WILLIAM LESLIE MARTIN B.Agr., Dip. Agr. Comm.
6th April, 1946 – 15th April, 2018
This introduction is in memory of a man who spent most of his life with a passion for his favourite hobby.
Leslie was born on a farm in County Antrim and spent his working career in the Ministry of Agriculture, later to become the Department of Agriculture. Always a dedicated worker, Leslie spent his short leisure hours pursuing many hobbies such as trains and railways, photography (including cine photography), record collecting (along with gramophones and record players), but his one true passion was gun collecting.
From the age of about fifteen, Leslie began tentatively collecting, until his passion became so strong that he became a serious collector. It wasn’t just the arms, it was the history behind them: the source, maker, the family who commissioned them, etc. etc…
During forty-seven years of marriage, I realised where I came in the pecking order, and it was not first! As both my father and Grandfather had been excellent shots, I think that Leslie assumed that I would also be good; he was disappointed. When our daughter and Son became old enough, they were handed a gun and instructed on how to fire, clean and safely handle a weapon. Although not as passionate as their dad, they were both declared to be ‘good shots’. When four Grandchildren came along, the process was repeated and the result declared that one was excellent, one pretty good, one with potential and the other much like me!
When Leslie retired, he had so much more time to research his passion and would spend many happy hours on the computer in pursuit of as much information as he could glean. Emails would fly to and fro between him other collectors, many of whom became firm friends. During this era of his life Leslie began to specialise more in Irish guns and their makers. He never selfishly kept his knowledge to himself but would be only too happy to help out other collectors.
The world of gun collecting has lost a passionate man with a remarkable memory, who could pick up any one of his collections and, without any prompting, relate its history to any willing listener. But you had to be rather special to be invited into the hallowed ‘Playroom’.
We sorely miss our special Husband/Dad/Granddad.
Margo, Lisa, Gavin, and the Grandchildren.
To view the Leslie Martin Collection please visit: Bloomfield Auctions | The Leslie Martin Collection