Jump to content

Old North East gun makers


jgguinness
 Share

Recommended Posts

While inflation/income are the main determinants, there are other factors which can skew our figures. For example in 1906 the average house price was only 3 x salary….!! Also, while most goods were more affordable, food was disproportionately more expensive than today. A lot to consider. However, comparing like with like as enfieldspares has done, and using the inflation/income approach, we can achieve reasonably accurate figures. 

As mentioned however £ value is only one aspect. If it’s a joy to use, that is perhaps the gun’s real value. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 76
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

12 hours 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.

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. 

 

 

I did research the owner of the gun (Mr.N.Gratton Doyle) and found that he was Conservative MP for Newcastle.

OB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Old Boggy said:

I did research the owner of the gun (Mr.N.Gratton Doyle) and found that he was Conservative MP for Newcastle.

OB

How fascinating. I think in those days, MPs predominantly made their money then went in to politics afterwards. It would be interesting to know what business he was in. Coal merchant…?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/06/2022 at 11:38, Feltwad said:

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

Forrests  was like an Alladins  Cave when still at school I visited to make my modest purchases of worm hooks ,  a dozen flies and a few yards of nylon.   Then it was owned by Andrew (Drew) Porteous a nephew of the Forrest family.   Drew came from Coldstream and was assisted by Bill Anderson who had worked alongside him in a previous employment.    Even as a boy I was always treated with great courtesy in the shop even although my purchases were modest, later as a wage earner all my tackle would be from Forrest.  After Drew's untimely death I think Bill Anderson ran the shop for  a while prior to Dickson ownership.

On 11/06/2022 at 18:30, 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?

Greenheart was still a rod making material in the 1950s.  In April 1957 Drew dropped of a 10ft 6in greenheart road at my house.  Straight to the river where the first fish on it was a illicit 7pound salmon.

 

Blackpowder

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Old Boggy said:

I did research the owner of the gun (Mr.N.Gratton Doyle) and found that he was Conservative MP for Newcastle.

OB

From Holland’s records I can see that the original owner of my gun was named ‘Pocock’, which was the name of Henry Holland’s manservant. The gun was ordered about eight weeks after Henry’s death and delivered later that year, 1930. You would not imagine a servant to be able to afford such a gun so I can’t help feeling that perhaps some provision was made in Henry’s will? Or perhaps it was a different Mr. Pocock? We will never know, but it seems to me to be just too much of a coincidence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Blackpowder said:

Forrests  was like an Alladins  Cave when still at school I visited to make my modest purchases of worm hooks ,  a dozen flies and a few yards of nylon.   Then it was owned by Andrew (Drew) Porteous a nephew of the Forrest family.   Drew came from Coldstream and was assisted by Bill Anderson who had worked alongside him in a previous employment.    Even as a boy I was always treated with great courtesy in the shop even although my purchases were modest, later as a wage earner all my tackle would be from Forrest.  After Drew's untimely death I think Bill Anderson ran the shop for  a while prior to Dickson ownership.

Greenheart was still a rod making material in the 1950s.  In April 1957 Drew dropped of a 10ft 6in greenheart road at my house.  Straight to the river where the first fish on it was a illicit 7pound salmon.

 

Blackpowder

 

Fond memories for us both - although mine were mainly the latter Dickson’s phase. Interesting that you had a greenheart rod made in 1957 - the main era for split cane. There were a few who still liked them and had them made - even though the text books tell us that they fizzled out in the early 1900s. I have come across a few of these later examples - usually with brass ferrules rather than the spliced type.  I never dared fish with them, as they were dry as a bone. More pub wall memorabilia than anything else. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to play a fish on one….?
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, enfieldspares said:

Here he is. Died in 1941 in his seventy-ninth year of life.

https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp131705/sir-nicholas-grattan-doyle

Yes, he`s the one. Living in Newcastle he was no doubt loyal to a Newcastle gunmaker (Pape) and to note that it was a boxlock ejector as I don`t think (stand to be corrected on this) that Pape made any sidelocks. I wonder if he still owned the gun up to the time of his death in 1941.

Thanks for posting.

OB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enclosed is a image of a sxs box lock ejector in 12 bore by Armstrong Newcastle that  I have owned for the past 40+years and has never let me down 

Has for Pape  has the gunmaker of the north  has many exaggerations, first he was a game dealer  and not a gun maker but relied on the Birmingham Trade plus local out workers for his retail business not only in Newcastle but also his Sunderland shop

Feltwad

100_1223.JPG.54e54ae57cfb6ebc19b1ab0e5af78057.JPG

100_1230.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Fellside said:

Fond memories for us both - although mine were mainly the latter Dickson’s phase. Interesting that you had a greenheart rod made in 1957 - the main era for split cane. There were a few who still liked them and had them made - even though the text books tell us that they fizzled out in the early 1900s. I have come across a few of these later examples - usually with brass ferrules rather than the spliced type.  I never dared fish with them, as they were dry as a bone. More pub wall memorabilia than anything else. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to play a fish on one….?
 

 

I can say it is exciting, especially if you are 15 years old and this is your first ever salmon on the first ever outing with a new rod.  I do it think that greenheart rod was made by Forrest, in fact it did not carry  a makers name.   Drew once told me that Forrest greenheart rod's blanks were split off the log with wedges ensuring that the grain was followed all the way, whereas this would not be the case if the blank was sawn off.

 

Blackpowder

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enfield ,

Boxall and Edminson boxlocks were basically Webley Cavaliers they finished ,some barrelled actions and others built up from parts they bought off Hollands .. You have forgotten the the company that is still making Box locks . Westley Richards. .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Blackpowder said:

I can say it is exciting, especially if you are 15 years old and this is your first ever salmon on the first ever outing with a new rod.  I do it think that greenheart rod was made by Forrest, in fact it did not carry  a makers name.   Drew once told me that Forrest greenheart rod's blanks were split off the log with wedges ensuring that the grain was followed all the way, whereas this would not be the case if the blank was sawn off.

 

Blackpowder

Marvellous! Great to hear of your first salmon on greenheart. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Armstrong & Co are listed a 5 Collingwood St  Newcastle  1894 -1902 they moved to 115-117 Northumberland Newcastle in 1902  and the last date I came across was 1915  for Newcastle   .

In 1923 the business had moved to Bridge street Darlington  then to Stone Bride  Darlington  till 1936

Feltwad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/06/2022 at 13:51, Feltwad said:

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.JPG

Looks very similar to a Hardy 16 bore I bought two years ago.  A lightweight and beautifully handling gun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Fellside said:

Fond memories for us both - although mine were mainly the latter Dickson’s phase. Interesting that you had a greenheart rod made in 1957 - the main era for split cane. There were a few who still liked them and had them made - even though the text books tell us that they fizzled out in the early 1900s. I have come across a few of these later examples - usually with brass ferrules rather than the spliced type.  I never dared fish with them, as they were dry as a bone. More pub wall memorabilia than anything else. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to play a fish on one….?
 

 

Others on this thread have compared the price of guns against earnings.   In my Forrest and Sons catalogue with hand written date 1921 the price of a  10ft 6in greenheart trout rod was £4  : 18s , the 10ft 6in rod in 1957 was a straight £5  :  00.   19foot salmon fly rods in greenheart were at that time £8   :  15s or with cork grip and rubber button £9  :  16s

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Feltwad said:

Enclosed is a image of a sxs box lock ejector in 12 bore by Armstrong Newcastle that  I have owned for the past 40+years and has never let me down 

Has for Pape  has the gunmaker of the north  has many exaggerations, first he was a game dealer  and not a gun maker but relied on the Birmingham Trade plus local out workers for his retail business not only in Newcastle but also his Sunderland shop

Feltwad

100_1223.JPG.54e54ae57cfb6ebc19b1ab0e5af78057.JPG

100_1230.JPG

I was led to believe, but stand to be corrected, that he did make guns himself initially but due to his salesmanship (exaggerations) and increased workload, he then outsourced guns form the Birmingham trade. I know that he used John Harper of Birmingham quite a lot as research of one of my Papes, a later gun, established this.

OB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes John Harper    did work for Pape  in the late 1890,searly 1900,s  I once owned a sxs hammer gun  by Harper  and retailed by Pape from his Sunderland shop . Most guns came in parts from different  Birmingham out lets and assemble in his workshop  and  local Newcastle out workers. 

Feltwad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/06/2022 at 13:51, Feltwad said:

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

The Pattern B looks very similar to a Hardy 16 bore I bought two years ago. It's very light and handles beautifully and I've shot some memorable birds with it. I'd be interested to know the date of the catalogue, please.

Edited by Bear68
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Feltwad said:

All the images of the Hardy guns were taken from the 1887-1901 catalogue  Hope this is of some help

Feltwad

Thanks; it does. There's something about using an old English gun that is very special. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Bear68 said:

Thanks; it does. There's something about using an old English gun that is very special. 

I agree there is a lot of heritage in using a sxs hammer or box lock gun with Damascus barrels , at  present these guns are going to the Furness at a alarming rate thus destroying the art of the Damascus barrels that will not be there for future generations and if the lead shot ban comes which I hope will not that will be the end of this type of gun

Hardy  did retail some top quality hammer guns , I did own a cased gun by Hardy with two pair of barrels one pair was for game with a full and  Half choke   and a pair of full choke barrels for live pigeon shooting or fowling, money shortage in 2006 made me sell the gun 

Feltwad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 14/06/2022 at 09:22, Blackpowder said:

Others on this thread have compared the price of guns against earnings.   In my Forrest and Sons catalogue with hand written date 1921 the price of a  10ft 6in greenheart trout rod was £4  : 18s , the 10ft 6in rod in 1957 was a straight £5  :  00.   19foot salmon fly rods in greenheart were at that time £8   :  15s or with cork grip and rubber button £9  :  16s

i have the 19' (think its 19 ) and the 16' salmon rods both with spare tips......how on earth one cast with the 19 i would never know...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ditchman said:

i have the 19' (think its 19 ) and the 16' salmon rods both with spare tips......how on earth one cast with the 19 i would never know...

I think it may, perhaps, have been designed from the get go as an out and out dapping rod? 

Edited by enfieldspares
Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, enfieldspares said:

I think it may, perhaps, have been designed from the get go as an out and out dapping rod? 

i understand where you are coming from ...but i really cant see that :hmm:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, ditchman said:

i understand where you are coming from ...but i really cant see that :hmm:

I'd guess you'd know from the thickness of the thing, yes. Length is about right but for sure for dapping brown lake trout there'd be no need for the thing to be double built, steel cored or similarly thick. The only other thing I'd think is for dedicated roll casting or Spey casting? The late Terry Thomas would have known!

Edited by enfieldspares
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...