Best of British
Christian House meets a sailor who turned the tide at an ailing business
wooden boat which I moored on the Thames under Tower Bridge,’ he says. ‘I came to Beale to buy everything.’ It was, he says, known for its Alpine Club rope. ‘It was world famous with all the polar people. Gino Watkins ordered it, as did George Mallory.’ It still sells British rope braids – made ‘by hand in Chatham’ – along with bronze fttings from Colchester.
The shop came with a unique archive of records and photographs. ‘We found all kinds of links to history,’ Flint says. ‘Arthur Beale put the fagpole on Buckingham Palace.’ Its rigging has been used to dangle escapologists over the Thames and to create Selfridges window displays. Continuing its tradition of bespoke commissions, the shop has supplied a huge mast for the current Louis Vuitton exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris.
Saving Arthur Beale was a calling for Flint. ‘It was more the feeling of regret if I didn’t do it,’ he observes. ‘I thought that would be a disaster.’ arthurbeale.co.uk