Saturday 30 April 2011

East Arcadia

Stalling out this morning at the 'Stately Car Boot Sale' being held in the grounds of Houghton Hall in the County of Norfolk where I will be emptying the contents of my lock-up onto the grass and thinking about how many pints of Adnams I can drink later on at The Lifeboat Inn in Thornham.  Assuming that is that I ever make it to the Hall as some clever chap seems to have taken all the road signs down.

Friday 29 April 2011


Lost at auction yesterday, a Sowerbutts 'Meteor', bought once upon a time in Arcadia, by a gentleman who called in at the shop on Commercial Street, just up the road from Spitalfields.  Since the closure of the firm in the 1980's the Sowerbutts premises have been inhabited by a number of restaurants and all trace of the shop has gone.  However, from the bar of the public house opposite the grandeur of the terrace that once housed one of East London's most famous tackle dealers can still be sensed.

Thursday 28 April 2011


A rare Thursday away from Spitalfields today in a distant part of Arcadia, as I have found myself in my favourite auction room taking a close look at a collection of lots.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Recipe for Preserving Minnows c. 1946

Found written in pencil in the back of a 1946 copy of 'Border River Angling' by W.H. Lawrie a 'Recipe for Preserving Minnows'.   The Recipe was prescribed by the owner of the book whose signature on the inner leaf is indistinguishable.  The Recipe is as follows:  'Leave for 12 hours in a solution - 2 tablespoons of 40% formalin to every half pint of water.  Wash thoroughly, cut off all fins except tail and store in screw top jars in a solution of salt and water (one tablespoon to half a pint).  Minnows should be fat and 1 1/2 inches long'.

For all those of you who do not wish to subscribe to the demands of such a recipe you may find a jar of Hardy's Preserved Minnows 'In the Shop Window'

Tuesday 26 April 2011


In Arcadia it is not uncommon to set out early in the morning and not come home until much later than planned.  Today was such a day as the Empress and I set out to Kempton and after buying some items of Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul later found ourselves in a Dorset Public House come lunchtime drinking a half of  Badger Beer under the Cherry Blossom.

Monday 25 April 2011

Wimbledon Car Boot Sale

Found upon a table at Wimbledon Car Boot Sale a 1930's Allcock's Perfection Flick 'Em 3 3/4" Centrepin Reel with twin handles made of Xylonite, an optional check mechanism and a missing grub screw.

Sunday 24 April 2011

The Feast of the Car Boot Sale

It is Easter Sunday and in some parts of the world today is a Christian celebration and the Feast Day of Mr. Cadbury and Mr. Bournville.  In Arcadia, however, whilst being respectful of such traditions, Easter is widely acknowledged as the Feast of the Car Boot Sale.

After a particularly hard day in the field yesterday looking for Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul at Car Boot Sales it was off to the East End for a short, back and sides with Mr. Natty  and a discussion about the correct arrangements one should make when going On Campaign.  If you are going out into the field over the weekend to a Car Boot Sale near you, remember to be fully kitted out and to think of the Empire of the Car Boot Sale on which the sun never sets.

Saturday 23 April 2011


Found at Spitalfields on Thursday amongst a bag of Angling Requisites a well used and well loved Milbro Catapult from the decade known as the 1950's.  In some parts of Arcadia still very much the sidearm of choice when things threaten to get rough on a Bank Holiday Weekend.

Friday 22 April 2011

Andrews of Arcadia Public Service Announcement

In Arcadia we occasionally find ourselves listening to old Public Service Announcements whilst passing the time in the lock-up.  Should you find yourself in a lock-up of your own today you are invited to listen to the following Announcement about the 'World of Andrews of Arcadia' a Tented Installation of Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul' which shall be appearing in the Caught by the River Field at the Port Eliot Festival in July.

Thursday 21 April 2011

The Fishing Tackle and Sports Marketing Company of Marylebone

Once upon a time in Arcadia and not just on a Thursday, ladies and gentlemen at large in London town had a plethora of places at which to buy Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul.  In 1970 it was still possible to purchase a new reel at the Fishing Tackle and Sports Marketing Company of Marylebone whose premises were at 8 Chapel Street in the district of London known as N.W.1.

Today in Arcadia you will struggle to find evidence of the Fishing Tackle and Sports Marketing Company of Marylebone as it has joined the roll-call of the Obscure and Lost Tackle Shops of London. In the meantime for those ladies and gentlemen at large in the City of London you are reminded that you may view Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul at my stall in Spitalfields Antiques Market which is open on a Thursday between the hours of 07.30hrs and 15.00hrs.  For all those of you burdened by having too much Maundy Money about your person you may spend it there or indeed at your leisure by visiting

Wednesday 20 April 2011

There be Salmon Ladders

Found yesterday evening at auction a very early linen backed Oarsman's and Angler's Map of the River Thames dating to the Mid 19th Century compiled and drawn by E.G Ravenstein and published in London by James Reynolds.  It is inscribed in ink P. Rhodes May 1866.  Given that the map is nearly one hundred and fifty years old it is in good condition.   Measuring between 9 and 10ft when extended it includes a summary of Fishing Preserves as 'arranged by the Lord Mayor'.  As always in Arcadia there is much talk on the map of gudgeon as well as the telling words 'At Teddington and Moulsey Weirs there are Salmon Ladders'.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Owl over Arcadia

In Arcadia there are owls.  One was hunting by the light of the full moon this morning as I had a pot of tea before leaving for an auction in the County of Wiltshire.  Wherever you are hunting today - Good luck!

Monday 18 April 2011

Made in Sweden

Found in an auction lot in the Herefordshire town of Ledbury a small collection of Swedish Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul made by AB Urfabriken (ABU) and Bete.  Dating to the decade known as the 1960's and much of it in its original cardboard packaging.

Sunday 17 April 2011

Miss Lucy Pope's Devon Minnows

I have recently had the pleasure of the company on the stall of the photographer Miss Lucy Pope .  On her website there are instructions on 'How to Fly a Plane' as well as some of her other work involving cameras.  Miss Pope has been photographing Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul and has a particular passion for Devon Minnows.  Some of her initial shots are here.

Saturday 16 April 2011

The End of the Pier Show

All of Arcadia gathered in Ledbury in the English county of Herefordshire last night to celebrate the showing of the most recent work by the artist Mr. John Richardson at the Tinsmiths Gallery.  Rare early pieces of unframed work such as 'The End of the Pier' - of which a piece is shown below - were bought after which the butchers was raided, acquaintances were made, barrels were emptied, tales were told and the Liverton Fox was chased all over town.  The exhibition runs until 14th May at Tinsmiths Alley, 8a High Street, Ledbury.

Friday 15 April 2011


A most sociable day at Spitalfields yesterday whose convivial tone was set by an early brew up with Mr. Natty  On a day when many had tales of having been in the wars a couple of finds that had seen action themselves.  A Pre-War Vintage Fishing Reel for the Soul by Homer's of Forest Gate sporting a shortened brass foot and a National Federation of Anglers 1903 enamel badge struck by Gibbs of Birmingham with a missing pin.

Thursday 14 April 2011

W.A. Carter & Sons

Once upon a time in Arcadia, ladies and gentlemen of the City of London who found themselves at a loss on a Thursday and especially when the offices emptied prior to Easter would have been able to wander down to the Royal Exchange and visit W.A. Carter & Sons, which took over the old Farlows city premises in the late 1970's, and offered a range of fishing tackle and shooting equipment.  Ladies and gentlemen of the City of London who find themselves at a loss today are advised that Carter's has long since closed down and joined the roll call of the Lost Tackle Shops of London but that you may still browse for Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul on a Thursday at my stall in Spitalfields Antiques Market at the junction of Commercial Street and Brushfield Street in the district of London known as E1.  I am on the premises between the hours of a half past seven in the morning until approximately three o'clock in the afternoon.