Ever walked around an antique shop or car boot sale and come across an old fishing rod or book? Do you like cased fish and find yourself absorbed by them? Does browsing through old tackle give you a deep inner glow of satisfaction? Answer "Yes" to any of the above and boy, have I got a place for you.
The Fisherman's Emporium, located just outside of Evesham (http://fishermansemporium.co.uk/) is a little piece of heaven for any fisherman with a sense of history or just pure wonderment at the sight of so many cased beauties. There really is nowhere else like it that I have ever come across. I knew I'd enjoy looking around but it exceeded my expectations many fold.
I've been a lover of anything stuffed and cased since I was a child and discovered the glass dome filled with exotic, colourful birds in my grand parent's loft. There were other birds albeit not behind glass but I loved the opportunity to examine them up close without them flying away. The museum in Taunton had an impressive collection of stuffed birds and, as a child I used to be a regular visitor just to gaze at them. So, having dozens of fish, birds and a few mammals to peruse at the Emporium would have been enough. There was everything from gudgeon up to a 40lb carp (found dead not taken as a trophy) as well as a very early example of taxidermy a pike's head, a record roach .... I could go on.
Then there were the books, hundreds of them in excellent condition and all pleading to be bought. This really is a serious collection and if you are looking for a title I can recommend giving John Farey, the proprietor, a call.
I had a 'play' with a few of his cane rods too, each one mint and still sensibly priced but the old cane landing nets were quite steep. The only tackle he doesn't deal in are reels and lures but they have their own market.
Did I mention the art? Original Bernard Venables, Chris Turnbull and Gaz Farnham to name a few as well as plenty of old pictures that I'm not keen on but which trade for big money.
I suppose we spent a couple of hours mooching around and chatting with John an affable Essex lad who has been trading for just over four months or so. To be honest, there's so much stuff there I reckon he could charge an admission fee never mind selling anything. If you have any interest in fish or fishing this is definitely a place to save up your pennies and pay a visit.
I wasn't intending to buy anything but it was inevitable that something would come home with me, to this end we took Nicky's two-seater as there's no room for a stuffed fish in the boot but we did manage to squeeze a picture in and it will find pride of place on my wall very soon, a self portrait by Bernard Venables.