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A sign

We’re back from Blighty and only have 8,000 photos to sort. Galleries get consistently high scores on this blog, so I’ll do a few more soon but here’s an amusing tale to tide you over.

Originally planning to visit Tewkesbury, we were put off by the B&B owner the night before. So on  a late change of plan, we were visiting Cirencester instead and had decided to do a circuit of the town before parking and going to the museum. On the way through, we passed this street and I nearly made a flippant comment about the name being some sort of omen.

Black Jack St, Cirencester

We located the museum, pub, public loos and market and found our way back to the parking, at the intersection of Ermine Street and the Foss Way. We got out of the car and walked straight in to an antique market. On the second table was this:


Jack pictured having a picnic lunch at the amphitheatre while the bestiaritrix exercised their dogs.

The bloke wanted £25 and sort of tried to imply that it was an original. I’m 95% certain I’m now the proud owner of a Beabey jack that has only been used a dozen times. There was a slow leak due to a bubble in the pitch lining where the handle and base meet, but I fixed that earlier today. I’m sure there’s a moral in the story about signs and wonders somewhere but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

3 thoughts on “A sign

  1. Eh upp Reverend, just checked your latest post “A sign” and imagine my surprise when I saw the image of the blackjack tankard you managed to acquire at the antique dealers in Cirencester! Obviously I can’t be 100% certain without having the item in my hand, but from the image you posted the jack does does seem to show all the hallmarks of one of mine from around 97/98. I hope you can reseal the leak and get some more years service out of the vessel – I hope you enjoyed the rest of your England trip. Cheers for now, Mark Beabey

  2. All fixed, and in the process got rid of 12-15 years of dust from inside.

    I’ve repaired a few of your leather bottels in the past, mostly from being dropped and subsequently stood on in a clumsy/tired and emotional attempt to pick it up again. I was fairly sure I recognised the materials and the workmanship as yours.

    We had a great trip and indulged in occasional silliness. Looking at the UK weather reports, we appear to have bought the good weather back home with us as well. 20-28 degrees most of the time we were there, dropping to 15 the day after we left. Sydney was almost exactly the opposite, cold and wet while we were away, now 30 and fine.

  3. Nice. If you have time, do have a look at my Facebook page, ‘Andy Bates Leatherwork’. Go into the photos and look at those of ‘Toby Jack’, this being a contemporary interpretation of a jack. I do make more conventional ones as well. And other stuff!
    Excellent blog! Thanks a lot,

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