The Violin Shop has always been in the Royal Bank of Scotland Chambers or originally Williams and Glyn's Chambers as it was back in1995, in Talbot Square, right oppsite the Town Hall.

Here are two pictures of when the building was still being built, just after WW1 judging by the clothes being worn by passers by. As yet it is without a top floor and roof. When the Violin Shop opened in 1975, it was on the second floor, in this picture still completely open to the elements.

 

 


 


 

 

 

Below is Harry George, founder of the Violn Shop, showing the first violin he made to Alfredo Campoli during a break in rehearsals when he was still a member of the Hallé Orchestra and Campoli was the guest soloist.



-Harry George and Alfredo Campoli-
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Harry George studied violin playing at the then Royal Northern School of Music, after initially having started playing the violin at the age of five. He then went on to study music at the then Royal Northern School of Music and after completing his studies, Harry joined the first violins of the Hallé Orchestra in the early 1960's, in the great period when Sir John Barbirolli was conductor and Martin Milner the leader.
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Harry also had an immense talent for making as well as playing the instrument, eventually making a violin which he played in the Hallé in preference to his Guidantus instrument.  

Below though, is the instrument left half finished at his death. It will be left this way in honour to the most special of men.

 


Later, forced to leave the orchestra due to ill health, Harry became a co-founder of the Lancashire Schools Symphony Orchestra, whilst working as a string teacher for Lancashire County Education Department.
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He then decided to start the Violin Shop in his home town of Blackpool, on Ist January, 1975.  He paid attention from the beginning to supplying good, correctly set-up but inexpensive violins for young beginners as well as instruments for the professional player.  His experiece of teaching in the local schools taught him how important this was.
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The shop has always been in the same premises, but at first he rented only two rooms towards the rear of the building.  The company rapidly became so successful that it was soon able to expand to take up much of the second floor and now it is the sole business on the firdt floor.
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Harry's son, Kevin, came to work in the business in after finishing his degree at Manchester College of Art.  He learned his workshop skills both from Harry and from Simon, the chief restorer, who had been with The Violin Shop almost from the beginning.  On the death of his father in 1981, Kevin carried the business on himself.  This decision to keep it a small, friendly, family run business has proved very successful.
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"The Black Bass" - 1985.  Oil painting by Kevin George.
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"At the End of the Day" - detail of a pencil drawing of the workshop by Kevin George

 

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