Dons of Edmonton

Do you know of a good traditional fishing tackle shop, past and present.
GloucesterOldSpot

Dons of Edmonton

Post by GloucesterOldSpot » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:19 pm

I used to love this shop. I first knew of its existence when I saw a photograph in Dickie Carr's book 'Success With The Pole' showing Don Neish demonstrating some new carbon poles to Dickie outside the shop. I soon set forth to investigate. Despite the torturous hour-long bus ride from my Barnet home on the number 34 I became a regular visitor. I bought my first good centrepin there, and my first split cane rod. I was also taught the rudiments of fly tying by a very kind and patient gentleman who devoted a good couple of hours to me one Saturday afternoon. By the end of it I was able to tie up a black chenille as good as any in the trays under the counter, besides producing some rough attempts at hackled dry flies.

For those who remember it a description is undoubtedly superfluous, but for everyone else, I'll try to give you a mental picture of it.

The shop was situated on the corner of Fore Street and a side road. The main display window faced onto Fore Street itself with waders, Barbour jackets, Hunter wellies and keepnets jostling for space. The door was around the side. On entering the first thing to strike the prospective customer was a benign calmness - there ought to have been a grandfather clock ticking gently somewhere - and the sheer quantity of tackle crammed into what was actually quite a small space. Just inside the door were cases of vintage and modern reels, and facing you a bookcase of current and past works. In the centre were racks of rods by Hardy, Bruce & Walker and Dons own designs, and at one end a smaller rack of second-hand rods towards which I was invariably drawn. On one occasion I found an exquisite eleven foot two piece river rod by Olivers which I would have given my right arm for; sadly it was about three times as much as I could possibly afford.

The aisle next to the counter had rod rests, nets, bags and so forth, and the counter itself was crammed with wooden drawers of floats, swimfeeders, shot etc. Hooks were displayed individually on cards, with pattern number; you might ask for half a dozen gold model perfect size 8s and these were retrieved from drawers, counted out onto the glass and placed into small paper envelopes. Maggots were only available in white, but were the largest, juiciest and liveliest of any I'd seen. Above the counter were serried ranks of plugs, spinners, spoons and deadbait flights. At the end of the counter was the fly tying section, with fly reels and lines beneath the glass. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, and there was no foul language.

You may be thinking I reflect on a distant time, but in fact my last visit to the shop was in early 2000, and it was as it had always been. I moved south to Hampshire soon after and recently heard from a London-based friend that Dons, like so many other Good Things in this world, had ceased to be.

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The Sweetcorn Kid
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Re: Dons of Edmonton

Post by The Sweetcorn Kid » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:39 pm

Enchanting GOS, I could almost smell it!!!

Such a shame that such treasure troves dissapear and we are left with only the memory.

:hat:
SK
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The Sweetcorn Kid
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Re: Dons of Edmonton

Post by The Sweetcorn Kid » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:40 pm

Pictures suplied courtesy of Bob H

Don Neish of Dons of Edmonton
Image

Alan Vare ( Dons of Edmonton), note the Net Behind
Image
SK
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MGs
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Re: Dons of Edmonton

Post by MGs » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:19 pm

That takes you back. I remember tackle shops looking like that. Not many left now. You usually have to ask (under the counter) for non carp gear.
I love all of those wooden draws in the background.
Old car owners never die....they just rust away

Floppy Hat

Re: Dons of Edmonton

Post by Floppy Hat » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:20 am

I had never heard of this shop. Me living in Suffolk. It reminds me of Bowman's of Ipswich, where I used to buy all my tackle. There used to be a counter there with a selection of wooden draws behind. Like in the picture above. sadly it closed in the early 80s when Mr Bowman retired. he sold his stock up cheap. How I managed to hear of this shop is I bought a job lot of rods at an auction and a Don's of Edmonton fly rod was in the bunch. I have it on e bay at the moment (item 301110956668) if anyone is interested.
I am somewhat frustrated, nay, angered by tackle shops today. Not everyone wants to fish for carp with a helicopter rig (what ever they are) and buzzers and twaddle. I went into one and asked if they had any quill floats.
"What do you want them for?" came the answer.
"Because I fish using traditional tackle".
"Why?"
"The the same reason as peope drive vintage cars and motorbikes."
Anyway, they had some I which I purchased.

GazTheAngler

Re: Dons of Edmonton

Post by GazTheAngler » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:52 pm

Lucky you FH,

Was that recently? My Dad lives in Biggin Hill and there is a tackle shop next to his flats.

I got a couple of Porkie quills in there a couple of years back but they haven't had any more in!

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Barbel Lad
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Re: Dons of Edmonton

Post by Barbel Lad » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:04 pm

I was born and bred in edmonton north London. Me and my father were in there most days having a chat with don nash. He was a funny bloke would always talk you out of what ever it was you wanted. Very straight man remember him giving casting lessons years back on walthamstow number 1 reservoir. He was also very good friends with Jack Simpson. Does any one know if don is still alive.

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Lea Dweller
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Re: Dons of Edmonton

Post by Lea Dweller » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:23 pm

I am not sure if Don is still alive, but many years ago, when I had aspirations to become a "fly fisher" he gave me a couple of casting lessons on a playing field near to his tackle shop. I picked the technique up reasonably well, although I think he thought my action "slightly agricultural" As it turned out, when trying to put my skills to good use on Walthamstow reservoirs, I was totally disappointed with the experience. The huge expanse of featureless water was not very productive, the best results were from anglers enticing fish from a huge pipe at one end of the water by casting as far into the pipe as possible and trying to induce a take. I sold my "kit made" rod and returned to coarse fishing, my illusions shattered!
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Tizer
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Re: Dons of Edmonton

Post by Tizer » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:35 pm

Barbel Lad wrote:I was born and bred in edmonton north London. Me and my father were in there most days having a chat with don nash. He was a funny bloke would always talk you out of what ever it was you wanted. Very straight man remember him giving casting lessons years back on walthamstow number 1 reservoir. He was also very good friends with Jack Simpson. Does any one know if don is still alive.
Yeah,you are right there ,me and my mate were always in there,Don and Pete were always approachable,like you said,they would not just sell you something,they would ask what you wanted it for, I remember being embarrassed because most of the time we didn't know why we wanted it, we just did.They knew we never had any money and one day they let me have a box of hooks for a pound,happy days.It was a ring box I think which belonged to a carp angler,it has about 25 small compartments and hundreds of hooks of different sizes.takes me back every time I look at it. Wonder if you remember Olivers down near Bruce Grove and Tottenham Tackle Centre in White Hart Lane?

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Harry H
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Re: Dons of Edmonton

Post by Harry H » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:55 pm

GloucesterOldSpot wrote:I used to love this shop. I first knew of its existence when I saw a photograph in Dickie Carr's book 'Success With The Pole' showing Don Neish demonstrating some new carbon poles to Dickie outside the shop. I soon set forth to investigate. Despite the torturous hour-long bus ride from my Barnet home on the number 34 I became a regular visitor. I bought my first good centrepin there, and my first split cane rod. I was also taught the rudiments of fly tying by a very kind and patient gentleman who devoted a good couple of hours to me one Saturday afternoon. By the end of it I was able to tie up a black chenille as good as any in the trays under the counter, besides producing some rough attempts at hackled dry flies.

For those who remember it a description is undoubtedly superfluous, but for everyone else, I'll try to give you a mental picture of it.

The shop was situated on the corner of Fore Street and a side road. The main display window faced onto Fore Street itself with waders, Barbour jackets, Hunter wellies and keepnets jostling for space. The door was around the side. On entering the first thing to strike the prospective customer was a benign calmness - there ought to have been a grandfather clock ticking gently somewhere - and the sheer quantity of tackle crammed into what was actually quite a small space. Just inside the door were cases of vintage and modern reels, and facing you a bookcase of current and past works. In the centre were racks of rods by Hardy, Bruce & Walker and Dons own designs, and at one end a smaller rack of second-hand rods towards which I was invariably drawn. On one occasion I found an exquisite eleven foot two piece river rod by Olivers which I would have given my right arm for; sadly it was about three times as much as I could possibly afford.

The aisle next to the counter had rod rests, nets, bags and so forth, and the counter itself was crammed with wooden drawers of floats, swimfeeders, shot etc. Hooks were displayed individually on cards, with pattern number; you might ask for half a dozen gold model perfect size 8s and these were retrieved from drawers, counted out onto the glass and placed into small paper envelopes. Maggots were only available in white, but were the largest, juiciest and liveliest of any I'd seen. Above the counter were serried ranks of plugs, spinners, spoons and deadbait flights. At the end of the counter was the fly tying section, with fly reels and lines beneath the glass. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, and there was no foul language.

You may be thinking I reflect on a distant time, but in fact my last visit to the shop was in early 2000, and it was as it had always been. I moved south to Hampshire soon after and recently heard from a London-based friend that Dons, like so many other Good Things in this world, had ceased to be.
Great description GOS I have one of his rods still in use,its a light surfcaster 9ft 6" heres a picture from earlier last year on Walton Pier :Hat: Image
There are three things that improve with age: wine, friendship and water sense, and there's no short cut.
Anthony Shepherdson

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