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Old North East gun makers


jgguinness
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16 minutes ago, ditchman said:

are they the same forrest and sons kelso ...that used to make bepoke salmon and trout tackle ?

That is correct they were the same family but George Forrest & sons first traded at  7, Abbey Place  Jedburgh  1874-1901

Forrest and Sons began trading  in 1890 at 35 Square, Kelso, they were taken over  around  1950-60 by Dickenson  and were still trading in 1988

Feltwad

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1 hour ago, Fellside said:

Yes they are the same. I remember going in to their shop as a boy. By then it was more fishing than shooting really. It was like Aladdin’s cave to me. 

i have a complete collection of forrest&son salmon and trout rods for male and female.........posted some pics up on PW a few years ago

i think Hardy ventured into guns as well

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19 minutes ago, ditchman said:

i have a complete collection of forrest&son salmon and trout rods for male and female.........posted some pics up on PW a few years ago

i think Hardy ventured into guns as well

They will be lovely old rods to fish with. Watch out for them getting too dry though. Yes Hardy’s sold game guns - I was told by a chap in Hardy’s they were made by Armstrong’s. They had one displayed in their Alnwick museum until a few years ago. 

The Scottish Herald reported in 2005 that the famous Forest’s, “trading since 1837 etc.. had been rescued and was to continue in Kelso.” I remember that reincarnation, but it sadly went the way of most high street tackle and gun shops a few years later. 

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My records show that Hardy's were making or retailing guns prior to 1880  has a member of the Percy family of Alnwick castle had a pair  specially made for him  in 1880

Enclosed are images of  guns from their 1887-1900 catalogue

Feltwad

100_4495.JPG.1d5a4d663b47e2afaddcbc2bf626dbb7.JPG100_4492.JPG.2ed9d880d11cba9333af4537c0627443.JPG100_1460.JPG.873e933fde65f3ffa9d44e166ebdaf98.JPG100_4496.JPG.130cbb53591294549d515f7520cd92bd.JPG

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2 hours ago, Fellside said:

They will be lovely old rods to fish with. Watch out for them getting too dry though. Yes Hardy’s sold game guns - I was told by a chap in Hardy’s they were made by Armstrong’s. They had one displayed in their Alnwick museum until a few years ago. 

The Scottish Herald reported in 2005 that the famous Forest’s, “trading since 1837 etc.. had been rescued and was to continue in Kelso.” I remember that reincarnation, but it sadly went the way of most high street tackle and gun shops a few years later. 

these are the old forrest rods

strange rods 001tn_.JPG

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2 hours ago, ditchman said:

these are the old forrest rods

strange rods 001tn_.JPG

I thought they would have been split cane, but they appear to be greenheart, which makes them very old. Most greenheart rods were made in the nineteenth century, so a nice piece of history. I like the reels particularly. Have you fished with them?

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Yes. Hardy of Alnwick (but I think like many they were re-sellers of guns actually made for them by the Birmingham trade) were originally gun sellers rather than fishing tackle makers. So, yes, you do see the occasional shotgun marked "Hardy". Not a lot of people know that! And others more once world known made the odd gun, or two, and other bits and bats at Elswick!

Edited by enfieldspares
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1 hour ago, Fellside said:

I thought they would have been split cane, but they appear to be greenheart, which makes them very old. Most greenheart rods were made in the nineteenth century, so a nice piece of history. I like the reels particularly. Have you fished with them?

no i havnt...i have cleaned them rewhipped the eyes and laquered them........i red somewhere before the fishing season started the rods were "put up"...the older green hearts were whipped together ..and they were left in the stables to draw moisture into them prior to being used.......

the salmon rods are utter beasts...

strange rods 003tn_ (1).JPG

Edited by ditchman
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7 minutes ago, ditchman said:

no i havnt...i have cleaned them rewhipped the eyes and laquered them........i red somewhere before the fishing season started the rods were "put up"...the older green hearts were whipped together ..and they were left in the stables to draw moisture into them prior to being used.......

the salmon rods are utter beasts...

Spey casting a greenheart salmon rod is heavy toil. I don’t know how they did a week on the Tweed with one…!

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1 hour ago, Fellside said:

Spey casting a greenheart salmon rod is heavy toil. I don’t know how they did a week on the Tweed with one…!

Yes. My late father's Hardy and Foster's of Asbourne cane trout and salmon rods looked joyous. But were heavy, eventually, took a "set" and in truth carbon fibre (which he never used he died in 1987) were far around better.

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47 minutes ago, enfieldspares said:

Yes. My late father's Hardy and Foster's of Asbourne cane trout and salmon rods looked joyous. But were heavy, eventually, took a "set" and in truth carbon fibre (which he never used he died in 1987) were far around 

2 hours ago, billytheghillie said:

Eric Black was the last man to run Forrests.

I remember him - he sold me a nice shooting jacket. 

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Just now, Fellside said:

 

Sorry - I also meant to reply to enfieldspares. I have tried those big old rods. I actually bought a Hardy Palakona a few years ago. Actually ended catching a salmon with it, but didn’t enjoy the casting at all.  I sent it to auction after only one day out with it - and went straight back to my carbon comfort zone. 

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23 minutes ago, Fellside said:

Sorry - I also meant to reply to enfieldspares. I have tried those big old rods. I actually bought a Hardy Palakona a few years ago. Actually ended catching a salmon with it, but didn’t enjoy the casting at all.  I sent it to auction after only one day out with it - and went straight back to my carbon comfort zone. 

When my father died my brother got all his tackle and I don't think ever cast with a single of his salmon rods ever. Not from sentiment but from having little actual interest in that type of salmon fishing. I've no idea where they all went to...the salmon rods...but they were never used (in this family) again. The trout rods were used by my brother but the salmon rods never.

Edited by enfieldspares
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11 hours ago, enfieldspares said:

When my father died my brother got all his tackle and I don't think ever cast with a single of his salmon rods ever. Not from sentiment but from having little actual interest in that type of salmon fishing. I've no idea where they all went to...the salmon rods...but they were never used (in this family) again. The trout rods were used by my brother but the salmon rods never.

Such is the way of life. Sad when it all has to go somewhere else. You probably wouldn’t want to fish with the salmon rods anyway. The trout outfits could be pleasant enough on small streams - if that might be possible. I know a few people who like the ‘feel’ of light kane rods.

Just now, Fellside said:

Such is the way of life. Sad when it all has to go somewhere else. You probably wouldn’t want to fish with the salmon rods anyway. The trout outfits could be pleasant enough on small streams - if that might be possible. I know a few people who like the ‘feel’ of light kane rods.

Meant ‘cane’

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37 minutes ago, London Best said:

Old North East Gunmakers. 
My 20 bore signed Armstrong of Newcastle.64328D9D-A045-4F07-96F8-F644EE24AF0D.jpeg.4af84255b0ff3f1ce093f3c201c83e06.jpeg

And one of my 16 bore Papes of Newcastle. Said to be `The Purdey of The North`, but that may have been a sales pitch.

Pape Ejector(June 2013) 018.jpg

Pape Ejector(June 2013) 016.jpg

Edited by Old Boggy
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34 minutes ago, Old Boggy said:

And one of my 16 bore Papes of Newcastle. Said to be `The Purdey of The North`, but that may have been a sales pitch.

And Powell was said to be "the Purdey of Birmingham". Yet, strange to say, Purdey never claimed to be either the Pape or the Powell of London!

Edited by enfieldspares
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1 hour ago, London Best said:

Loving the engraving on Old Boggy’s box lock. Very subtle.

The attached information obtained from the current owner of the Pape records shows that the gun was finished in 1901 and sold in 1906 for £36-10s-0d. Not sure what the figures under left and right refer to but assume that it was the number of shot within a 30 inch circle for each barrel.

Also, not sure why the `pellet count` if that`s what it is came out several times. That`s my technophobia kicking in again I`m afraid.

Hopefully someone can tell me what £36/10s would be worth today. I think £1 then would be worth about £100 now, so on that basis the gun would cost £3600. Not sure if that is right though.

OB

1760132293_Pape16bore10171(1).jpg.5ad6415eec76fc8f3a521d8e16bdd35f.jpg1841772816_Pape16bore10171(2).jpg.e8955225cf3f64958d93e8a1eb9f6dbf.jpg1841772816_Pape16bore10171(2).jpg.e8955225cf3f64958d93e8a1eb9f6dbf.jpg1841772816_Pape16bore10171(2).jpg.e8955225cf3f64958d93e8a1eb9f6dbf.jpg

Edited by Old Boggy
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57 minutes ago, Old Boggy said:

The attached information obtained from the current owner of the Pape records shows that the gun was finished in 1901 and sold in 1906 for £36-10s-0d. Not sure what the figures under left and right refer to but assume that it was the number of shot within a 30 inch circle for each barrel.

Also, not sure why the `pellet count` if that`s what it is came out several times. That`s my technophobia kicking in again I`m afraid.

Hopefully someone can tell me what £36/10s would be worth today. I think £1 then would be worth about £100 now, so on that basis the gun would cost £3600. Not sure if that is right though.

OB

1760132293_Pape16bore10171(1).jpg.5ad6415eec76fc8f3a521d8e16bdd35f.jpg1841772816_Pape16bore10171(2).jpg.e8955225cf3f64958d93e8a1eb9f6dbf.jpg1841772816_Pape16bore10171(2).jpg.e8955225cf3f64958d93e8a1eb9f6dbf.jpg1841772816_Pape16bore10171(2).jpg.e8955225cf3f64958d93e8a1eb9f6dbf.jpg

This is a bit geeky I know, but I’ve run the figures re what the gun would cost in equivalent average salary today. It works out at just over £26,628.

The average income back then was only £42.70 (per National Archive), so easy to do the maths relative to the current average.

In summary, it would have been quite a well off person who originally bought your gun. 

 

 

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Value calculators maybe give somewhere between £4,000 to £5,000. But in truth the better question might be what would it cost today?

I know of no current British maker of a "best" boxlock since the demise of Boxall and Edmiston (their boxlock was about £24,000). The price of the AyA No 4 is also in 2022 between £6,000 and £7,000.

So OLD BOGGY is "out" as these inflation calculators never really reflect that labour costs for anything pretty much handmade have increased exponentially.

1 hour ago, Old Boggy said:

I think £1 then would be worth about £100 now, so on that basis the gun would cost £3600. Not sure if that is right though.

But also FELLSIDE and his geeky guess isn't that far off given the Boxall and Edmiston price!

36 minutes ago, Fellside said:

This is a bit geeky I know, but I’ve run the figures re what the gun would cost in equivalent average salary today. It works out at just over £26,628.

Sadly of course what it would cost to make one today is nowhere near what a near what it might make at auction.

My way of calculating prices today of guns back then is to use Purdey, Boss or Holland as a benchmark.

So I'd calculate a 1906 gun be it pistol, rifle, shotgun by X, Y, or Z as being so much percent as the price (also in 1906) of a best Purdey, Boss or Holland SLE. So the OP's Armstrong would be, in 1906 I think, about 30% of that.

But at the end of it all it's about pleasure, enjoyment and the "craic".

And there's some guns where even if you go out and blank you still enjoy the day as the enjoying the gun itself is part of that. I enjoy that from my late father's gun. But my own Boss in truth was souless so that and steel shot led me to sell it in December 2021 with little remorse.

A gun that "lives" is one that you enjoy and that brings smiles and creates memories (good or bad) is beyond any price. A gun that doesn't give that is sterile and without inspiration and so merely a tool regardless of its cost.

 

Edited by enfieldspares
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