Unique glimpse into the inside of a banjo-crafting workshop
- Credit: Archant
Inspired by a tale of heroism and adventure, two banjoneers from Norfolk are putting their heart and soul into creating hand-crafted musical instruments.
Based at their workshop in Hellesdon, on the outskirts of Norwich, Geoff Ransome and Fraser Knight painstakingly spend their days making bespoke banjos and guitars.
The Shackleton Instrument workshop is named after the great Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton and looks like something out of a country and western film.
Shackleton is said to have described his ship's banjo as 'vital mental medicine' and insisted on rescuing the instrument when his ship Endurance was crushed and sunk by Antarctic pack ice in 1915.
Two gruelling years later Shackleton brought all his men home alive and the original banjo, which was autographed by Shackleton and his men, now resides in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
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As a child, chief designer and banjoneer Mr Ransome pestered his family for a guitar and after receiving one at the age of 11 he promptly dismantled it.
This pattern continued until the age of 15 when he made his first instrument.
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He went on to study classical musical instrument technology and fine craft and design.
And workshop manager and banjoneer, Mr Knight, moved from Scotland having spent years studying furniture craft and design at college and university.
- To find out more about Shackleton Instruments visit www.shackletoninstruments.com.