Guitar Makers of the North (inc. North Wales): 

Bill Dinsdale:

Bill Dinsdale in his guitar workshopI first met Bill in the late 1970's. Both Kieran Fish and myself had paid a visit to Sounds Acoustic guitar shop in Manchester and been knocked out by the sound of one of Bill's guitars. This lead to us ordering two (one each) and with Kieran eventually taking delivery of a '000' solid headstock, 14-fret to the body model and me a '00' slotted headstock, 12-fret to the body box. A couple of days later I re-visited Sounds Acoustic as one of the frets had a tiny projection sideways from the neck which I wanted stoning. They rang Bill, gained permission for them to give me the address of his workshop (then in Bradford) and I drove over whereupon Bill sorted things out for me.

At this time Bill was a very young 21 and had recently completed his luthier's course at the Royal College of Furniture Makers in London - the major qualification course for instrument makers in Britain. He was a charming young man with a superb eye for detail and the woodworking skills to match. His enthusiasm at this time was extreme and his ideas and interest in his subject were boundless. However, working by oneself in complete isolation with no feeling for deadlines or others to push one forward was reflected in the fact that Bill was a bit of a dreamer - in the nicest possible way of course.

Prior to setting up a workshop in Bradford Bill had produced, during his course, a copy of a Gibson J-200 guitar. A big, bold, and beautiful instrument which was purchased by Andy Gibson; a blind chap who was to become a wizard of acoustic guitar in the area of North Wales. Andy still plays this guitar today (2000) and uses it both in his performances for charities and in his teaching.

Bill Dinsdale - Fret Work in 1980In the early days Bill went out with Ann but the financial recompense from guitar making was small. Consequently, in an effort to reduce expense (though that was certainly not the only reason) they got married and Bill turned his thoughts to maximising his output without lowering his production standards. After a few years this led to a consortium of instrument makers working together under the name of Opus Workshops. However, with time and the arrival of a couple of children Bill finally decided that he and his family needed greater financial security than luthiery could possibly provide. The consortium was broken up and Bill went back to college where he gained his teaching/educational qualifications and became a teacher.

Good luck Bill !! We shall greatly miss your 'new' guitars; it was always a wonderful pleasure to be able to visit the workshop and smell the woods and the glue, to talk guitars and music, and just to be in your company. The acoustic guitar world will sorely miss you though I am sure the kids will greatly benefit from your outlook on life.

Bill is now back making superb guitars. Visit Bill's Web-site at: for wonderful hand-made guitars to your specifications.

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