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-
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
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.
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
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
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.
"At the End of the Day" - detail of a pencil drawing of the workshop by Kevin George