Thursday 31 March 2011

Peek's Of Holborn

Once upon a time in Arcadia, on a Thursday as well on other days of the week, gentlemen and ladies wishing to purchase fishing tackle and bait could proceed along the Gray's Inn Road in the district of London called Holborn to that great institution known as Peek's where you could buy tackle on account and even have your capture set up by their resident taxidermist.  As the angler and writer Eric Marshall Hardy wrote in the 1930's 'You never know when the big fellow will turn up, so be prepared with a newspaper.  I always carry a newspaper when out fishing because there is nothing quite so good for wrapping up a fish which is destined for the taxidermist. Don't use grass or reeds - just wrap the fish in newsprint and take it to Peek's.'  Ever the modernists Peeks had a telephone installed at their main counter and you could ring your order through to the taxidermist by telephoning Holborn 0683.  Callers to that number now may be redirected by the exchange to my field telephone Arcadia 274 383.

 Sadly Peek's has long since joined the roll call of the Lost Tackle Shops of London but you can sate your appetite for Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul on Thursdays by visiting me at my stall in Spitalfields Antiques Market on Commercial Street from a half past seven in the morning where I pay homage to shops such as Peek's by selling their wares to the passing souls of the 21st Century.