ll always manage to find it.
Having attended a meeting at Shoreditch House I decided to stroll back through the Market towards Liveool Street Station. Dealers sat chatting to each other and punters browsed the eclectic mix of items, boxes of bone, silverware, vintage watches, paintings, glassware, vintage furniture, shop fittings, clothing – yes this list is endless.
Having picked up a vintage Festival of Britain branded glass and a 50’s button badge from someone’s holiday souvenirs from St Ives I came across a table of odds and ends and a handful of vintage lures. Some whittled from wood, others a combination of wire and lead weights, others vintage manufactures lures, similar to Heddon and one painted Abu Toby, this I had to have. What intrigued me most was that someone had taken the time to sit and make some lures that they thought would deceive a fish…today they caught the eye of a fisherman, as my wife say’s, tackle is there to catch fishermen not fish.
The alarm went off at 4am, dark with the sound of rain on the slate roof we had exactly an hour to pack the car and head to Redditch for The Vintage Tackle Fair. Hosted by the well known and respected John Andrews of Andrews of Arcadia, it was to be a jamboree of forty plus dealers selling their treasure troves of tackle, books, cased fish, art, floats and journals.
Young Tales woke at 4.15, pulled on his clothes, yawned and sat on the edge of his bed as boxes of tackle collected over several years were carried down the stairs to the car. Our trusted silver arrow with its cavernous boot was quickly filled to the gunnels. With a flask of coffee, some ripe bananas we took the long road to the Midlands, the heart of the English tackle industry to take rods and reels back to where they were made.
With professionalism young Tales helped stall out, unpacking Hardy, Abu, Sharpes, Allcocks, JW Young, Efgeeco – reels , rods, bags, nets, fly boxes, lures and objects of piscatorial interest. With 9am fast approaching there seemed to be a level of pre-viewing by other dealers of what we had, some so eager watched us as we unpacked, scanning each item with an intensity that you could hear ‘mine, mine’.
As the doors opened to hoards of anglers, collector and other dealers there was a buzz in the air. Eyes scanned the table like it was a game show, trying to memorise what we had on offer before heading to the next table like bees collecting pollen from flowers.
Comparing prices, condition and range seemed to be order of the day, then like bees returning to the hive the odd buyer would come back to haggle, clearly a good number were out for a bargain. Some buyers from Norway and Germany were focused on buying quality rods and reels, we were lucky to trade a couple of Chapman and an Octofloat rod at sensible prices where both seller and buyer were please to trade. A few vintage books sold and smaller tackle items. We had one client who decided to adorn his coat with a few spinners as he reached across the table to look at a clean and free-running Speedia, later to be purchased and on reflection was my own personal reel put out in error which will be missed as many a good story was linked to that wonderful reel, I hope it’s new owner looks after it. Also my trusted Hardy Ultralite Salmon reel found its way onto the table. It caught the eye of another dealer who passed by the stand several times, the early start took its toll on us all and without thinking clearly the haggling dealer like a predatory big cat, stalking to the last got the deal he’d been clearly after. A lesson learned not to put your own kit in with your for sale items, that was a costly mistake.
Overall it was a pleasant affair, familiar faces and busy enough not to allow me time to spend the takings on a wish list of reels and other items which Mrs Tales reminds me that I don’t really need. I also need to thank her for reminding me of that and for her help on the day. My gratitude to young Tales who endured the whole day with such enthusiasm, engaged with customers and put the whole thing in context saying that things were there to sell and the more we sold the further afield we could go on our next fishing adventure, clearly influenced by watching Big Fish. He noted that even if we sold all the table we could still catch fish with a stick, a length of line, reed, stone and a hook. It’s very wise words from such a young soul that it’s no good having lots of tackle in boxes if you can’t get out to use it.
Interestingly enough he did his own trade with Mr Andrews and came away with a bonus for his efforts.
The next National Vintage Tackle show will be in May 2016…if we sell all we have the question will be where will we be heading to fish?
The day was long and an even longer road home
Oh dear, I have to admit when I see a bargain I go for it, not just once but several times in a day. Fishing is a decease, It’s not the fishing, it the collecting of reels, rods and the accompanying paraphernalia.
I recently purchased some Hardy rods for young Tales, then I purchased some reels to match the rods, now I need to buy some lines ….where will it end …. a reel case or two to match.
I guess I do need some therapy, if having the bug to go fishing wasn’t enough the desire to collect more tackle is as great.
In case you were wondering the recent finds were a Hardy 8’6″ #6 Fiberlite, a Hardy 9′ #9 Fiberlite sea trout rod, a Farlows Ambassador 9/10 Salmon Reel and a more contemporary Hardy Uniqua 9/10 light salmon reel, oh yes and a 150th Anniversary Farlows reel case to put the reel in…will it stop, no!
Whilst discussing the state of the tidal Thames with local piscator Brian and tactics of how to fish it successfully, he showed me his recent tackle acquisition a Shimano 4000D BTR, what was interesting was the 60’s vintage olive green Edgar Thurston & Co reel case in pristine condition. Edgar Thurston of East Twickenham was run by Dave Steuart a well respected tackle dealer and fisherman.
Having basked in temperature in excess of 25c over the last few days, the sky this morning was overcast and rain threatened to dampen the monthly stalling out at Chiswick Car Boot.
I was accompanied this morning by our new neighbours who were intrigued to visit this monthly sale of an eclectic mix vintage collectables and bric-a-brac. Much like Sunbury Antiques Market held at Kempton Race Course you can literally have a wish list and find most of it.
I had a few items on my list, hand Shears to trim my Box plants, items of vintage tackle, and some vintage tools, did I need any of it, not really but if I was to acquire anything then those were the items.
After a quick walk around the stalls there seemed little that would make me part with my money. I found a lovely Scarborough reel, a vintage bait tin which was simply too expensive to give a second glance, a Rimfly Classic fly reel with line, several rods – none of which inspired, an eel and minnow trap and a few multiplier reels together with a box of minnows and Hardy spinning weights. No matter how tempting I passed up on most of it, difficult that it was when you have the vintage tackle bug.
On a second pass of stands beneath the trees I found box containing some Burgon & Ball Classic Garden Shears, these I purchased for £5. Further along I noticed a large black umbrella that sheltered a range of vintage items, what I did notice was the familiar shape of an Efgeeco rod bag under the umbrella. I asked the vendor about the bag, he replied ‘it’s for the umbrella mate’, I knelt down turned over the sipped opening for it to reveal the signature black printed logo of Efgeeco No.244, 5c on the distinctive olive green canvas. I asked as to the price for the bag and at £35 inclusive of the umbrella which it housed a reasonable price, after a bit of haggling which would give me enough to buy a celebratory pint I walked of with the Efgeeco bag over my shoulder. Leaving the field it started to rain, with a cheeky grin across my face as I headed home to watch the British Grand Prix and the thoughts of a bit of fishing later in the day.
There was a blanket of cloud drifting over SW13 however it wasn’t long before the sun burnt through a warm and clear day ensued. In the hallway rod rested against a chest of draws, reels lay dormant on a table top and the fishing bag hung on a hook in the back passage way, for me there was to be no fishing, no tightening of the line and not a fish in sight.
However for many this was an eagerly awaited day, baits prepared, rods chosen and new line spooled onto favoured reels and for those traditionalists a chance to use a golden cane rod and vintage centerpin in dappled sunlight on banks of lush June vegetation. It will be interesting over the next few days to read and hear their stories of the glorious 16th.
I’ve recently seen another Chapman of Ware, Peter Stone Ledgerstrike rod listed on that well known online auction site. This one not with the provinance of being owned by the renowend angler but all the same made a good price, at £225 the bidding ended.
These sought after cane rods form Chapmans of Ware are still commanding good money, in fact I haven’t seen one change hands for less than £200 in recent months.
As the owner of several Chapman cane rods I have decided to let a few go as I can’t justify keeping them all, some will get used but others are now best passed on. Over the coming weeks I will list a range of vintage tackle to be sold, reels, rods, books and other fishing items. Out if my collection of rods will be a couple of Chapman 500’s in fine refurbished condition and a Chapman Shelford in mint original condition.
Like many an angler the lure of a fine rod is difficult to resist but it’s the storage of them which becomes an issue. Also we have found recently that we are using less than a third of what we own, some rods are so dependable that they are winning favour each time we go fishing. The selection process will be tough but we will need to pair the collection down to four trout rods, two Sea-trout rods, two salmon rods, four spinning rods, two sea rods, two ledger rods, two float rods and one stalking rod for carp fishing, the later being the Chapman 550 I gave to Paul Cook to refurbish. Even that list is extensive enough, it will no doubt end up being more as I just remembered four highly prized Hardy cane fly rods and a fine Sharpes Scottie featherweight that is a dream to use, so still I recon we will end up with twenty five rods between the two of us and if young Tales big brother ever gets involved we might just need to have a few in reserve, however at this stage he’s into buying cameras and film equipment.
Having just done a mental audit I think we’ll have at least a dozen rods up for sales and a least a dozen reels so watch this space or if you are in the market for some vintage tackle by Hardy, Sharpes, Abu, Allcocks and other notable tackle merchants then drop me a line, pardon the pun.
It was one of those mornings where I struggled to leave the comfort of a warm bed, but something told me to get up, get dressed and head over the river to a local car boot.
With a chill wind blowing from the North only the hardy or foolish ventured out to walk around tables of other peoples cast offs and unwanted items. There have been few times I have come back empty handed from this car boot sale, however walking down the lane, across the meadow there seemed to be far fewer visitors than I expected for this first sale of the year. As I got closer there were people already leaving with their finds. One woman was clutching a rather attractive star backed mirror and others passed by with some elegant guilt and gesso picture frames, this indicated that there were some quality items to source. Enamel industrial light fittings, shade and lamps littered the ground as I entered the tall mesh gates.
The first few stalls were of bric-a-brac and vintage clothing, then heading to the back of the playground where this sale stalls out in the winter months I headed for a couple of dealers who have the same pitch month in, month out. The first find was a long thin metal tin containing some vintage floats, there I found three good Hardcork floats with their distinctive three band tips, these would be ideal for young Tales if we go Grayling fishing again. The next two dealers had rods, reels and nets, a real mixed bag of items however a good condition Wilko extendable net for the cost of a pint of Guinness had to be snapped up. I passed on a good 9ft #7 fly rod just that had I purchased it I’d be doubling up on rods I already had and there wasn’t enough profit on it to trade it comfortably.
After a scout around the back section of this car boot I saw a Barbour jacket liner on a stall and again a blue note secured this item. Now chilled to the bone I started to make my way back but couldn’t help momentarily stopping to admire a watercolour of the Clapppergate Bridge near Ambleside by Henry Wilson (1864-1934), an artist and sculptor who taught at the Royal College Of Art, at the Central School Of Arts and Crafts, and at the Victoria Street School for Silversmiths in Birmingham. The painting was in an old traditional oak frame but the mount was badly watermark damaged however the watercolour itself was fine, I enquired on the price and without further questioning made the acquisition. As I decided to head home I took one last look at a rod in a tatty fawn rod bag, inverting it to untie the distinctive orange Sealey cotton ties I revealed a Edgar Sealey Octofloat 2, with it’s purple whippings intact, rod rings bright and cork handle in good condition. I enquired as to the price and after a brief conversation and negotiation picked up the fawn coloured rod bag and contents and headed back, down the lane and across the meadow with a smile on my face.