|Guitar Makers of the North (inc. North Wales):
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.
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
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: http://billdinsdale.com/
for wonderful hand-made guitars to your specifications.