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I think you touched on where the snake problem came from, John.   Folks who will stupidly buy an exotic pet and then when it starts to get big and a bit threatening dump it in the Everglades or some o

Just to reassure our Colonial members that my comments about air rifles was only aimed at chavvy boneheads from estates that take great delight in maiming cats, dogs, rabbits and any other defenceless

All the chat about air rifles reminded me that I've got a Theoben Rapid 7 .22. I've just fished it out, oiled it and recharged the bottle. Just going to check it on the chrono. I used to use it agains

Nip out and find a couple more Ian we could all do with a bit of spare cash this time of year.

 

Late 80s I had a customer come in the shop with one, he wanted it polished and re-blued I advised him very strongly against it as it would make it more or less valueless but he insisted. By the time our 'smith' had finished with it looked and worked like new but I wouldn't have given him £10 for it.

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Yes new both Micks very well when they were in partnership in Anglo-American, the tales I could tell. A couple of lads who worked for them were members of NADVAS and they used to appear on range with all sorts of things.

 

Well remember they popped up one Thursday afternoon with a selection of .45acp Thompsons with drum mags for test firing. I had a 1911 Colt in .45acp at the time so knelt down to one side and caught the spent brass in me hat for reloading.

 

Then in the late 80s the Chinese shipment arrived, they had been to China and bought a battalion armoury and imported all of the small arms back to Nottingham, they needed trusted certified people to help unload we wouldn't want the news getting out.

 

Eventually eight 32 ton arctic lorries arrived at the old British Waterways warehouses on Trent Lane where they had secured a warehouse for bonded storage, it took 8 of us 6 days to unload and sort that lot. Hundreds of rifles, pistols, swords and bayonets, there were at least 200 Mauser 7.62 pistols rarely seen over here, they went straight to the USA after sorting. But the highlight for me was the swords, as you know Japan invaded China some years before WW11 and those laddies took their swords to war with them. Mike hired in a specialist to sort them as the Chinese had put new hilts on them and made them military issue, he spent 5 days removing hilts, reading the markings and pigeon holing them. When he had finished Mike asked how much he owed him, his reply was "Can I have a blade from the top rack?" The reply was "Yes" so he took one and wrapped it in a velvet bag he had bought with him and said "That's the easiest £20K I've ever earned". Mick wasn't down hearted there were at least 20 blades on the top rack every one worth over £20K.

 

As to John Abbott he too was a member of NADVAS and a friend and I have actually shot the rifle you refer to didn't know your DNA was on it though.

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Bernard was a great bloke, and his scrimshaw was some of the best. He did a personalised powder flask for my son. Don't know how well you knew Bernard but despite his highly polished shoes and regimental appearance he really was quite a character. Somehow one off his walrus tusks made in to a museum in the US, beautiful piece of work but as always with Bernard there was a naughty bit. The main picture on the tusk was of a whaling boat with oarsmen, very detailed but if you looked very closely the of the oarsmen had his todger in his hand.

 

When the lad got his flask we spent hours looking for the naughty bit, after a few weeks of looking I decided to ask Bernard, he assured me that as the lad was only 10 the naughty bit was missing.

 

Yes I remember Dennis getting shall we say grazed across the buttocks I believe it took a long time to live that one down.

 

You seem to know a lot of NADVAS members did you shoot there yourself?

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You have me thinking now was it John who also made himself a 7 barrelled Nock flintlock, I know some one did and am 90% sure it was John, the only difference to the real thing was that it was .45 calibre instead of .46. A beautiful replica extremely well made with great woodwork. That was another gun I didn't fancy pulling the trigger on, all right firing blanks for re-enactment but the bugger of a recoil when loaded with 7 balls even the RN gave up on them.

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Rog it was a very interesting time in the 70s & 80s some of the things that were going off in dear old Nottingham most folks would not believe. Amongst those in the know the word was if you wanted to buy a submarine then Mick Long was the go to man. As a part five Home Office approved dealer with connections all over the world there was nothing he couldn't get his hands on, some of it went from one country straight to another but an awful lot came through our fair city.

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NBL,as far as i can recall- in 1942/3 three blokes started at Boots on the same day- Geoff Dawson ( my Dad),Johnny Abbott and Bernard Shaw...all 3 stayed lifelong friends.

We moved to Bulwell, John..Clifton and Bernard, Bestwood Park.

Nosey Ian followed my Dad everywhere.. especially those Arms- Armour exhibitions at The Commodore.

1970-71, i witnessed John making that Kentucky at his workshop.. don't forget he was a Ted in the 50's..he liked Classical when i knew him.

If you are alluding to that " Sharpe" type Nock...yes indeed!

I later worked with Bernard and loaned me a pair of highly polished genuine WW2 Panzer drivers boots to go out on a fancy dress pub crawl in town..I went in full SS regalia.. and met a family on holiday in the boozer from Braunschweig!!

That's another story!

Dennis Aram..what can i say ? a true good mate..ring him every Xmas...the last of that gang.

When i last spoke to him..he reminded me that 4 blokes sat in The Dog and Gun on a Saturday night..with rifles on their backs...in Trinity Sq...and not an eyelid was batted.

Where have we gone wrong?

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Ian I could not agree more with your sentiments, yep the Nock was featured in Sharp as Pats gun.

 

Glad to hear Dennis is still around I didn't know him well but he was a decent chap.

 

Back to Sharps Rifles, that Nock was I believe Johns and he made a few bob from the rental fees, all the riflemen's green uniforms were produced here in Nottingham using corporation bus personnel material under the auspices of Long and Co, the 'and Co' consisted of Bernard, John, Dave Mitchell, Nev Kicks and Bill Whitlam.

 

These guys were all members of NADVAS and the Napoleonic Re-enactment Society their role being the Rifles so they really new their stuff. The Baker rifles were replicas along with the bayonets, it was Bernard who produced the bayonets the brass work being cast in Bulwell and the blades made from car springs all produced in his garden shed workshop.

 

Bill Whitlam was the armourer for most of the series after the first guy cocked up through lack of knowledge, he is credited at the end of each episode and even managed to get into several scenes.

 

Good days, very fond memories.

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Ian did you know Neil Bacon (Billy's grandson) he was very much of their era, a good engineer he and Bernard collaborated on some projects. He also made lovely cannons whilst on night shift and NCB workshops Bestwood.

 

Test firing them on range was quite an affair, we would take them down the bottom of the 50 yard range, lay the barrel on the ground, load with three time the service load (blanks only of course) trail of powder to the touch hole. Neil would light the blue touch paper and quickly retire. One day he got it wrong and the barrel chased him up the range.

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The name Neil rings a bell..Billy of course.. famous..lines become blurred NBL because my Dad collected Campaign Medals..especially South Africa.

There was a guy on Bentinck Rd shop that sourced stuff for my Dad.

Saturday afternoons in Mick Longs was great...down that cellar!

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