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Bond and Bywater: Online gunsmith shop for all your shooting needs!
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The Bondie's Story..

If you are bothering to read this bit about us, then we owe it to you to clue you up a little with some details about the shop.

It all started in 1966. The shop was located on Fylde Road near what is now Preston's University, in the left half of the Adelphi public house.

In the good old days it was really easy to buy shotguns and ammunition, all you needed was money and a ten bob licence from the Post office. With these two things, you could start a hobby.

Things started slowly at first and after the 1968 firearm laws had changed one or two aspects of the law, things actually started to improve for Bond and Bywater. There was a healthy trade building up in repairing broken shotguns and telling lots of tall stories about shooting exploits,  in what was fast becoming like a pub environment without beer.

There was a hard core of regular customers, who would bring their sleeping bags, flasks and sandwiches and spend days in the shop avoiding going home, adding to the tall stories and smoking themselves into a stupor (maybe one or two reading this will be of that elite crew).

The Old Bondies Shop (1/2)
The Old Shop (1992) Photo 1/2


Over time this carried on and the face of the business moved into being the first Firearm dealer in the country to start really discounting all brands of shotguns. If you look back in old copies of the shooting press from the late seventies, you will see the Bond and Bywater name writ large as "THE LEADING DISCOUNTER OF FIREARMS". Unfortunately, this created some friction with other retailers, and some suppliers who were not used to this way of trading. In the long run this was the making of the Bond and Bywater name, we became the "best price BAD BOYS" in the trade, but we certainly gave plenty of people the opportunity to get shooting on a small budget who would otherwise not have shot at all.

The Old Bondies Shop (2/2)
The Old Shop (1992) Photo 2/2


In time, the discounting was taken up by nearly all the trade and it became the norm for people to ring right round the country for the best price on a shotgun, which would be posted to them at home, it seems almost incredible now that this was accepted practice.

Bored Yet?

Moving a little more up to date. In 1994, the shop finally moved from next door to the Adelphi pub, after one of our customers had been served a bad pint and fell out with the landlords dog due to a wet leg incident.

Old Bondies Shop Location as it is Now (2009)
The Current Site of (what was) the Old Shop


The transfer of all the stuff in the shop was done in a manner that would have made the Sweeney proud. There was a big white van, packed with all the goodies from the shelves and a couple of very likely looking characters up front, one with a very nice Smith and Wesson 44, which we can't remember whether it had fired five, or was it six, but we felt lucky.

This was the style of the 20 or so journeys made to shift the entire contents to our present location at 91-92 St. Paul's Road, at the end of this was one very tired van and a new shop full of stuff piled high in the middle of the floor.

Bondies Shop
Bond and Bywater Today - Our Current Premises


Well that was 1994, and we are still here. We are still just as crazy as we ever were and continue to give what we hope is a good service to most people, although we know we can't please all of the people all the time, those we can't please we just lock in the cellar, so retaining a 100% satisfaction level!!

That is the story so far.

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