Tuesday, 31 January 2012


A cold and half empty Kempton this morning yielded treasure including a fine linewinder complete with quill and celluloid floats and a pair of old driving mitts made from sheepskin and leather.

Monday, 30 January 2012


Found on the margins of Arcadia in the region known on the Lost Shipping Forecast as Zanderland a Slotted Allcocks Fishing Gazette Float in the livery black and white.  This float would have been taken under during its working life on occasion by pike unimaginable in size.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Telegram from Zanderland

Awoke in Arcadia to a shroud of frozen fog and a telegram delivered overnight from Zanderland and my good friend and collaborator the artist Mr. John Richardson which you can read at Caught by the River.

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Song of the Nightingale

Stuck in the Efgeeco Isolation Ward with an Arcadian Brand of Influenza I found myself eating fried bread and listening to a repeat of last Sunday's BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs with the writer Mr. Vikram Seth.  You too, can listen by clicking here, and be moved by the sound of Nightingales singing as Lancaster Bombers fly overhead in the month of May 1942. 


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Caught by the River Social Club: Last Night

Across Arcadia this lunchtime glasses are filled by barmaids who call you dear not duckie and are raised in thanks to everyone who came to The Caught by the River Social Club and created a joyous evening in the company of Mr. Will Burns, Mr. Robin Turner, Mr. Charles-Rangeley-Wilson, myself and the only band known to have a residency at Orwell's mythical Moon Under Water, the Golden Country's very own Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Caught by the River Social Club: Tonight

For all those in search of the Moon Under Water you are advised that it will rise in the taproom of The Stag Public House this evening shortly after 7pm for The Caught by the River Social Club where the mighty Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou will headline supported with spoken word by Robin Turner, Will Burns, Charles Rangeley-Wilson and myself.  Your glass is on the bar.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Army and Navy

Found whilst on a sortie off the road A1 by the ever vigilant Empress, quartermistress to the stars, a Gloverall Duffle Coat, aka the Convoy Coat or the Monty, standard issue during winters in Arcadia and now being sported indoors as well as out.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Farlow's Tackle 93rd Edition

Found in the side passage of a bookshop off the road A1 in the north of Arcadia a distressed copy of Farlow's Tackle 93rd Edition dating to the years before Pandemonium was widespread.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Andrews of Arcadia meets Mr. Natty Uptown

Early on this Saturday evening I shall be getting spruced up for The Caught by the River Social Club in the splendid company of Mr. Natty , master barber, fire-eater, scissor bearer to Royalty and the man I trust to execute the Regulation Post-War Angling Club Haircut to the highest standard.

Friday, 20 January 2012


A day of sunshine and rain at Spitalfields yesterday as a brisk westerly blew threw the market bringing with it bounty from an auction on the outskirts of Pandemonium, an Allcocks Counter Display Fly Box from the year of Arcadia 1938.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

E. Gerrard & Sons

Once upon a time in Arcadia, and especially on a Thursday, if you were a lady or a gentleman who had caught a 'whopper' you may well have put it in the back of a cab or on an overnight express train with instructions for it to be sent to E. Gerrard & Sons who plied their trade as taxidermists and naturalists at 61 College Place  in the district of London NW1.  Their work in setting up specimens was so famous that it 'was to be found in most museums'.  

Gerrards are sadly no more having closed their doors a few decades ago but every Thursday I run my stall at Spitalfields Antiques Market in their memory and in that of others, where you may find the occasional piece of taxidermy and other items of Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul that will absolutely not be found in most museums as I will sell them to you first for pound notes ironed by your butler or domestic help.  Thank-you.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Moon Under Water

When not searching for Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul I have been known to get lost looking for The Moon Under Water, which as those of you who read the Evening Standard newspaper in the year 1946 will be aware was George Orwell's vision of the perfect public house.  All those with a thirst are invited to join me in looking for The Moon Under Water next Tuesday evening at The Caught by the River Social Club in the company of Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou, Will Burns, Charles Rangeley-Wilson and Robin Turner who will be reading aloud from his acclaimed book 'Looking for the Moon Under Water - The Search for the Perfect Pub'.  The publication of this book sparked a debate that has raged throughout many a public house afternoon and beyond.  You can read some people's ideal of their perfect pub here in a piece that was printed to herald Mr. Turner's book in The Guardian newspaper late in the year 2011.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Frensham Then and Now

Chanced upon in the rare books section of a Highgate Charity Bookshop a 2nd edition copy of 'Frensham - Then and Now' (1948) by Mr. Harry J. Baker in collaboration with Mr. H.C. Minchin.   A book that I had only previously seen in the County Archives in Woking and which contains Lehman's 1932 Map Plan and Section of Frensham Great Pond including the footprint of the legendary 'Ancient Pond'.

Monday, 16 January 2012

5/8ths of an Ounce

Found in the pocket of my British Warm, a pair of Tournament Casting Plugs, formerly the property of a Casting Champion and previously thought lost.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Harcork Reprise

Found at Spitalfields on Thursday a pair of Harcork Floats waiting to go under in the not so distant future.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Specialists in Celluloid

Found at Spitalfields on Thursday amongst a tin of old lures bought from a fellow dealer, another fine example of the work of Mr. Percy Wadham and his Dreadnought Casting Reel Company in the form of a bewhiskered and leather-tailed Nature Bait made of Celluloid.  The Dreadnought Casting Reel Company were 'Specialists in Celluloid' and won over 21 Medals for their work in the period known as the early 20th Century.

Friday, 13 January 2012


A mild January day at Spitalfields yesterday and the first proper market of the year, washed down with hot tea amongst good company including the pleasure of a visit from an old comrade and captor of a 26lb pike, Mr Andy Saunders.  A day also to celebrate everything that the market is and the stall has become, with a loud hailer of a piece on Mr. Paul Trynka's website 'Market People' where you can read about how I woke up one day and found myself as a dealer, alongside pieces on Mick Jenrick - Eel Evangelist and my good friend and mucker from the market Mr. Steve Sorrell - Distressed Seller.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Peeks of Holborn

Once upon a time in Arcadia, and especially on a Thursday, ladies and gentlemen venturing out on a January morning and finding Gamages rather busy would have proceeded along Holborn to Peeks who were situated in nearby Grays Inn Road.  There, they would have had a large variety of fishing tackle to look at including some rather splendid reels.

Although Grays Inn Road still exists and ladies and gentlemen are known to walk down it every day of the week, Peeks is no more, so if it is Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul that you are after you are advised to strike out a little further and visit me at my stall in Spitalfields Antiques Market where the door to another world is open on Thursdays only between the hours of a half past seven and three o'clock.  Thank-you.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

In the Cellar under the House of Efgeeco

Yesterday, I found myself on the telephone once again to Mr. Harry Notley who had remembered more about the  Efgeeco Works in Balham Hill where he worked in the decade known as the 1960's.  'There was a caravan in the yard, where they kept all the lures and the spinners and underneath the main house a cellar where the  bait boxes were stored, there were hundreds of 'em.'

(Watercolour painted at The Social Market by the artist Pete Fowler)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Percy Wadham's Nature Baits

Found recently a small shoal of Percy Wadham's Nature Baits hailing from the place known as The Isle of Wight.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Lost Inside the Efgeeco Factory

On Saturday evening I found myself on the telephone to a Mr. Harry Notley who worked at Efgeeco between 1962 and 1964 and later fished for Arding and Hobbs with John Richardson.  During our conversation Harry walked me through the old Efgeeco Works on Balham Hill, 'the first room was full of women making the old dog beds, maybe ten or twelve of them, in the next were the engineers who numbered about 15 or 20 and in the last room the packers, up to 4 people working flat out.  Fred and John Goddard worked in the main house along with Fred J. Taylor.  I always wanted to ask him to take me fishing.  He was my hero, but I was too shy to ask.  Bert was the foreman, always dressed in grey overalls and a green beret.  He was an absolute gent.'

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Early Efgeeco Baitdropper

A rival to the Thamesley and found at Kempton before Christmas, an early Efgeeco Baitdropper.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Baitdropper

Found amongst a collection of fishing tackle that I bought from a gentleman on Wednesday last, a large Thamesley Baitdropper, designed to deliver an eighth of a pint to the bed of the Thames in a heavy flow.