SCOTS UKE: Graham Long's Scottish themed custom built ukulele
SCOTS UKE: Graham Long's Scottish themed custom built ukulele

The ballad of the Scottish ukulele

IT WAS a case of opportunity lost through indecision.

Graham Long was making and selling instruments at the Canberra Folk Festival a couple of years ago.

"I was in a large, purpose-built workshop where luthiers can work, share tips and ideas and sell their instruments," he said.

 

SCOTS UKE: Graham Long's Scottish themed custom built ukulele
SCOTS UKE: Graham Long's Scottish themed custom built ukulele

"At the end of the day a young couple came in and were taking too long to make up their minds to buy one of my ukuleles.

"The organisers were trying to close the workshop so (the couple) said they'd be back early next morning."

The next morning the young couple didn't show.

"Bob Willis the curator of the National Sound Archives bought it," Graham said.

"He walked out of one door and the couple literally skipped through the other door.

 

"I promised to make him a ukulele better than the one he wanted.

"He gave me some details and one of them was a particular Gordon dress tartan pattern.

"I spent ages trying to find it then my wife Karry said, 'I think I've got something like that in my sewing box?'"

It was exactly what Graham had been trying to find.

 

SCOTS UKE: Graham Long's Scottish themed custom built ukulele
SCOTS UKE: Graham Long's Scottish themed custom built ukulele

"In my quest I found lots of other Clan Gordon materials which I inlaid into the instrument," he said.

"The instrument he's got now would be far more valuable to him than one he originally wanted."



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