I've been trying to get to the bottom of this myself but all you get is hearsay. The strongest rumour at the time, was following considerable investment in his own rod range, that didn't sell well, and a lack of motivation in the business because of domestic issues, he sold up?
This is a real shame, as he was one of the few people in the trade who was genuinely deserving of the title 'angling legend'. He was a top flight freshwater matchman, who I believe may have fished for England back in the day when National teams were selected from the winning team in the 'All England' national (now divisional nationals). He was a national casting champion in the early 70's with the Backcast, and was one of the first casters to import quality high performance lines like Stren. He was also very successful on the East Anglian cod scene, having caught at least four 20lb+ shore caught cod to my uncertain knowledge, with I believe a whiting livebait method he developed in partnership with the Coull brothers?
A lot of us miss the Uni-tech rig bits, nothing flashy just sound gear that worked. Dave was an advocate of a single hook flapper for routine codding, with a snood of about 18" set to rest by the lead. Obviously no one has told the cod that this is now 'old fashioned'. I still use the Uni-rest, one of the first of that type not to have flimsy plastic cups and heads. Cetainly, I feel his mail order business is much missed by east coast anglers and hope that rumours that he is on his way back prove true.
I won one of the comps he ran,line was the prize,turned out not so good,long time ago now,but from memory there was no problem,even for a prize he changed it,then when we had a short stay up on the coast we went to the shop
clean tidy place,and a very plesant man to deal with, pity he closed down == PAT
While slightly 'off topic' but running with the theme of missing tackle dealers, does anyone know if the original 'Mr Discount' still exists. He did some good quality cheap kit, but more importantly was an authority on all matters surrounding bait pumps. He certainly gave me good advice on the subject when I decided to trade my 'grafter' in for a pump. My Mr D pump is still going strong over 10 years on, with the original washers, although I am tempted to try the low diameter/high pressure models some now use. Mr D hinted he may even produce a video on the topic but I think he had his tongue in cheek at the time? It is interesting that there is masses of written and video advice on all aspects of fishing but very little on bait collecting, which is surely one of the most important skills to learn. If you don't think bait collecting is 'a skill' you must buy your bait from a shop?