The East Anglian Rod Co Ltd was formed in 1966 when my father and I bought the bankrupt company of RC Kirk Ltd in East Molsey and moved Bob Kirk and his machinery up toWymondham in Norfolk with the idea of selling rods just in East Anglia. Hence the name. 1966 was before Carbon Fibre had been invented, and most of our blanks came from Lerc in France, Sportex in Germany and Fibatube, which was the blank making division of Hardys of Alnwick. We made for coarse, sea and game fishing and, at our peak, production reached about 12000 rods per annum.
In the mid 70s moderate quality glass rods started to be imported from South Korea. Quality quickly improved and we found it harder &and harder to compete. We started to import from Korea ourselves and our UK production declined and we ceased our own production in about 1985. Meanwhile EAR had become general wholesalers and were now suppling tackle shops throughout the UK and exporting to 32 countries. Sales were over £7m in1989 when we sold the company to Porter Chadburn plc, who then bought Taylor & Johnson and Steades & Leeda. All 4 companies were put into one group, called Leeda.This is how Leeda as you now know it came into being."