Fishermans Emporium – Is A Must Place to Visit
During my many visits to the United States, the one thing that always impressed me were the number of top quality museums catering for sports fishing. I’ve spent many hours, often one or two days visiting these places to see the history of our great sport. Some are in the hands of privates companies or charities, while others are owned by the tackle industry.
Many visitors to my home say “It’s like a museum with all the books tackle and other angling items” I’ve often thought how nice it would be to have a museum in the UK dedicated to angling through the ages. The nearest I suppose were some of the tackle manufacturers in Redditch once the home of the British fishing tackle industry and of course Hardy Brothers of Alnwick Northumberland.
From the Glamour of Fashion to the World of Angling
Today I reckon we have something that comes close to a museum of angling in Fladbury Worcestershire, where John Farey and his wife Angie have set up the Fishermans Emporium in what was once an old cider factory. John hails from the east end of London, as a youngster he would accompany his dad on fishing trips to the Rivers Medway and Beult in Kent. Often these trips coincided with his dad’s visits to the hop fields which were so loved by the East Enders.
My first visit to Fisherman’s Emporium was to record an interview with John for my At the Water’s Edge series on BBC Radio Lancashire; I wasn’t surprised to learn that this likeable East Ender had worked for many years in the fashion industry. In fact many of my Cockney friends worked in the fashion industry, photography or were market stallholders.
John’s hobby for many years had been collecting angling artefacts for many years, but today that hobby is now a business, a credit to his foresight and hard work along with his attractive wife Angie.
Clarissa is on Display
As you walk through the door your eyes are drawn to a special display in this 60th anniversary year of Richard Walkers 44lb carp caught from Redmire Pool on September 13th 1952, you will see a glass case displaying the plaster cast of Clarissa that for many years resided in London Zoo. It was seen by thousands of anglers who made a special visit to see such a magnificent fish that shook the angling world. When this carp was caught, many thousands of anglers didn’t believe such a fish existed until they visited London Zoo.
When Dave Foster of Wigan, Chris Leibbrandt President of the Lure Anglers Club and me walked into the Fishermans Emporium then seeing the plaster cast of Clarrisa we stood speechless, it was far better than any of us expected. In a word it was “Stunning” Dave said “I’m speechless” while Chris just gazed in awe for several minutes at a very large painting by artist Dave Miller of a big pike ready to strike a lure.
Dave, Chris and I were impressed with the layout out of the premises, the display of glass cased fish will take your breath away, it’s the largest display I have ever seen from the great taxidermist who lived in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Two great chub anglers of the 1950’s were brothers Bill and Sonny Warren of Christchurch who fished the Hampshire Avon Royalty Fishery, on display is a cased 6lb 3ounce chub caught by Bill. As you wander from room to room you will be amazed at the huge float collections, the angling art on display is some of the finest available, including original paintings by some of the great angling artist’s dating back to the early 1800’s. We stood in awe as we admired paintings by Bernard Venables who gave us the comic strip book Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing which sold 2 million copies.
As you amble along you will no doubt admire the impressive display of bamboo/split cane and fibreglass fly and coarse fishing rods. If you’re looking for a rare signed limited edition or leather bound book, then no doubt John can help you in your quest. Very sadly I allowed myself to be dragged away from the Fisherman’s Emporium by Chris, Dave and John to a delightful café just a few yards away for a very late lunch.
The Fisherman’s Emporium is open Wednesday to Sunday 10 o’clock until 5 o’clock Unit 11Craycombe Farm, Evesham Road, Fladbury Worcestershire WR10 2QS Tel 01386 861 336 www.fishermansemporium.co.uk