At the top end of London’s Shaft­es­bury Aven­ue there has exis­ted, for the past 125 years, and else­where for 400 years alto­geth­er as a maker and sup­pli­er of rope, the yacht chand­lery Arthur Beale Ltd. It has some­how sur­vived into 2014 with no online pres­ence, and no facil­ity for order­ing and sup­ply­ing by post. To buy some­thing from them you had to walk in, pay your money, and walk out with it.

Well that approach finally proved unten­able earli­er this year, and the busi­ness was about to close down; but in the nick of time it was res­cued by busi­ness part­ners Alas­dair Flint and Gerry Jeatt. Alas­dair already runs a the­at­ric­al chand­lery in Lon­don, which also sup­plies sail­ors, and even more ger­mane to the story, he is an accom­plished high lat­it­ude sail­or in his beau­ti­ful 25ft tim­ber Ver­tue sloop Sumara.

Long story short: in a brief frenzy of activ­ity the first floor was spruced up, and shelves installed for books (includ­ing all of ours), an online shop is being cre­ated, a news­let­ter is now pub­lished, and a relaunch ‘do’ was held the week before last, with Tom Cun­liffe as guest speak­er, giv­ing us all a hil­ari­ous account of chand­ler­ies in his long exper­i­ence of them.

Arthur Beale also hosts monthly talks, with one last week by Alas­dair him­self, on the Tilman Medal-win­ning voy­age to Jan Mayen Island, 300 miles to the north-east of Ice­land, made by his ves­sel and anoth­er, their joint climb of the act­ive vol­cano Beer­en­berg (2,277m, 7,470ft) and safe return home, accom­pan­ied by some stun­ning pho­tos and video foot­age. Through a moment of weak­ness I have signed up to give an illus­trated talk on “The World of Albert Strange” (in whose fan club I am implic­ated) on 6 Novem­ber [It went off OK—Ed]. Bob Com­lay, one of the few to have sailed twice with H W Tilman to the Arc­tic, will recount those exper­i­ences on 4 Decem­ber with his own won­der­ful col­lec­tion of pho­tos.

One way and anoth­er, Arthur Beale is rap­idly becom­ing the ‘go-to’ place in Lon­don for the tra­di­tion­ally-minded sail­or; the busi­ness has tre­mend­ous poten­tial, and we wish it the suc­cess it richly deserves.