Meet the team

John Stephenson

John is an expert on vintage and classic modern fishing tackle, having fished from 7 years old, and travelled extensively to the USA buying and selling vintage tackle for ten years. He especially loved spinning with plugs for barracuda in the Florida Keys. John has also written two specialist books on antique tackle and started the first UK collectors’ club. John and his wife Alison co-owned a tackle shop for 16 years, and then worked together in the vintage tackle department at one of the country’s leading auction houses for another 16 years. John joined Thomas Turner in 2018 and is based in Stoke-on-Trent. Contact John on john@thomasturner.com to discuss buying or selling fishing tackle.

David Townsend

David started fishing at the age of 5 with his dad and uncles and has been hooked ever since catching his first roach. Most weekends and school summer holidays were spent fishing with his dad. 
On a family camping trip aged ten, David and his dad bought a Hardy rod from an antique shop, sparking his interest in vintage fishing tackle. Together they researched the rod and bought Graham Turner’s ‘fishing tackle’ book, which became the ‘bible’ for their research. They began regularly visiting car boot sales, antique fairs, and tackle fairs and selling online to buyers all around the world. This continued as a hobby for 21 years, until David joined Thomas Turner in 2021. He now does what he loves on a full-time basis! The love for fishing continues and David now regularly takes his sons fishing with his dad ‘Pops’. David is based in Weston-super-Mare. Contact him on davidtownsend@thomasturner.com to discuss buying or selling tackle.

Louise Baker

Louise joined the team in early 2020 as full-time Sales Administrator. She provides support to John and Alison and is your first point of contact for offers and order queries. Louise can be reached at louise@thomasturner.com.

Alison Stephenson

Alison has a wealth of experience in the vintage fishing tackle world. She joined Thomas Turner in 2018 and is responsible for lovingly packaging your vintage tackle treasures and ensuring they reach you safely.

John Bailey

John Bailey

We are delighted to have John Bailey as part of our team. John needs little introduction, having written over 50 books on all aspects of fishing and travel, plus many thousands of columns and features, and more recently working as fishing consultant on the highly successful BBC2 series Gone Fishing with Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer.

In the 2000s John joined Hardy and Greys as part of their creative team, with responsibility for their brochures, adverts, lifestyle photography, and importantly for Thomas Turner, tackle development. 

John has extensive knowledge of the history of fishing tackle and will be working closely with John Stephenson on content and reference material to include features and videos. 

Richard Hewitt

Richard is a lifelong fisherman and collector of vintage and modern fishing tackle. He has previously held the position of Chairman of Farlows of Pall Mall where he had the honour of being the grantee of the Royal Warrant for fishing tackle from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. He’s also Kirsty’s dad.


Kirsty Hewitt

Taking a break from her career as an epidemiologist Kirsty joined the team in late 2018. She oversees the day-to-day running of Thomas Turner and the Fish & Fly group. Kirsty is based in Brighton and her email address is kirsty@thomasturner.com