King’s Lynn firm turns cow gut into harp strings
- Credit: Ian Burt
Who'd have thought you could make beautiful music from a cow's guts?
Tucked away off Dodman's Bridge, in King's Lynn, Bow Brand have been making natural gut harp strings for more than 100 years.
A by-product of the beef indistry, cow gut is reckoned to have a mellower sound than synthetic alternatives, as well as being much stronger than nylon.
Before the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, in 2011, Royal harpist Claire Jones, who played at the couple's reception at Buckingham Palace, had her instrument re-strung with 47 strings from Bow.
Before gut can be played, it has to go through several wet and dry processes, to cure, stretch, polish and finally varnish it to turn it into strings.
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Bow Brand was set up near Highgate, in Lynn, in 1902 because the site was near an abbatoir, which provided a ready supply of raw materials.
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