Last chance to hear tale of violin

Sam Sweeney, BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year 2015 and fiddle player in folk super-band Bellowhead, is taking his show – Sam Sweeney’s Fiddle: Made In The Great War on the road one last time in June.

Sam, together with Bellowhead bandmate Paul Sartin and acclaimed concertina player Rob Harbron, will appear on stage with award-winning storyteller Hugh Lupton to tell the incredible story of a violin that lay unfinished in a manila envelope for nearly a century.

Ten years ago Sam bought a violin in Oxford. It had all the appearance of a new instrument but the labels inside gave the date 1915, the name Richard S. Howard and the words ’Violin No. 6, Made in the Great War’

Research by Sam’s father, Chris, revealed that the violin had been started, but never finished, by an amateur luthier and some-time music hall performer from Leeds called Richard Howard.

After joining the British Army in 1915 at the age of 35, he was killed two years later at the battle of Messines near Ypres. The pieces  of his violin were placed in a manila envelope and eventually wound up in an auction house almost 100 years later.  The parts were bought, and the violin was finally finished, by luthier Roger Claridge in 2007. The fiddle was then placed in the window of his Oxford music shop where it was spotted and bought by Sam.

Sam and his bandmates are playing at Derby Theatre on June 9, at 7.30pm.
For tickets telephone 01332 593939 or go to