For many years now we have been using organic vegetable tanned leather supplied to us by Tarnsjo Gaveri in Sweden who recently visited to make the above video. For those of you familiar with our leather products and those who have not yet seen them, please visit the Tarnsjo Gaveri Tannery website. There you will gain an insight into the dedication of the staff who produce what must surely count, as amongst the finest quality vegetable tanned leather in the world. A leather used by some of the worlds most exclusive brands.
This beautifully balanced palm ‘caping knife’ is the latest addition to our range of hunting knives. This knife has Stabilised Maple scales with a fine rosette engraving detail to the Corby Bolts by master gun engraver Brad Tallett. The knife is housed in a vegetable tanned black leather sheath.
Many Thanks and Congratulations to all who were involved with the design and development of our new website which last night won a silver award in the Midlands Cream Awards, which I think is fantastic, especially considering we are not a worldwide advertising agency asMcCann Erickson, who took the Gold, are!
The Website was designed in-house by Colin Townsend and Rachel-Elizabeth, who also together, designed, laid out and took to print our Bicentenary Book “In Pursuit of the Best Gun”. The website was programmed and made live by Nzimeour agency in Nottingham.
James Purdey’s Bicentennial offering is looking remarkably like our own, which we will have to take as a further compliment to ideas formed in Birmingham! Edward Nash the architect who has worked with me for many years on my house, The Grange Road factory, our showroom in Springfield USA and most recently our new factory, was commissioned, after a ‘Purdey team visit’ to this site, to design the new Purdey factory, currently under construction.
This Purdey bicentenary design is based on the old carved R. B. Rodda designs used in the 1910 era as seen on the .600NE below and will be offered with 2 other guns, one of which is a damascus over and under.
There is a large variety of small but very interesting ‘pocket sized’ books on shooting which can make a very nice addition to any library. These small volumes will also make for very nice and mostly quite inexpensive gifts. I particularly like them as in many cases they are much easier to absorb, the author has had to put his message across in one third the space of a normal book!
The best source for any antique books has to be AbeBooks.com which compiles the inventory from just about every antique bookshop in the world. Type in the title and/or author and you will normally find a selection to choose from, unless a very scarce title. Just take care to check the condition reports!
November 5th is Guy Fawkes Night in England when we celebrate the defeat of the Gunpowder Plot by Guy Fawkes in 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Traditionally we have a huge fire which is topped by a GUY made from old clothes stuffed with straw and alongside this a fireworks display, food and of course drink.
Whilst we stand around our fires here in England I have just learned of a fire in our premises in Bozeman this morning. There a printer or photo strobe light has gone up in flames and damaged the office. This will cause some disruption whilst phones, computers etc are replaced but we hope this will be minimal. Any difficulty contacting the USA office please direct to the UK by phone or emails and we will address immediately.
About 13years ago the BBC contacted me and asked to do a film on our premises for a series called Clarissa and the Country Man. The show was hosted by one of the ‘2 Fat Lady’ cooks, Clarissa Dickson Wright and her friend Sir Johnny Scott and the purpose of this segment was to show their viewers inside a working sporting gun factory. Clarissa and Johnny discussed the episode with me and asked if they could bring one of Johnny’s guns along as he had a Westley Richards. They would arrive like customers show me the gun and discuss repairs or something and then have a tour of the factory with the cameras rolling.
I remember the day of filming well for two reasons firstly when Clarissa arrived she proceeded to do her wardrobe out of the back of her car in the car park which involved practically stripping off below a row of gunmakers windows which had heads looking out in amazement, remember I said 2 Fat Lady’s! The wolf whistles were shrill. Secondly I recall Johnny carrying this small case into the showroom and popping it on the table to “I would like you to have a look at this”. I had been expecting an old shotgun that had been handed down for generations and was nearing the end of its life, not an absolutely original little .250 rook and rabbit rifle as was presented. The little rifle had spectacular wood and my whole attention was focused not on the filming but rather how I could buy the rifle!
On the day I was unsuccessful at getting Johnny to part with the rifle, I think my eyes must have lighted up before I took control. I did however let him leave with the knowledge that if he ever wanted to sell or swop it for something more useful I would be a willing customer!
About three or four years later I had a call from Johnny and he wanted to exchange the rifle for a shotgun for his sons 21st birthday, something I willingly did. His son was given a fine detachable lock 12g gun with which to shoot and I ended up with what I consider a very rare example of our patent rook and rabbit rifles, one which had been made to the very highest standards, full traditional WR engraving and superb wood for the period on such a gun.
I never did watch the episode on TV.
Photo by Terry Allen for “In Pursuit of the Best Gun”
It is impossible to shoot and shoot photographs at the same time, at least it is for me, so I like to take snaps in between drives of the people who make the day happen, who make it work for us, the guns. These are the loaders, keepers, beaters and dog handlers all of whom are ardent supporters of the sport, whom come out, not so much for the wage, but for the day out in the country with friends and similar minded folk. A driven shoot in England involves close to 40 or 50 people and this selection of photographs from a shoot I was at last week is a token thank you to all the people who come out, come rain or shine to make our sport possible.
Last week I was generously invited to Shoot at the beautiful Chateaux de Pont Chevron by my longtime friend and client Munir Anastas. Munir is a supreme host and treated me to a memorable weekend of sport which started in Paris. We met at the exclusive Paris Shooting Club for some practise with the leading French instructor Frederique Ferree. The private club boasts a spectacular array of shooting stands, delivering every type of bird target imaginable. From the club we drove 2 hours south of Paris to Pont Chevron where we were the guests of Jean de La Rochefoucauld who hosted us to a grand black tie dinner, followed the next day by a superb day of sport on the estate.