Friday 30 September 2011


A day in the sun at Spitalfields as the dealers endured another lock-out after the owners of the market decided to host an 'event' in the market interior.  Still, the same sun shone on the brave and at the end of the day there was the added joy of the purchase of a 1st Edition copy of Ian Niall's 1974 memoir 'A London Boyhood' including a photograph of Niall with the byline 'The author, immediately before publication of his first book'.  A look that many an author will recognise only too well.

Thursday 29 September 2011

Geo.Wilson & Sons - Boats for Hire

Once upon a time in Arcadia, especially towards the end of the 19th century, into the 20th and often on the last Thursday in September ladies and gentlemen would find time to take themselves off to the River Thames for a day amongst the dace, roach and perch.  Along the river there were many boathouses and yards at which to hire a traditional Thames punt some of which remain today. A particular favourite is 'Geo. Wilson & Sons' situated in the district known as Sunbury.  Very sadly old Mr. Wilson passed away in April of this year but his widow Mrs. Wilson and daughter and son-in-law are keeping the boatyard going and you are encouraged to patronise it and to keep the history of the River Thames and its angling alive.  In this respect you are given leave from visiting me at my stall at Spitalfields today and may ring Mrs. Wilson on telephone number 01932 782 067 to enquire about a punt.  Should you ignore this request and come to the stall I will ask you to buy me a cup of tea over which I will describe in great detail the huge bag of dace, roach and perch that I caught from Wilson's on Monday in the company of Mr. Luke Jennings.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Just in, Sir!

Recently unpacked in Arcadia and for sale in the 'Just in, Sir!' Wing of the Andrews of Arcadia Website a collection of Vintage Fishing Floats for the Soul.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Ghosts of the Weir

Found at Kempton amidst the quickening mist of an early morning, a ghostly narrative fit for the pen of Henry James, spooky reminders of the perch Mr. Luke Jennings and I caught only yesterday in Sunbury Weirpool, a framed original 19th Century print of a perch by A. Warne Brown and a discarded sign from Turks, the next boatyard on from Geo. Wilson's.

Monday 26 September 2011

Wilsons of Sunbury

Occasionally on a Monday morning in Arcadia there is always the chance that one might find oneself in pursuit of a roach or a perch at Sunbury Weir on the River Thames courtesy of Wilsons Boatyard where traditional 18ft Thames Punts may be hired for the day.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Wimbledon Car Boot Sale

The Arcadia Lock-Up Clear-Out continued yesterday on the tarmac at Wimbledon Car Boot Sale as the van was emptied yet again in the dark before a September dawn.  The high point of the morning was a conversation about cabinet-making and curiosity hunting with Mr. Jonathan More and the discovery behind the tea wagon of the old painted sign for Wimbledon Stadium.

Saturday 24 September 2011

Slater-Style Combination Reel

Found recently at the end of an auction listing and now being kept in a century old linen bag stamped 'Meat Cakes for Dogs' a charming 3 1/2" Slater-Style Combination Reel dating with approximation to the year known as 1925.

Friday 23 September 2011

Plugged and Unplugged Pike Floats for the Soul

Found in a century old linen bag stamped 'Meat Cakes for Dogs' at a recent Car Boot Sale a collection of Plugged and Unplugged Pike Floats for the Soul, all rendered in the alternative colours of autumn and a hint at what might go under on ponds across Arcadia come the date known as October the 1st.

Thursday 22 September 2011

B-Road to the Snuggeries

Once upon a time in Arcadia, namely today, Thursday 22nd September, I will not be found by my stall at Spitalfields Market as I am recovering from the grand opening of the Caught by the River Bookshelf in Rough Trade East, an inspirational evening of talk, theatre and several pints of a best bitter known as Bristol Beer Factory No. 7.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

The Towpath of Excess

For all those who read the vital online arts and outdoor organ 'Caught by the River' your attention is drawn to the launch of the 'Caught by the River Bookshop' within the walls of Rough Trade East, open from this evening at the hour known locally as a half past six from when, to mark the occasion, I shall be in brief conversation with Mr. Jeff Barrett, Mr. Andrew Walsh, Mr. Robin Turner and the Rough Trade Proprietor Mr. Pete Donne.  There will also be a reading from the celebrated 'Caught by the River' Anthology 'On Nature' of the chapter 'On the Road to Damascus' by its author Mr. Bill Drummond.  Musical accompaniment will be provided by Mr. Richard Norris and later you are invited to repair to the nearby Mason & Taylor Public House where ales may be drunk.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Hand-Built Rods with a Reputation

Found yesterday amongst the fishing tackle of a gentleman in a suburb of Arcadia an 11ft three piece bamboo and split cane 'Avon Rod' made by Homer of Forest Gate in the district known as London E7.  The gentleman in question used the rod on the Hampshire Avon at Downton where he and his friends would drop into one of the many swims that had been baited up by the film crew making 'Out of Town' with Jack Hargreaves.  The gentleman recalled huge catches of grayling, mostly caught after the film crew had retired with the biteless Mr. Hargreaves to The Bull Public House for refreshment.

Monday 19 September 2011

House Call in Arcadia

Up late in Arcadia and after a leisurely breakfast of a boiled egg, a regiment of soldiers, a pot of strong tea and a pot of continental coffee it is off to a nearby suburb to look at a collection of fishing tackle belonging to a gentleman.

Sunday 18 September 2011

Works Outing in Arcadia

The return of the Works Outing continued in Arcadia yesterday with the periodic clearing out of the lock-up garage from the back of the van at Wimbledon Car Boot Sale.  No sooner had I unloaded than I fell into conversation with a gentleman who apprenticed at de Havilland's on the airstrip at Christchurch in the County of Dorset.  Upon the closure of de Havilland's he went to work as a toolmaker for Grice & Young, a seminal Post-War British Fishing Reel Maker.  A factory where, when the orders were quiet, the small workforce were taken out in the owner's boat to fish for bass in the Estuary.

Saturday 17 September 2011

Lost Afternoon

Found on the doormat yesterday morning a postcard of a gentleman in the Red Lion Public House just behind the previously mentioned St. James Church in Piccadilly.  An invitation it would seem to watch a film of ladies and gentlemen drinking to the sound of the Bernard & Son Worker's Outing on a recent lost afternoon.

Friday 16 September 2011


Found at Spitalfields yesterday a 1st Edition of Clive Gammon's seminal 'Sea Fishing' published in 1969 in its dust jacket.  An inspirational work by one of the 20th century's greatest angling writers.  And, as if by coincidence when I returned home there a was a photograph of my friend Mr. Stephen Parker's kitchen sink complete with his day's catch from the waters off Falmouth.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Arthur Smith of Iffley Road

Once Upon a Time in Arcadia Thames Anglers in the area of Oxford at a loss on a Thursday would have found themselves paid to visit the premises of Arthur Smith of Iffley Road whose registered Trade Mark was 'St Crispin'.  For all those Thames Anglers in the area of Spitalfields who find themselves at a loss on a Thursday you will find that it will pay you to visit my stall at Spitalfields Antiques Market on a Thursday where I will not be paying in a literal sense, for that is your job, to give me large amounts of cash for small amounts of highly valuable Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

A Seatbox for the Soul

Found at Kempton yesterday a pair of canvas Efgeeco Standard Seat and Tackle Carriers known in Arcadia and elsewhere as Seatboxes.  Should you find yourself short of a seat or in need of somewhere to stow your tackle this autumn please telephone me on field telephone 07980 274 383 and I will be able to furnish you with a Seatbox to fit your frame as I have a growing stock of them in my lock-up garage.