Thursday 31 May 2012

Ogden Smiths of Croydon

Once upon a time in Arcadia, and especially on a Thursday, ladies and gentlemen at large in the aerodrome district of Croydon could call in at Ogden Smith and gaze thereupon fishing tackle.  Should you find yourself in that outlying area of London today you may pass the site of the aerodrome but you will not be able to find the premises of Ogden Smith as they have sadly closed down.

Instead, you are advised to travel swiftly by bi-plane, on foot or by Underground Railway to the district of London known as Spitalfields, where, between the new market regulation hours of 8am until such time as I deem fit to pack up and go for a glass of Dickens Lemonade, I sell Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Efgeeco in Arcadia

Found in the last week, some of which is now in the Old Friends wing of my website and some of which will be with me at the stall tomorrow a quantity of Efgeeco.

Tuesday 29 May 2012


Found shortly after curtain up at Kempton this morning a Strikeright Junaflo, nestling in a bag of tackle bought off a blanket on the tarmac from a regular dealer who drives up from the South Coast by motor car.  Part of a wealth of fine and unusual goods that filled my van on the long drive homewards in the direction of a glass of Dickens Lemonade.

Monday 28 May 2012

Dam Angelrolle

Found at Spitalfields on Thursday last and now residing for sale on my website in the sector 'Just In, Sir' a Dam Ever Ready Centrepin measuring 5 inches in diameter and housed in its original box, spectacularly illustrated and distressed.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Wood Block Words

Found on the South Bank of the River Thames before and after Friday night's Variety Show a number of wood block words from the year of the war 1941.

Friday 25 May 2012

On the South Bank

The Caught by the River Gang make their way Uptown to tonight's Variety Show at the South Bank.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Field's of Kentish Town

Once upon a time in Arcadia, and not just on a Thursday, ladies and gentlemen of London in search of Fishing Tackle made by makers, could take Trolley Buses 513, 613, 615 or Petrol Buses 27, 134, 137 to Field's whose premises were situated at 20a Highgate Road in the district known as Kentish Town.  There, they could read a Field's Catalogue, similar to the one loaned to me by the gentleman Mr. John Knott, which said on it's opening page, 'A brief note about ourselves.  Field's is a family business, established over fifty years.  We are keen anglers and fishing tackle makers, a workshop is maintained on the premises, where a rod can be made from raw material.  We can make any type or part of a rod at short notice.  Repairs to any make of Fishing Rod are a speciality.'

Should you travel up the Highgate Road in the 21st Century you may be moved by the sad fact that Field's is no longer there.  But do not be mournful for too long, proceed a little further up the hill and buy yourself a consolation half of ale at The Southampton Arms followed by a swift one down in The Pineapple on Leverton Street.  And then refreshed, travel by Underground Railway to Liverpool Street and visit me on Thursdays only between 8am and 3pm on my stall at Spitalfields Antiques Market where I sell Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul and can also take rods in to be repaired by respected makers.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Paperback Writers

Yesterday I found myself in the district of London known as W11, walking through the afternoon sunshine to a small room above an old shop where the office of Caught by the River is situated.  There, in the soulful company of Mr. Barrett, Mr. Gosling, Mr. Mitchell and a young gentleman called Alex I drank tea and ate cake.  I also took possession of a clutch of paperback copies of Caught by the River - A Collection of Words on Water which is due to be published tomorrow and features words I wrote in the form of a chapter called 'Babylon - An Angler's Journey Up the River Lea', illustrated with a linocut map by my good collaborator the artist John Richardson.  With trumpets the book heralds the 5th anniversary of Caught by the River and alongside 32 essays by the site's contributors includes a foreword by the silt roader Charles Rangeley-Wilson and cover artwork by James Lewis.

I will have publication day copies for sale on my stall tomorrow and there will also be signed copies for sale on Friday night at The Caught by the River Variety Show.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Life inside the Disused Fishing Tackle Factory

Found in the recesses of the Disused Fishing Tackle Factory and snapped diligently by the Redditch Archivist Mr. Raymond McClaren a lone Bird's Nest of Barbed Wire.

Monday 21 May 2012

The National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair

All roads and dropping rivers lead slowly away from the town of Redditch after a riotous and day-glo National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair at Redditch, illuminated as ever by a loyal band of upstanding stallholders and queues and queues and overflowing car parks of punters.  You are glorious all!  Across Arcadia, Vaughan Williams is on the radio, pots of tea laced with Victory Gin are raised to you and then downed trawlerman style whilst all eyes look toward November and the next affair.   For all enquiries please call me on field telephone 07890 274 383.

Saturday 19 May 2012

The National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair

Across all districts of Arcadia every road, whether of tarmacadam or iron leads to the famous town of Redditch in Worcestershire for tomorrow's National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair.  Doors open at 9am. Should you wish to find out more information call field telephone 07980 274 383.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Dressed to Kill in Panton Street and other Districts

Once upon a time in Arcadia, and especially on Thursdays in the month of May, ladies and gentlemen would dress to kill, often visiting the premises of Farlows in Panton Street once attired to buy dry flies in time for the annual Mayfly hatch.

Should you wish to buy dry flies for the annual Mayfly hatch and you are dressed to kill you may still visit the premises of Farlows, although they are no longer in Panton Street, but you are primarily invited to call in at my stall in Spitalfields Antiques Market which is open from 08:00hrs until 15:00hrs on Thursdays only and where I have a wealth of dry flies dating back to the years known as immediately Post-War available for sale in their original cardboard boxes.

Wednesday 16 May 2012


Found amongst the belongings of a late Thames Angler, a nest of Pegley-Davies Duotone Green Bait Boxes, first launched in the year 1961 by motor delivery van from Pegley-Davies' light industrial factory unit on the Hersham Trading Estate at the Arcadian resort of Walton-on-Thames.  Now residing for sale by old Five Pound Note or otherwise in the wing of my website commonly known as 'Old Friends'.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Milbro Maggapult

Found at an auction of much pandemonium the sidearm of choice across Arcadia, a 1960 Milbro Maggapult with a 6 inch frame, 12 inch elastic, leather cup and infinite reach, one of one currently on sale where else but in 'Old Friends'.

Monday 14 May 2012

Auger Day Glo Floats

Found at a Car Boot Sale for the Soul in a week lost between ales a small quantity of Auger Day Glo Floats hailing from the region known as London North, just off the Caledonian Road, and now residing for imminent sale Under the Counter, Madam.

Friday 11 May 2012

The Caught by the River Variety Show

Once upon a time on a Friday in the not so distant future, indeed in only a fortnight's time on the evening of 25th May, I will find myself reading aloud from the stage at The Purcell Room in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's South Bank as part of the line-up at The Caught by the River Variety Show.  There will be quite a cast gathered over the evening which is a knees-up being staged to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the first posting on Caught by the River.  In addition to spoken words and music there will be ales at the bar and rare pandemonium in the air.  If you have yet to buy your ticket for the good of your soul you are advised to do so by dialling the telephone number 0844 847 9910 and speaking clearly into the receiver 'Good morning, without delay I would like a pair of tickets for the Caught by the River Variety Show please'.