Only pics of Tony was from the 50 years Jubilee when we had most of our employees and all our foreign agents invited.
One picture shows Tony with my secretary Inga-Britt. The guy on the other side is our agent from Iceland, Albert Erlingsson.The other picture shows Tony with wife Kay to his left. Mrs McCallum across and my wife Annika next to her. The guy on the right is Mr Yamashita our first agent in Japan.
In response to my question Len Borgstrom and Tony Perrin re the start of ABU in UK, Scotland
Some interesting and unknown facts for most ABU fans.
I first met Tony in Scotland , in 1976 on my back-packing tour of Europe.
Nearly 40 years later we are both chatting by e-mail and still upright and able to fish!
Simple question – complex answer – bet you're pleased Wayne!
1: First Abu GB made rod was modelled on a 13 ft rod built by my father Len Perrin who, from 1944 to 1964 had a national reputation for building superb coarse fishing “Match” Rods from the following sequence - Spanish Reed/Japanese Cane/Tonkin Cane with Split Cane Tip spliced in after being painstakingly hand honed. This ultra-fine tip section had low profile rings allowing stowage safely inside the absolutely straight butt which had its knots “augered out” whilst it was still inside its full length aluminium tube. This use of a metal tube, combined with phased direct heating of the tube as the Spanish Reed was forced down, absolutely straightened the Reed which, when cold actually fell out of its tube. A further real benefit of this forced-in curing and cooling process was that the otherwise soft pulp of the cane became ‘steeled-up’ - absolutely stable, lighter, yet tougher which all contributed to a unique action. Unfortunately hand building like this was a very slow process so my father could never ever fulfil all his orders (and I get tired of hand whipping well over 200 of them!).
2: In 1965 (before I joined Abu and as their newly appointed Advertising Agent) I gave an example of a G L Perrin & Sons Match Rod (which I still have!) to the first MD of Abu GB James Macallum to see if the same action could be volume produced in fibreglass. Most importantly, I wanted an Abu rod to ‘match’ for a combo in the Abu 505 Advertising.
3: In 1966 James asked blank makers Lerc of France to produce a sample. After 3 poor attempts I had to go to Paris to “get the message across” as to where and why they were not getting the same “feel” and especially the fast tip action we got with the much firmer split cane. Sample number 5 eventually arrived in Glasgow and was as near as they could get using fibreglass (long before Carbon came along).
4: It would be 1967 that the very first Abu GB rod was produced after James got in touch with a rod builder he knew ex his Milbro days by the name of Ken Cloke. The Lerc blanks made up really well and, although not as sweet an action as the rod it was modelled on it was finally launched and was a great sales success becoming the Number 1 choice of the top ‘matchmen’ of the time. We named the rod ‘Mark 5 Zoom’ (after all it did take 5 attempts by Lerc!).
5: The Mark 5 success spawned the Feralite Mark 6 (ex-Fenwick produced reverse ferrule was used)…and of course Sweden took note of 505 failings and, following our promptings eventually came up with 506. Then later along came Carbon and our 12 and 13ft Carbolite Match models. Tight Lines fills in these gaps.
6: So, Ken Cloke a sub-contract rod builder was responsible for making up the original Mark 5 and later also built the fabulous record breaking distance casting Atlantic 484 Beachcaster. This was based on the Conolon ‘Zoom 3’ Blank that was beefed-up and remodelled to our wishes and helped greatly by the then UK Champion Peter Bagnall from Morecambe. And that is just another interesting story that also accrued to our GB reputation as the number I brand!
you see Abu rod production was by sub-contract until I joined the
company in 1969 and eventually we set up our own ‘in-house’
production with Svangsta’s help.
Best to you!
few more memories of ABU GB from Tony......
Abu GB started 1964-5 and operated virtually autonomously. This was thanks to Lens trust, firstly starting Abu GB Ltd. with his appointment of retiring Millard Bros. “Milbro” Director James Macallum and, from year 4, in the summer of 1969, when he asked me to join the company in Glasgow to continue in-house my previous work (as their Manchester based Advertising Agent since 1965) and take full control of PR Marketing Distribution and Sales Force.
This total involvement logically led to a fine tuning of specific GB market product requirements which (after a couple more years of Ken Cloke sub-contract production of 2 Match Rods and 2 Beach Casters) eventually lead to the establishment of our own GB Clydebank rod production (ex Svangtsa) unit which went on to produce many tens of thousands of premium priced Abu rods that were consistently sold as combos by setting the performance standard and as the nationally accepted research-proved 1969 GB Market Quality Brand Leaders.
in 1982-3 a certain Mr Goran Diedrichs presented his edict to us…
”We are moving Abu GB into the empty 2nd floor of Halda’s office building next to Euston Station in London….we will be making all our rods and reels in Taiwan, Korea and Japan…but the Ambassadeur is our Flagship…it will always be made in Sweden”.
It is obvious that feelings ( .....thanks for nothing boys!) still run deep for what was caused to happen to ABU by people who did not have the same depth of feeling as did the original owners and workers who gave their lives to building the quality brand of ABU.
Wayne, I really have no more to add.
My very best regards,
If you have any others listed above, that are unneeded or doubles in your collection and are available for a reasonable fee, I would be very pleased to hear from you. Particularly any old Conolon Garcia rods, Record rods or Diplomat series, or Safari Fly rod and a Pacific Series boat rod.