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PostPosted: 03/24/20 14:16 • # 1 
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I have been doing a bit of digging into the confusing situation at Alnwick with various Walkers supplying fishing tackle. The resources used are census records, Drewett's book and D is for Dingle book plus general web searches.

The first thing I found is that the well known John James Selby Walker b. around 1865 in Belton, Sunderland was initially apprenticed as a cabinet maker in 1881 but then transferred his skills to making cane fishing rods in Alnwick and is listed as a cane fishing rod maker in the next two census records, 1891 & 1901. When Hardy started making cane rods they are said to have hired good cabinet makers so there is the possibility that JJS Walker could have spent some time at Hardy.

JJS Walker started his own business in or around 1907. In 1911 his nephew James Alexander Walker was living with him and listed as an apprentice at a fishing rod works. James had lost his mother two years before and sadly lost his wife two years after their marriage in 1915. His father, also James Alexander was employed as an iron monger.

By 1911 JJS Walker was operating as JJS Walker & Co. Northern Rod & Reel Works, Alnwick, and had taken on Charles S Bampton, also born in Sunderland, who was a brass worker and former nautical instrument maker. Bampton was listed in the company's 1913 catalogue as being on charge of rod and net fittings. At the same time WH Dingley was shown as head of reel works having joined JJS Walker & Co from Hardys in 1911. Dingley was making the JJS Walker & Co reels and also supplying other companies with his own reels.

Dingley opened his own premises, the Climax reel works around 1913 but still continued to suppy JJS Walker & Co with reels. Some time before 1920 JJS Walker & Co became known as JJS Walker Bampton & Co.

James Alexander Walker went into business on his own and continued to trade as JA Walker & Co of Howick Street, Alnwick from around 1928 to 1938.

JJS Walker & Co probably commenced making reels after Dingley joined them in October 1911. The JJS Walker & Co reels would have been produced between the end of 1911 and before 1920 when they became JJS Walker Bampton & Co. Some of those early reels have markings stamped and also some reels had the name cast into the back during manufacture. I have seen two types of latch; the straight latch and the sliding brass button. They produced fly reels and casting reels and whilst information on reels is scarce there is an old Christies auction listing for:

Quote:
THREE DINGLEY 4in., ALLOY REELS
All with twin ivorine handles and brake handles, caged drums, one marked Graham and Co., Inverness; another J.J.S. Walker & Co., the "Climax"; the third unmarked

Regards,
Clive


I walk the paths where no one goes and cast to fish nobody knows


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PostPosted: 03/24/20 23:55 • # 2 
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Great History, thanks for sharing. I didn't know Dingley had a short stay working for JJS Walker after he left Hardy, do you have a reel you can show a picture of made by Dingley while working for JJS Walker? it would be great to see. I have a Dingley made reel for Mallochs, which has the sliding brass button spool release.
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PostPosted: 03/25/20 02:30 • # 3 
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It would be my opinion that every reel branded JJS Walker & Co would have been made by Dingley, and probably most if not all JJS Walker Bampton & co reels. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the only reel maker at that company.

The sliding button reel release I mentioned is different to yours:

Image

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More like a Silex release. The spindle boss on the early JJS Walker & Co reels also resembled the Silex. Later reels followed the typical Dingley concave shape like the one you have. This is an earlier one....

Image

Regards,
Clive


I walk the paths where no one goes and cast to fish nobody knows


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 11:10 • # 4 
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what about JB Walker of Newcastle on Tyne? Whole different story or are there any connections?
cheers
Urs


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 12:18 • # 5 
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I believe that JJS Walker was born in Belford, a small town north of Alnwick - a long way from Sunderland.
According to Jamie Maxtone Graham's book, "Fishing Tackle of Yesterday", both Walker and Bampton were foremen at Hardy's before setting up independently.


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 12:30 • # 6 
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Location: Switzerland
35 Miles .....


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 14:05 • # 7 
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WallaceWatson wrote:
I believe that JJS Walker was born in Belford, a small town north of Alnwick - a long way from Sunderland.
According to Jamie Maxtone Graham's book, "Fishing Tackle of Yesterday", both Walker and Bampton were foremen at Hardy's before setting up independently.


The census record for JJS Walker shows birthplace as Belford, Nth Sunderland. Presumably that information came from himself. The birth record shows Belford Northumberland, but Belford was classed as in County Durham at one time. JJS Walker was Christened at Bamburgh, Northumberland.

Flyuvo; I have looked for a link from the Alnwick Walkers to John B Walker, but not found any. JB Walker re-located to Hythe in Kent from Newcastle, or there are two of them.

Regards,
Clive


I walk the paths where no one goes and cast to fish nobody knows


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 01:53 • # 8 
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There was a JB Walker in Hythe Kent who supplied cane blanks for many years. in the 1960's I believe.

http://www.turnerandlowkes.com


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 03:17 • # 9 
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Yes, he was listed in the directories as trading at Marine Walk (opposite the Town Hall) in Hythe, Kent in the 1960's up to mid 70's when the business closed. His machinery for planing blanks was bought by David Norwich and after his retirement, sold on. As well as their local day to day tackle business JB Walker of Hythe seemed to be manufacturing blanks and the parts required to put a rod together by customers. These were sold as kits.

JB Walker provided the blanks used in the experiments leading to the design of the Mk. 4 Avon and Carp rods designed and first used by Richard Walker who appears to be unrelated. After these rods became popular due to the publicity surrounding R Walker's capture of a 44lb carp JB Walker continued to provide Mk 4 kits to the public using a letter written by R Walker endorsing the materials used to assemble the rod that was used to catch the record carp. The same design of rod was also sold, fully made up by another company; B James and these rods carried R Walker's signature as an endorsement of their quality and link to the record holder. JB Walker also provided blanks as kits for many other types of rods.

JB Walker, or another with the same name was also trading in Newcastle prior to the Hythe business being opened. There are fly rods endorsed "JB Walker Newcastle" that come up for sale from time to time. I am not aware whether these rods were assembled from kits by the customer or built in house by JB Walker.

The supply of tonkin cane at this time must have been problematic owing to the embargo imposed on Chinese goods. The number of suppliers will have been limited and this has caused much speculation as to where each particular rod manufacturer obtained their supplies.

Regards,
Clive


I walk the paths where no one goes and cast to fish nobody knows


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 05:14 • # 10 
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Location: Penang, Malaysia & Northumberland
North Sunderland is a village near Seahouses on the Northumberland coast. It is about 8 miles from Belford.
Belford has never been in Durham.
Sunderland is in Co. Durham and is 60 miles from Belford. A long way in 1865.
JB Walker was a fishing tackle dealer above a shop at 63 Newgate Street in the centre of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I was a student at Newcastle University in the 1960s and used Walkers occasionally although John Robertson in the Haymarket was more convenient for the Uni. I would bet that Walker's cane rods were made by small manufacturers in Alnwick.
Also in the 1960s I bought rod making kits from JB Walker of Hythe. I still have a boat rod, a beachcaster and a float rod - all hollow glass. I also have a copy of their 1963/64 catalogue - price 1 shilling and threepence.
No mention at all of Newcastle. I am certain that the businesses were not connected.


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 06:13 • # 11 
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The information about Belford is from the Free BMD site: https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/districts/belford.html

It simply lists his birthplace as: Belford

For Belford it describes it as;
Quote:
The district Belford spans the boundaries of the counties of Northumberland and Co. Durham;


It goes on to say that:

Quote:
(Belford was)Transferred from Durham to Northumberland on 20.10.1844.

https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/districts/belford.html

The 1871, 1881, 1901 & 1911 census shows JJS Walker's birthplace as:

Quote:
N Sunderland, Northumberland

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XWMB-HD8
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XS9X-N5W

Whilst in 1891 it simply gave: Northumberland, England.

The Christening is shown as Bamburgh, Northumberland.

We may never know.

Regards,
Clive


I walk the paths where no one goes and cast to fish nobody knows


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 07:37 • # 12 
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Location: Penang, Malaysia & Northumberland
Its an odd one re Belford and Durham but I may have got to the bottom of it.
Over 1,000 years ago the Kingdom of Northumbria was annexed by England and became an earldom. The city of Durham was established and the Bishop of Durham started acquiring extensive land holdings. These became the County Palatinate of Durham - basically a private county. Most of the lands were in what we now recognise as Co. Durham but there were some outliers known as "liberties" or "exclaves". One such was the exclave of Islandshire which included Belford. The exclaves were done away with by the Counties Act of 1844.
One learns something every day.
JJS Walker was born in 1865 when Belford was well and truly in Northumberland.


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 08:21 • # 13 
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I have just located a village by the name of North Sunderland situated just outside Seahouses 8 or 9 miles from Belford.

Solved! :wave

Regards,
Clive


I walk the paths where no one goes and cast to fish nobody knows


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