View Full Version : Cheltenham Guitar Show report....

Pete Howlett
09-15-2008, 01:56 AM
As the only ukulele exhibitor at this unusaul-for-the-UK event I had the priveledge of getting loads of attention. I had prime position which was good and a very representative selection of instruments. As you know, the soprano is the most popular instrument here in the UK so I had 4 lined up on the front of the booth and at one point a family (in the true traditional sense - Mum, Dad and 2 teeenage daughters) did an impromptu song for the crowd. Good job the instruments were bearing up and staying in tune... Lots of local interest and really great to have virtuoso Stephen Sproat turn up and show us all how it's done.

The show had a really good feel being located in a historic English spa town in a very swish Regency hall - massive high ceiling with balconies, sumptuous curtains etc. great stuff.

I saw some excellent hand built guitars - Steve Toon of toonguitars.com had a really elegant selmar style instrument and a very good 00 size fingerpicking guitar. I can't find the other impressive one's site but I think it was tarran guitars working out of Edinburgh - clean beautifully simple mini jumbo style instrument. However, you have got to check out Delta resonators - wood body resos faked up to look like metal and sounding like you could grind corn with them - fantastic bottleneck blues guitars.

Great vibe in the British tradition and met lots of good people with especially good news for me... Behlen finishes are producing guitar lacquers in a spray can and the container with them is half way across the Atlantic!

09-15-2008, 02:42 AM
Cool. That sounds a lot less disastrous than your other post!
Too bad that there are no serious uke builders beside you in the UK. Or good from a marketing point of view, if the trade show reactions are an indication. Do you have contact with any builders on the "continent"?

Pete Howlett
09-15-2008, 06:53 AM
There are certainly other uke builders in the UK but none doing it to the same volume as me. Most are also distracted making other instruments which I don't do. Hearing a guitar hitting the floor at one point in the day made me feel so good I wasn't building guitars anymore - ukes tend to bounce:D We all sucked our breath in mind and you could have heard a pin drop just after it happened...

09-15-2008, 08:44 AM
There are certainly other uke builders in the UK but none doing it to the same volume as me.

Must be those 13 routers :D

Hipa hipa!

09-17-2008, 04:03 AM
Good job, Pete! Looks like a success. Perfect timing for the impromptu performances, too. How did the ukes sell? Were there a lot of inquiries? Ric