Thursday 20 June 2013

At Bookstalls and Enquiry Offices

Once upon a time in Arcadia, in the year 1934 to be precise, ladies and gentlemen wishing to go Fishing in the South could call in at their nearest bookstall or enquiry office and pick up a copy of 'Fishing in the South' by J.W.G. Tomkin which was published by The Southern Railway Company.  This included a list of articles by Eric Marshall-Hardy, Arthur F. Bell and Tomkin himself.  It also covered the fishing stations of the south in some detail.  For instance it said of Lodge Pond in Farnham, the place where Chapman Pincher recorded an extraordinary catch of carp in 1938, 'The pond is situated on the road between Bordon and Farnham, and is approximately 3 miles from Farnham, from where 'buses pass the pond every half hour.   The rights are leased by the Farnham Angling Society.  Fish to be caught include Roach, Rudd, Carp, Perch, Tench and Pike, and the water has recently been re-stocked with 500 Carp averaging 5lb in weight, besides 5,000 Roach and Tench.  The principal baits are worms, gentles, bread paste and cheese paste.'   It said of The Metropolitan Water Board Reservoirs at Molesey, Hampton and Staines, 'To the complete stranger it is a chancy business, but it is well worth a trial if a ticket can be procured.  I would advise you to go if you have an opportunity and try your luck.  If you strike good conditions and a good spot you can go on catching specimen fish one after the other, though, alternatively, you can sit all day without a knock.  In any case, you pay no money and you take your choice'.

Should you be a lady or a gentleman wishing to go Fishing in the South in this, the opening week of the new coarse season, you are invited to ask your local bookstall or enquiry office for directions to Commercial Street in the district of London known as E.1 where, on Thursdays only between the hours of 8am and 3pm, you will find my stall in Spitalfields Antiques Market where I sell Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul and where also I always carry a good number of original fishing books including a perennial copy of 'Fishing in the South'.