On this page, Thomas Redford, William Gordon, Alexander Munro, John Gellatly, John Lyell, David Henderson, Willam Henderson, John Henderson, George Henderson, David Duguid, George Gordon, Miss M'Gregor, William Roy, Alex Adams, William Milne, J & G Gordon, William M'Leod.
Thomas Willam Redford
pre 1820 – 1822St. Nicolas Street
pre 1820 – 1824Upper Kirkgate
1824 – 182728 Upper Kirkgate
1827 – 183230 St. Nicolas.
Gordon is a strange one - murdered his wife with a poker - more of this later!
pre 1821 – 1824Kings Street
1824 – 183144 King Street.
1831 – 183451 Kings Street
1834 – 1847118 Kings Street
A very rare Munro reel - in the "Aberdeen style"
The first mention of Munro is in 1821 when he was described as a Tuner in Kings Street, the next mention in 1824 describes him as a fishing tackle maker with his business at 44 Kings Street and living at 27 Fredrick Street. Munro was also a well know golf club maker.
Alexander Munro died on the 15th of November 1847 the value of his estate was £747, which included his stock in trade as a fishing tackle maker of £100, it’s interesting to see that this valuation was conducted by “Messes Playfair and Brown Fishing Tackle Makers in Aberdeen”. Munro must have been a fairly astute businessman, his estate included £195 of shares of the Gas Light Company of Aberdeen, and also an intriguing £190 the “sum due to the deceased at the time of his death by the Reverend Archibald Anderson Minister of the parish of Crathie, Aberdeenshire”. It’s also interesting to note that a turning lathe valued at £20 was included in his estate. Ludovic Sandison (see further down the page) was employed by Munro from around 1841 and took over the business in 1847 when he died.
Some of Munros larger customers included: The Duke of Marlborough, John Lyall, Gunmaker, Lord James Hay, Messrs Blaikie & Sons, Lord de Tabley & Hon Captain Arbuthnot. It’s also interesting to note that he had quite a few customers who were coach makers, so we can probably assume that he put the lathe to uses other than the manufacture of fishing rods. I’ve only managed to turn up one item of fishing tackle marked by Munro, items from this early period are very rare, it’s a reel in the traditional North East of Scotland style, quite similar to William Browns own Reel, you can see it in the photo above.
pre 1824 – 182748 Broadstreet
1827 – 182812 Exchequer Row
1831 – 1835126 Union Street
1835 – 1837130 Union Street
1837 – 1841123 Union Street
1841 – 1865124 Union Street
1865 – 1879 128 Union Street
John Lyell was first listed in 1831 where he was described as “Registered grate and stove maker”, this changed in 1832 and the description changed to “Registered grate, stove and gun maker”
1846 – 184721 Loch Street
1847 – 18625 Castle Brae
1862 – 187039 Castle Street
An early David Henderson reel, named on the upper part of the foot, mounted on a drop ring David Henderson Rod
1847 – 185585 Kings Street
1855 – 185889 Kings Street
1858 – 1859102 Kings Street
1851 – 185885 SpringGardens
1858 – 18721 Millbank Terrace
1872 – 187439 Castle Street
In 1872 the business became known as John Henderson and son
1870 – 187139 Castle Street
Ludovic Grant Sandison
1856 - 1884 118 Kings Street
Ludovic Sandison was a fishing tackle and golf club maker and is, perhaps, better known as a golf club maker in 1990 one of his clubs, a putter, was auctioned for $10,000.
Ludovic Sandison was born 16/08/1825 in Aberdeen, son of Lewis Sandison & Catherine Yule. The census of 1841 shows that by the age of 15 Ludovic was an apprentice with Alexander Munro, Aberdeen, Golf club and fishing tackle maker (see Munros details above).
In 1947 two significant events happened to Ludovic, he married Margaret Smith in 1847 and Alexander Munro died allowing Ludovic to take over the business. Ludovick & Margaret had 9 children, all born in Aberdeen, between 1848 and 1869.
As well as Fishing Tackle & Golf Club maker he was a prominent figure in the church and:- "Held the post of leader of the old historical church of Greyfriars [in Aberdeen], which was taken down to make room for the University buildings. He held this office for twenty-eight years (1856-1884), and practically died at his post, being but a short time ill. Besides Church work, he carried on numerous public classes, which did much to make music popular with the people. Indeed, " Sandison's Classes" were household words in Aberdeen about the "[eighteen]seventies." He was the kind of man whose personality and work commands respect, and we are not surprised to learn that the late Rev. John Curwen, of Tonic Sol-fa fame, held him in the highest esteem."
Detail from an early Sandison gaff
1854 – 18602 Flourmill Brae
1860 – 18623 Flourmill Brae
1862 – 19035 Flourmill Brae
1903 – 192014 Carmelite Street
In 1885 the business became known as David Duguid and son, Duguid was famous as a rod maker and is quoted in various book of the period. The only tackle I have found marked with his name are rods (and quite often they have fabulous leather handles) and brass gaffs.
Above a selction of Duguid rods and gaffs, the bottom 3 have leather upper handles
1854 – 185831 George Street
1858 – 186319 George Street
1864 – 188116 St. Nicolas Street
A scarce Wilson pocket gaff and an unused Wilson brass salmon winch
1865 – 186859 Queen Street
1868 – 186980 Queen Street
1869 – 187073 John Street
1870 – 187113 Loch Street
1871 – 187236 Union Street
1866 – 187224 North Broadford
1872 – 188269 North Broadford
1872 – 187347 Woolman Hill
1873 – 187460 North Broadford
1874 – 188225 North Broadford
1882 – 188432 Back Wynd
1884 – 189519 Stirling Street
1895 – 18988 Back Wynd
1898 – 19023 Trinity Street
1902 – 190929 Carmelite Street
1909 – 192239 Bridge Street & 22 College Street
William Milne exhibited and won a diploma at the International Fisheries Exhibition in 1883 “Milne Wm. Practical Fly Dresser and Fishing Tackle Manufacturer, 32 Back Wynd, Union Street, Aberdeen (1) Sample of salmon flies used in general for salmon fishing. (2) Samples of Trout flies used for lake, river and brook fishing.”
Kelson paid a great tribute to Milne's fly tying skills in an article published in the Fishing Gazette on the 8th of March 1884 writing about the wing styles of salmon flies:
“For all Scotch rivers make medium wings – Irish and Canadian, slight and the bodies fine; Norwegian, heavy, and the bodies well picked out – Usk, as much a possible, so long as the heads are not cruelly burdened. Wye moderate; North of England, single strips (similar to the beautifully-made Dee patterns of William Milne) are favoured; though I prefer mixed wings.”
A couple of quotes from “Forty Years of Trout & Salmon Fishing” by J. L. Dickie, the first is a young Dickie in conversation with ghillie James Stephen on the Glen Tana beat of the Dee:
“He met me, and after the usual greeting he asked for my rod to be put up. It was August, and I handed him my light 14ft. “Castle Connel” Greenheart, in two pieces, spliced by W Milne of Aberdeen. With an amused smile he said: Weel, sir, it would dae fine to tickle hens wi’ in a barn yard, but I doot it’s no’ strong enough tae hold the fish here unless I’m mistaken.”” - then, as you would expect, is a story of the capture of a fine fish leading to the comment - “I was wrong aboot the ‘roddie’; it can kill a fish, and you, sir, can handle it.”
The second quote is an older Dickie fishing with Lundy the gillie on the Balmoral water of the Dee.
“We reached the Newton [a pool]. Lundy took the rod from it’s case and here I must relate its history. I had bought it as a 10ft. Greenheart from Milne of Aberdeen over thirty five years ago. I had killed tons of trout on it, and on the Don about twenty years ago two salmon of fifteen pounds and eighteen pounds which has been kind enough to permit one to land them on sea trout files, and stout trout gut. About ten or twelve years ago I was going over my rods and found the rod do warped that I nearly discarded it.
However, I was loath to adopt this course at it was an old and tried friend, and I put it aside. I read one day in the paper - I forget which - that Foster of Ashbourne had a method of wire ribbing, which Aladdin like made old rods into new. It was now nearly as straight as it was originally, and of course much stronger.”
J & G Gordon
1875 – 187912 St. Nicholas Street
1879 – 18804 St. Nicholas Lane
1880 – 188124 St. Nicholas Lane
1881 – 188212½ Correction Wynd
1882 – 189973 Netherkirkgate
1899 – 190018 Carmelite Street
1876 – 18808 Guild Street
William McLeod – Gunmaker, 8 Guild Street, Aberdeen, died on the 15th of June 1880 leaving a widow, Mrs Jane Ann Duncan or McLeod. residing at 3 Victoria Place. Some highlights from his inventory include: