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Bury St Edmunds shop Tackle-Up to host Open Day with Alan Blair and Julian Cundiff

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Local fishing tackle retailer Tackle-Up celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and they will kick off the celebrations with a Nash Tackle Open Day at their shop in St John’s Street in Bury St Edmunds.

From 1-4pm today (February 12) specimen carp angling stars Alan Blair and Julian Cundiff will be in the shop discussing their methods and relating their personal angling adventures with Tackle-Up customers.

Emma Hanks, who co-owns Tackle-Up with her sister Rachel Godfrey and her dad Ricky Nunn, said: “We are absolutely made up that these guys have agreed to give up an afternoon fishing and spend it with us.

Ricky Nunn with the first customer Johnny Bennett in Tackle-Up in 1972
Ricky Nunn with the first customer Johnny Bennett in Tackle-Up in 1972

“For those of you that have been to our open days before you will know that it’s sure to be a fab time.”

Tackle-Up have another open day planned for Saturday, March 19 when two more specimen carp stars will be in their shop: Neil Spooner and Korda’s Ian Bailey. More details to follow nearer the time.

When Nunn opened his tackle shop in 1972 it was a very different angling world, both locally and nationally, with angling by far the most popular participant pastime in the country.

Tackle-Up team Rachel, Robbie and Emma. Picture: Ricky Nunn
Tackle-Up team Rachel, Robbie and Emma. Picture: Ricky Nunn

But starting around 30 years ago angling went into decline in popularity and consequently many tackle retailers went out of business.

Ricky, Emma and Rachel, however, have steered their business through many changes, including the decline in match angling and sea fishing and the rapid rise in the popularity of specimen carp angling. Also the demise of many angling associations and the move towards day ticket fisheries and syndicated waters.

Tackle-Up pride themselves on stocking a wide range of angling equipment, serving pleasure coarse anglers, sea fishing, specimen and carp anglers, match anglers, trout and game specialists and this strategy along with their superb customer service has seen them not only survive during the past 50 years but also thrive in often difficult trading conditions.

They have also sold thousands of memberships on behalf of the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association, which has been crucial in the survival of our local members’ club.

They are a traditional tackle retailer with no online shop sales at low margins or extensive multi media advertising. Instead the business has been built and sustained on customer service, product availability and friendly knowledgeable customer and trade interaction.

They have also consistently supported local junior angling through sponsoring competitions with tackle prizes and cups.

Thirty years ago I was in the Bury AA match fishing team when Ricky supplied 20 of us with Holkham Hunt (the must have attire at the time) waterproof team jackets which we wore proudly with Tackle-Up embroidered on the back.

Congratulations Ricky, Emma and Rachel on providing a superb angling retail shop for local anglers over the past 50 years.

Meanwhile, the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association held their Annual General Meeting last week, which included the presentation of trophies to competition winners during 2021. The club also invited angling stars to their presentation evening going back around 30 years.

I can bring to mind Ian Heaps (former world match angling champion), Dickie Carr (England match fishing international) and Dr Bruno Broughton (leading fishery scientist at the time). But that was back in the days when the club consistently had over 1,000 members. Can anyone remember other angling stars who attended Bury AA presentation evenings?

Bury AA trophy winners for 2021: Pagaent Cup – Steve Bull, Presidents Cup – Ian Andrews, Cracknell Cup - Ian Andrews, Grange Cup - Andy Hardy, Seeley Rose Bowl – Andy Walker, Committee Cup – Woolfy Cook, Martin Shield - Ian Andrews, Ron Plampin Cup - Rob Parnell, Ron Hubbard Seniors’ Cup – Rob Parnell.

Well done to Ian Andrews, still winning trophies (three in 2021) including the premier Martin Shield for the club’s champion angler.

Well done also for another good year for Rob Parnell (two trophies in 2021 following on from three in 2019 – there were no competitions held in 2020 due to Covid restrictions).

Are you interested in becoming a committee member for the Bury St Edmunds Angling Association? Contact club treasurer Steve Bull for more information and an informal chat – stevebully@hotmail.co.uk