Best of Bri­tish

Chris­tian House meets a sailor who turned the tide at an ail­ing busi­ness

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - NEWS -

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

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