Fred J. Speakman and Alfred T. Curtis A Poacher's tale ; LDQEH.2010.1


The View (Epping Forest Collection)


Fred J. Speakman and Alfred T. Curtis
A Poacher's tale


1st edition, 1960

About this object

Donated by Peter Read


G Bell and Sons Ltd

Publication Date


Publication Place


Subject and Association Description

This book is the life story as told to Speakman of Alfred Curtis, born Waltham Abbey in 1893.

pp 140 and onwards tells of his bird-catching - chaffinches - in Epping Forest and an episode when caught by an Epping Forest keeper. Apparently, Chingford chaffinches were the most esteemed of any caged birds for the quality of their song. His bait bird was confiscated and ordered destroyed by the court but on his finding his bird again for sale, he was able to accuse the keeper of dodgy practice.

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

Jade lewis 19 Mar 2018 21:21 PM,UTC

My dad was Dave Harris he was the son of ann Curtis she was the daughter of Alf Curtis my dad was a poacher like his grandfather and I remember going ferreting with making the nets also making cartridges with him , we used to go beating a pheasent shooting and he was the best fisherman in enfield when I read this book it reminds me of when I was a kid that's how me dad brought us up I remember poaching over the lea

Sally Harris 25 Aug 2015 20:24 PM,UTC

I remember him and his wife Sally,I once had this book but loaned it out and it was not returned, I think my son Richard has a copy

Peter 09 May 2015 18:36 PM,UTC

Hello all,
If I remember right after forty five odd years Alf Curtis lived somewhere off Cuckoo Hall Lane in Edmonton, and his relative lived in Montagu Crescent, also Edmonton.
A tinge of guilt here T.A.T, as Alf originally insisted that he wanted to pass his walking-stick-gun down to a grand-son,- until I offered him my week`s wages for it,(then 20 quid)-It was a different world then, and thirty years on had to go being classed as a concealed fire-arm.
They were both proud of their family connections with the book as nearly everyone in the vicinity had been like-minded about shooting & fishing at one time or another.
Best wishes, Peter.

T.a.t curtis (trevor) 09 May 2015 18:20 PM,UTC

Hi All, Remembered all of alfreds childrens names, they are Ann, Dolly, Alice, Queenie,Marge, Peggy, June, Tommy, and of course Alfred my Father.

Sophie 09 May 2015 11:08 AM,UTC

Hi Jes, Julie and T.A.T Curtis, So glad to see that our Epping Forest ehive collection is aiding a family reunion! Do please post any family tales about Alfred T Curtis and Epping Forest that you may wish to share with us and the public. It's a real bonus to be able to add narrative to our museum objects and history of the Forest. Sophie

jez 08 May 2015 21:10 PM,UTC

Sorry I think its Dolly not Peggy I will check and re-post

jez 07 May 2015 23:45 PM,UTC

I think Peggy is my nans sister who lives in Edmonton and Terry may be her son ,There are only two of alfs daughters left ,She had a stall in Edmonton green market selling wool for many years ,I cant remember the name of the other daughter!

t.a.t curtis 07 May 2015 14:58 PM,UTC

Hi there, He was my Grandfather, I am the eldest son of his son Alfred. Have lost contact with family, Julie is your nan and grandad Jim and Peggy Parsons, and is your Father Tony or Terry !!!!

jez 10 Oct 2014 00:26 AM,UTC

Hi there, He was also my great grandfather ! My nan Alice has resonantly passed away but she told me many great storys ,Please get in touch if you think I may be of help

Regards Jez

Julie Parsons 13 Apr 2014 12:46 PM,UTC

Ive been looking on anything to do with the history of Mr Curtis..... He is my Great Grandfather...So if you remember him please fell free to email me..

Peter R 09 Dec 2011 18:59 PM,UTC

Hard-bound, 9" x 6" 189 pages.

09 Dec 2011 18:53 PM,UTC

I had owned this book long before I met Alf Curtis`son by chance at his house in Enfield, where he sold me his walking-stick gun in 1969-70, He also later lent me his hob ferret to mate with a Jill at The Conservation Centre, where they produced a litter.
I also shot pigeon with my pal and another son of Alf`s at Nazeing,
This book held many connotations for me, except the method Alf used to make the quality of his bait-bird sing better.

This object is from


Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.


eHive copyright disclaimer

It is the responsibility of the eHive Account Holder to gain copyright clearance for any images or content published on eHive. If you are concerned about the copyright status for any content in eHive or would like more information on using or ordering copies of content, please contact the Account Holder of that content. For further information see our Copyright Claims page.