I had known Arthur for more than 50 years. He worked all his life in the Northampton shoe trade, a job that included handmaking Harvey Smith’s riding boots, but his passion was shooting and he’d regularly tramp the fields with my father and godfather. He was good with the young and I still treasure a .410 cartridge belt he made for me when I was eight.
As a young lad from a shooting family, I liked collecting cartridges, mostly fired ones picked up while beating on local shoots. Imagine my delight when, one Christmas, Arthur gave me a factory-loaded Eley eight bore cartridge filled with BB shot – the holy grail of any young boy’s collection. Little did I know then that one day I would own the gun for which it was meant. While visiting Arthur early one January a few years ago at his remote cottage high up in the Lincolnshire wolds, I was humbled when he presented me with the old eight-bore. He knew his health was failing and it was the right time to hand it over to a new custodian. I felt honoured to be that person.
You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD
Log in, if you are already a subscriber
Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines
READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE