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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 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
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.
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.
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
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.