Thursday 28 November 2013

Via Bromyard

All roads lead via Bromyard to the fair town of Ludlow-in-Salop as tomorrow and Saturday I shall be stalling out in the bar of Ludlow Racecourse with a gang of trade and private collectors as part of Mullocks Auction of Antique & Modern Fishing Tackle and Related Items.  If you are travelling the iron road to the auction I look forward to your good company over a cup of tea and a black pudding sandwich.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Gatti Bros.

Bought yesterday at Kempton a empty Gatti Bros. box bearing its original paper label and paper lining, dating to the era Victoria Arcadia.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Andrews of Arcadia meets Farlows Uptown - Next Tuesday!

You are given notice that next Tuesday, 3rd December in 'Celebration of the Movable Feast of St. Nicholas' my stall selling Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul *SHALL APPEAR* in the Farlows London Showroom at No. 9 Pall Mall.  The lamplighters will be round just before dawn to light your way through the fogs of S.W.1 and a restorative jug of porter will be decanted in time for the doors opening at 9am.  Tea and cake will be served at 4pm.  All advance enquiries to the Field Telephone Number 07980 274 383.  Thank-you. 

Monday 25 November 2013

A Haunting in Mile End

On the evening of Tuesday 10th December in an upstairs room of the former workhouse and psychiatric hospital of St. Clements, Mile End at around a half past nine I shall be reading aloud a ghost story and introducing you to other hauntings as part of the Winter Shuffle Festival.  The evening will also be spent in the good company of my poet brother Mr. Will Burns.  Should you wish to sleep fitfully in your beds  or quicken your step on the long walk home tickets at a price of £5 each may be obtained here.

Friday 22 November 2013

Spitalfields Regulars

Bought yesterday in honour of the Spitalfields Regulars an original photograph of an unknown gang sporting a mixture of caps, boaters, skull caps and bowlers.  

Thursday 21 November 2013

Catch 'Em Alive-O

Once upon a time in Arcadia in years immediately Post-War ladies and gentlemen of the High Street in search of Fishing Tackle 'For River, Lake and Sea-Fishing' had to go no further than their nearest branch of Woolworth's Stores who were the exclusive stockists of fishing tackle made in Redditch under the name Catch 'Em Alive-O.

Ladies and gentlemen with a working memory of the recent past will note that Woolworth's Stores disappeared from the High Street only in recent years and took with it stock rooms containing neglected and dusty boxes of old Catch 'Em Alive-O fishing tackle.  But mourn ye not, for every Thursday between the hours of 8am and 3pm I keep the memory of Woolworth's Stores Alive-O on my stall in Spitalfields Antiques Market on Commercial Street in the district of London known as E.1 where I sell Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul including many of the unbranded but distinctive designs which were part of the Woolworths/Catch 'Em Alive-O range.   Should be passing you are welcome to browse and converse.  Thank-you.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

From the Clapham Junction Depot

Found early on Sunday morning at 'Redditch' a pair of Nottingham Reels which were originally issued by Ogden Smiths Clapham Junction Depot.   Each bearing the oval stamp of the Clapham Works which were overseen between the wars by Miss M. L. Ogden-Smith, the grand-daughter of James Ogden of Cheltenham.

Monday 18 November 2013

The National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair - Sunday 11th May 2014

Across Arcadia jugs of Victory Gin and teapots filled to the brim are raised in sincere thanks to our patient hosts at The Kingsley Sports Centre, Jody and Samuel Guyatt proprietors of the most hard working tea van in the Midlands and all those intrepid souls, both stallholders and visitors who made the journey across country to yesterday's National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair in Redditch.   The next National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair takes place in the same venue on Sunday 11th May 2014.   All enquiries may be made to John on Field Telephone number 07980 274 383.  Thank-you.

Friday 15 November 2013

Press Calls

Chipped glasses of Victory Gin are raised in thanks to the editorial desks of Angler's Mail, Country Life, Antiques Trade Gazette, The Redditch Standard, Caught by the River and Talksport Radio all of whom generously alerted their readership and audience to the small matter that The National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair takes place this Sunday at The Kingsley Sports Centre in Woodrow, Redditch in the County of Worcestershire.

Thursday 14 November 2013

'He Once Had an Otter'

Once upon a time in Arcadia, ladies and gentlemen abroad on the streets of Subtopia and in search of live bait during the winter could ask a professional fisherman to take them to Windsor Bridge where they could call in on Bambridge's which had been established in that spot since the year 1790.  Bambridge's were agents for Allcocks, Hardys and Farlows and was a shop famous beyond its immediate environs, immortalized as it was by Eric Parker in his book 'Eton in the Eighties' (1914 Smith, Elder):

'Bambridge's shop was in those days first revealed in its full meaning.  Other shops had preceded Bambridge's in my experience - in particular "The Golden Perch" in Oxford Street, which then, I think, belonged to Alfred Young - but Bambridge's stood at once on a plane of its own.  It was a shop which could be visited any day or every day; it stocked all tackle of the most desirable descriptions, from dressed salmon lines and split cane trout rods to float caps and shot, and its business was presided over by one of the most patient and cheerful of all practical fishermen.  Bambridge I remember as a short, bustling, rather bald little man with very bright eyes, who seemed always pleased to see the most unprofitable of customers, and explained the virtues of particular rods, reels and landing nets as if they actually belonged to those to whom he showed them.  He would tell you what luck he had on Saturday or Sunday; he gave the fullest directions for using all kinds of tackle, tying different kinds of knots, catching various sorts of fish.  He would instruct you in the selection of the roundest and strongest gut.  He would display to you a batch of a thousand lob-worms from Nottingham, pink and enwreathed in milk and moss.  He once had an otter, which he somehow converted from a wild into a tame creature in a few days;  he kept it in a box at the side of a tank, into which he threw live fish which the otter dived after, caught and ate as we watched it.  Life was always "after twelve" with Bambridge and the Eton High Street surely became a different place when he ceased to preside single-handed over those rods and reels, and when, in after years, B.R Bambridge, fishing tackle maker, became Bambridge and Co. Limited.'

Should you be a lady or a gentleman abroad on the streets on Subtopia or trapped in town by the Impenetrable Outskirts of Pandemonium you are welcome to call at my stall at Spitalfields Antiques Market where every Thursday I sell Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul in honour of people like Bambridge.  Life there is between 8am and 3.  I will always tell you what sort of luck I have had on Saturday, Sunday and the other days of the week, and am always delighted to see customers new or returning, unprofitable or otherwise.  Finally, I can promise cardboard boxes full of surprises although live otters will not be among them.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Late Return from Tinland

A long day yesterday Way Beyond the Outskirts of Pandemonium buying lots and drinking tea under a corrugated tin roof in one of my most favourite auction houses in the kingdom.

Monday 11 November 2013

Friday 8 November 2013


Bought yesterday from a stall at Spitalfields a Thirty-Fourth Edition of Salter's Guide to The Thames with Maps and Illustrations.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Army & Navy Stores, Victoria 1234

Once upon a time in Arcadia, as long ago as the year of Our Lord and other curses 1871, ladies and gentlemen abroad on the streets of London or indeed abroad on campaign and in need of tackles could reach for the comfort of their Army & Navy Catalogue safe in the knowledge that within its pages could be found not only fishing tackle but everything else that was needed to make life bearable.  Indeed, the Army & Navy Co-operative Society was formed to supply 'articles of domestic consumption and general use to its members at the lowest remunerative rates'

Sadly, the Army & Navy were bought out in 1976 but despair not if you are a lady or gentleman abroad on the streets or indeed on campaign in East London for upon my stall in Spitalfields Antiques Market every Thursday between the hours of 8am and 3 I sell items of Vintage Fishing Tackle for the Soul including some which would have one day have sat on the shelves of Army & Navy in Victoria Street and elsewhere.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Lost Wallet Found

Found recently amongst a lot bought at auction an embossed crocodile leather Army & Navy cast and tackle wallet dressed with old quill floats and stamped with the legend 'Army & Navy C, S. Ltd 105 Victoria St. London.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

In Celebration of the Movable Feast of St. Nicholas

In a kitchen in Arcadia a kettle is boiled, a glass of Victory Gin is raised, dogs and cats are kissed and a loud cheer is heard as delivery is taken of a large cardboard box which has come overnight from Ledbury in Herefordshire.   There is nothing remarkable about the box except that over the course of the last two years it has gone to and fro London North and Ledbury almost a dozen times.   Despatched westwards with 500 plain brown paper bags purchased from Gardners on Commercial Street it always returns a small while later with the same paper bags lit gloriously by the printed letterpress of Martin Clark of Tilley Printing.

Today's delivery contained a quantity of bags printed In Celebration of the Movable Feast of St. Nicholas and heralds the announcement that on Tuesday 3rd December 2013 Andrews of Arcadia will meet Farlows Uptown when my stall selling Vintage Fishing Tackle For the Soul *SHALL APPEAR*.  The paper bags are currently in circulation and may be obtained directly from Farlows on Pall Mall from tomorrow, from my own stall at Spitalfields on Thursdays and from street corner handbill urchins at all points in between.

Monday 4 November 2013

The Caught by the River Social Club - Next Monday!

You are given notice that from 7pm *NEXT MONDAY EVENING* on 11th November 2013 at The Caught by the River Social Club upstairs in The Queens Head Public House on Denman Street, Piccadilly, alongside readings and conversation from and by Tim Dee, Mathew Clayton, Laura Beatty, verse from the poet Will Burns and musical accompaniment from Frances Castle, the author and broadcaster Michael Smith will be presenting a premiere of 'Black Beach' from a new series of films called 'Another England' which he has made in collaboration with his childhood friend the director Maxy Bianco.  Mr. Bianco kindly sent me a link to one of the other films in the series entitled 'Old Town' which can be watched here over a pot of tea drunk Trawlerman style.

Sunday 3 November 2013

Three Hundred Andrew Field Floats

The float maker Mr. Andrew Field telephoned to tell me he has spent the last year making three hundred of his high finish handmade floats based largely on traditional patterns all of which will be for sale from his stall at the National Vintage Fishing Tackle Fair in a fortnight's time on Sunday 17th November.

Saturday 2 November 2013

Way Beyond Subtopia

A late return along wet autumn roads from a most restorative afternoon at an auction house Way Beyond Subtopia.