Pressure of space in Trout Fisherman‘s review section next month means that the books have squeezed out this delightful DVD – The Lost World of Mr Hardy.
No way could I let it pass into the ‘out’ tray un-noted, however.
I had two reservations as I slid it into the DVD player: firstly, that it would be a dry, earnest and ultimately dull backtrack through the annals of Britain’s famous Hardy company. Secondly, that it would show every sign of the director being in thrall to the company’s PR department.
Completely wrong on both counts. As fascinating as it is independent, Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier’s film fuses grainy footage and photographs from the company’s past with an enchanting score composed by Stephen Daltry.
Always staying the right side of sentimentality, it is an oral history; its script written as it happened by the recollections of men who invested much of their working life in what is a British angling institution. To a man, they are noticeably unfaltering in their speech and memories; a sign, perhaps, of people discussing a passion rather than just a job.
And the PR people, you suspect, got nowhere near it. The camera is unflinching as it records the visible unease of the managing director recalling the sleepless nights he had while preparing to implement the fresh directions in which he felt Hardys had to move.
Flyfishing is not without its ugliness, be it pollution, declining stocks or the anti-social jerk who thinks his fly box is covered by the Official Secrets Act. Yet it retains a calm and gentleness capable of enchanting even the outsider. For all the wistfulness of its tale, The Lost World of Mr Hardy captures those qualities perfectly and is a credit to its makers and Hardy alike.
Here’s a taster…