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Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories

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LesMac
Coventry
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1 of 62  Sun 1st Jul 2012 12:48pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:291

As a teenager I often visited Billy Lane's fishing tackle shop in Much Park St. It was really just an ordinary terraced house with the front room converted into a shop. Tiny but what an Aladdin's cave it was, Billy stocked it with all any angler could want. He was a mine of information and would advise how to fish almost any water in the Midlands. New rods were stacked on the stairs and if a purchaser wanted to assemble a rod he would be invited to do so in the equally tiny back yard. Billy went on to become world champion angler several times. I lost touch with Billy several years before he died, his new shop on London Rd just didn't seem right to me. Les.
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
happyhippie
Devon
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2 of 62  Mon 4th Feb 2013 11:58pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2012  Total posts:30

I used to spend hours in Billy Lane's shop on the London Rd, my father was a keen fisherman and friend of old Billy, he used to make floats for him in the 50s.
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
LesMac
Coventry
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Thread starter
3 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 10:47am  
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Before his London Rd. shop Billy had a shop in Much Park St. A tiny shop that was just a converted cottage. I bought my first fixed spool reel from that shop, an Omnia, but when I tried it it was rubbish.When I later told Billy my view of the reel he arranged to meet me at Wyken Slough to show me how to use it. After a couple of casts Billy agreed with me and bought the reel back. He later sold me a Hardy multiplier which was a far better piece of kit. When talking of Coventry anglers it is easy to forget Peggy Sharp (he had a wooden leg) and his son Albert. Between them they ran a small shop at the top of Primrose Hill St. When Peggy died Albert went to live at St Ives in Huntingdonshire. I visited Albert a couple of times but over the years I lost touch with him. Les
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
NormK
bulkington
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4 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 11:42am  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:855

Hi Les. There was a tackle shop in Cross Road, I cannot remember what it was called. He made me a new top joint many years ago, it wasn't a fish that broke it, I ran over it with a Land Rover. Sad
Milly rules

Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
LesMac
Coventry
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5 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 12:02pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:291

Hi Norm. The shop you have in mind was Lomas's, run by Tommy Lomas and his wife whose name I think was Betty. He was another fine angler who had some success in match fishing. His son, whose name I have forgotten, later opened a shop in Longford. Over the window he had painted "The Birthplace of Izaak Walton". He, not Izaak, had some health problem, I have forgotten just what. He had a maggot breeding business in Exhall and supplied most local tackle shops. Les
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
NormK
bulkington
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6 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 12:30pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:855

Cheers for that, Les. You have certainly got a better memory than me, I remember lots of things but putting names to them is something else Cheers
Milly rules

Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
happyhippie
Devon
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7 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 1:52pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2012  Total posts:30

Does anyone remember Ern Smallman, he had a tackle shop in Ford St, it was only a small shop but it was always full, as a child he use to let me play with the maggots, yep I know, weird!! But I used to love to feel them run through my fingers Roll eyes
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
LesMac
Coventry
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8 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 2:14pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:291

I dont recall Smallman having a shop in Ford St. There was a Smallman who had a shop in one of those units on Parkside. Don't know if it's the same man but the one I am thinking of was quite a young man. There were several angling shops started up in Coventry, one in Tile Hill village, another on Broad St, another in Charter Ave. They all closed down after a few months. Why? I leave you to draw your own conclusions. I'm saying nowt. Les
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
Midland Red
Cherwell
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9 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 2:17pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5009

The 1971 Telephone Directory shows Ern Smallman, Fishing Tackle, 73 Lower Ford Street (also there in 1955) It would appear that he may have lived at Willow Farm, Bretford
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
LesMac
Coventry
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10 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 2:36pm  
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The Smallman I had in mind was much later than that, possibly '85ish. As I said the Smallman I knew was quite a young man. Perhaps a relation?? Les
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
Midland Red
Cherwell
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11 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 2:58pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5009

No listing in the 1982 Directory (the most recent I have access to)
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
LesMac
Coventry
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12 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 3:20pm  
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Norm. Leicester Causeway. I suppose you fished the canal there. I remember there being rowing boats on the Swanswell. I recall my father taking me on the boats when I was quite small, probably about the early 30s. At the end of the boating day the park keeper would tow all the boats out to the island and tie them up there, he would then return to the waterside in a small boat then drag it up to the shed. Les
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
NormK
bulkington
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13 of 62  Tue 5th Feb 2013 4:30pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:855

Les. Yes we fished the canal, but didn't do much good until my dad took us to Aldermans Green by the 'Electric Light' (we used to call it) the water was warmer there and it made quite a difference, mostly roach and gudgeon in those days. I think that's where I got the fishing bug, and it's been with me ever since.
Milly rules

Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
George F
McKinney, TX 75070
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14 of 62  Tue 9th Apr 2013 3:16pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2013  Total posts:1

I am looking for information about Dennis Bailey who made bamboo fly rods and operated the Coventry School of Fly Casting during the late 1970s. I have some letters that Dennis exchanged with Charles Ritz about a famous French rod made by Pezon et Michel of Paris (letters dated during the late 1970s). Dennis became friends with Charles and made a few rods based on the PM design. I was able to purchase one of these rods from one of the better known rod makers in the USA, Bob Summers of Traverse City, Michigan. I also happened to notice that the Mullocks Auction House sold a Bailey rod in their March 2013 Fishing Tackle Auction. So, there are a few obtuse pointers to Dennis but I would like to put together a more complete history of his activities if I can. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has information about his rod building or the school. Thank you very much. /George
George Fraley

Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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15 of 62  Tue 9th Apr 2013 3:31pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4054

Hello & welcome to our Coventry Forum, George Wave Thumbs up Thank you very much, Thumbs up for your post & we indeed hope to see a lot more of you. Wave
Billy Lane and Coventry angling memories

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