Update 28th May, 2017


I thought I should touch base with you all as I am taking an afternoon out of the workshop to catch up with computer work.


Here the weather has been glorious for the last week or so, temperatures in the mid 20’s Celsius, sunny skies and enough rain to keep the garden growing well without beating down the more delicate plants. The birds seem to have had a good breeding season with broods in our own small garden of 4 species of tit, robins, hedge sparrow, song thrush, black bird, woodpecker, collared dove, gold and green finch, yellowhammer and of course the ubiquitous wood pigeon! The only youngsters not seen yet are the tawny owls and kestrels but maybe we are still too early. I got lucky and dealt with the resident pair of magpies early in the breeding season and this may well have helped the smaller birds.


Young rabbits broke through our defences a week or so ago to start work on Chrissy’s precious flower beds and met the nemesis of my Air Arms PCP air rifle and the hated grey squirrels that have been raiding the bird feeders suffered a similar fate.


Tilly the labrador has, as usual, been complaining about the severe reduction in rations since the game season finished. I explain patiently she must suffer to maintain her figure and fine looks but she is not convinced. I took her out to a local clay shoot this morning and she behaved impeccably even though her much adored boyfriend Sidney was up for some fun! (Yes, I know that is a silly name for a dog but it seems to suit!) Mind you, while I was shooting, she did spend most of her time eating rabbit poo. Maybe this was to underline her imminent death by starvation.


As some of you will know, my wife Chrissy was diagnosed with a particular nasty cancer back in February and life has been pretty complicated ever since. A long and complicated abdominal operation came next and now we are on to chemotherapy which runs until October. Holidays have had to be cancelled and a long, tedious and uncomfortable summer beckons. We can but travel hopefully and she is determined to remain positive.


On the subject of guns, I have recently got in six new projects: a 20g hammergun by William Moore & Grey; a Scott SLNE 20g retailed by FA Bales; two 12g H&H Royals, one an 1889 1st model, the other an 1895 2nd model with AB ejectors and lastly, a beautiful pair of 1898 29” SLE Woodwards with extra 28” barrels.


Of the guns I shipped out to the USA in late April, the 1900 James MacNaughton Roundaction Ejector and the 1896 James Woodward SLE have in the last few days both found new homes, no surprise there then!

Still available are a lovely 1893 Scott-made 12g Backaction SLE retailed by Leech and Son, a very nice 1889 Holland & Holland Royal 12g SLE: 15” restock, 28” TIG sleeved barrels and a Leather & Brass case and a gorgeous antique James Purdey & Sons 12g self-opening SLE complete with Oak & Leather case.


Guns that were already in the USA include
Henry Atkin (From Purdeys) 12g SLE

Wm Cashmore 12g BLNE Pigeon Gun

John Dickson & Son 12g RAE, Cased

H Clarke & Sons 16g SLE


Lastly, I recently finished relining the case for a Holland & Holland 16g SLNE no 8787 that I had not had time to do before. I am very pleased with how it has come out.




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Enjoy your guns and shooting wherever you are!

Toby Barclay


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