Friday, 31 May 2013


Bought before the last stall of spring at Spitalfields yesterday a cache of books including Major Antony Buxton's 'Fisherman Naturalist' (1946 Collins) whose chapter, 'Terriers at Fishing and Other Sport' is one of the most seminal of the 20th Century describing as it does the adventures of the author's dogs Jane and Ginger, 'It all started in this way.  A very small terrier puppy was transported to Scotland, and one pouring wet day was taken out in my pocket down to the river. She started on rats at a very early age, and soon learned to be very quick at catching them in the water both on and below the surface.  Then she was taken fishing, and became interested in the splashing of a hooked trout'.  The book also includes a chapter on the sea flood of 1938, 'At about 7.30pm on the evening of February 12, 1938, a farmer came into my house with the news, "The Sea is in," and I ran out to find, within about 150 yards of the house, the sea on the road,  a mass of dead earthworms floating about and terrified hares and rabbits swimming in or galloping before the flood.  I waded to the millman's house and at my knock he stepped straight out of his door into the sea.  We were in time to rescue some people in a boat from the upper windows of their house and to get some of the inhabitants of the village away in a lorry down the road to the North'.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

North, South, East & West

Once upon a time in Arcadia and most likely on a Thursday, ladies and gentlemen visiting their Capital City of London were prone to get lost.  In order to find themselves again they were advised to look out for weather vanes which stood upon the roofs of houses and other buildings, including this one of a Pike which was a popular seller at Gamages Department Store in Holborn.

Should you be a lady or a gentleman visiting your Capital City of London and find yourself lost you are advised to search out your nearest weather vane and head in an easterly direction where you will find me at my stall in Spitalfields Antiques Market in Commercial Street in the district of London known as E.1.  There, I trade between the hours of 8am and 3pm on Thursdays only.  It is a place of refuge where you may buy Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul, drink tea and find yourself once again.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

From the Stevengraph Works

Found in the pouring rain a couple of Kempton's ago a pair of Pure Silk Woven Pictures made by Thomas Stevens 'Sole Inventor' at his Stevengraph Works in the town of Coventry.  His work, silk illuminations of popular scenes of the period Victoria Arcadia included 'The Good Old Days',  'The Mersey Tunnel Railway', 'Lady Godiva' and a series of hunting scenes including these 'The Meet' and 'The Death'.

Monday, 27 May 2013

The Feast of the Car Boot Sale

After a night of repair in the Lord Stanley Public House it is off in the two-seater van to a place Beyond the Outskirts of Pandemonium.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

A Day in the Field

In the district of London known as E.9 a footprint is left by forty thousand souls after yesterday's Field Day Festival.  Thanks to all those who came to listen to 'Words on Water' and to all those who performed with poise and dignity in the Caught by the River Tent.   You know it has been a good day when upon returning home you find someone's false teeth in the pocket of your coat.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Forty Thousand Fish

Up early and off on the iron road overground to Victoria Park in the district known as London E.9 to read of gentle dealers, old hands, extinct waters and of a fish that 'fought like a lion and barked like a dog' and other monsters municipa, at this afternoon's Field Day Festival.

Friday, 24 May 2013


Bought last week at Spitalfields from my good neighbour Mr. Lucian Myerscough of the Hastings Shop 'Myerscough-Mairs' a box of old books including a 1964 1st Edition of Richard Walker's 'No Need to Lie' illustrated by Reg Cooke.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Gamages of Holborn

Once upon a time in Arcadia, ladies and gentlemen abroad in the City of London and in search of Fishing Tackles would have taken advantage of their account at the giant department store Gamages of Holborn whose frontage spanned from Leather Lane to Hatton Garden.  There, in a department dedicated to Fishing Tackles and Other Requisites all manner of delights were on offer to the passer-by.  Sadly, Gamages of Holborn closed in the decade known as the Nineteen Seventies and its facade glorious was razed to the ground not long afterwards.

Should you be a lady or a gentleman abroad in the City of London today in the year of Our Lord and Other Excuses for Development 2013 and in search of Fishing Tackles and Other Requisites you are directed towards my stall at Spitalfields in the district of London E.1 which opens every Thursday at 8am and which offers for sale a similar range to that which you might once have found at Gamages and where with solemnity we drink tea in honour of all those who have gone before us in this noble trade.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


 Three enamel angling club badges found over the weekend including one which was a generous gift from a gentleman floatmaker and incorporates an example of his art.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Field Day

Once upon a time in Arcadia, namely this coming Saturday 25th May in the Year of Our Lord and Other Excuses 2013, I shall be in the company of many good friends and especially my Partisans: Mr. Luke Jennings and Mr. Charles Rangeley-Wilson in the Caught by the River Tent at Field Day , a Festival of Music and Other Delights in Victoria Park in the district of London known as E.9.  There, upon the stage at 3pm, we shall be reading aloud and in conversation summoning up the ghosts of The Duke of Wellington, communing with lost members of Hackney Downs AS and telling the Tale of the Huge Perch in the Heart of a City.   Should you be in attendance we look forward to your good company. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

The National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair - Next Date - Sunday 17th November 2013

Across Arcadia, in parlours and in makeshift kitchens kettles are boiled, dogs yawn, cats cradle and Elgar is once again on the radiogram as the last of the stragglers leaves the town of Redditch.  And, whilst impromptu signs are removed from lamp-posts by overworked street urchins, trumpets sound throughout the Arrow Valley in thanks to all those who stalled out so stoically whilst outside the sun shone and to those who rose early and queued so patiently before the doors opened at 9am for yesterday's National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair.   Your presence was gracious and made for a most enjoyable and convivial day for all.  We look forward to reviving the art of the fair on Sunday 17th November.  For all enquiries including those about availability of stalls and requests for handbills please call me on the field telephone, number 07980 274 383.   Thank-you.

Saturday, 18 May 2013


Along the old streets and cut-throughs, emerging from front rooms and factory gates past, the ghosts of Redditch fishing tackle makers gather in silent readiness to shake the hands of all those in the queue for tomorrow's National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair.   Doors open at 09:00hrs.