Soul music from South Godstone’s Pilgrim Harps - Surrey Creations
PUBLISHED: 10:29 30 July 2015 | UPDATED: 09:55 07 June 2016
In the second of our new series celebrating our county’s craftspeople, we meet the good folk of South Godstone’s Pilgrim Harps – and take a peek inside the workshop where the magic happens...
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2015
If you’ve ever visited the countryside around South Godstone, you may well have heard the soothing stirrings of harps floating from an old coach house – and it’s here that you’ll find the workshop of Pilgrim Harps.
Formed in 1980, by six craftsmen with experience in repairing and making harps, four of the original team remain to this day as directors: John Hoare, Peter Cunningham, Peter Rover and Jerry Blumire.
“Although the quality of sound is the most important aspect of a harp, they also have enormous visual appeal and we aim to create them literally as works of art,” says Jerry.
Their range extends from smaller Celtic ‘lever-harps’ to the full-size, orchestral ‘pedal-harps’, and they’ve recently branched out into semi-acoustic and electric harps – which is why you’re just as likely to hear one of their harps played by Florence + the Machine or Laura Mvula as you are in an orchestra, folk band or jazz club.
“Our most popular lever-harp is the ‘Clarsach’ model,” says Jerry. “This was developed many years ago in conjunction with the late Derek Bell, legendary harpist with Irish folk-group The Chieftains.”
Pilgrim Harps hold regular ‘come and try’ events, with the next on Saturday August 22 and Sunday August 23 at East Horsley Village Hall, while their annual workshop open day is on Sunday October 4. Join them in search of perfect notes...
• Pilgrim Harps, Stansted House, Tilburstow Hill Road, South Godstone RH9 8NA. Tel: 01342 893242. Web: pilgrimharps.co.uk
• Surrey Creations is a series by local photographer, Philip Traill, exploring people in their work environment, capturing the characters and what they do in a single image. Contact Philip on firstname.lastname@example.org
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