Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre closing

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JohnB
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Location: Bristol, UK

Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre closing

Post by JohnB » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:52 pm

Very sad news that the Spanish Guitar Centre in Bristol is closing its doors on Christmas Eve.

It was originally established by Mike Watson in 1954 and has been run by the extremely helpful Chris Gilbert for the last 35 years.

I first knew it back in the late 60s when there were two full time staff (then Gordon Saunders and John Edwards) in addition to Mike (who was my teacher) and it was then one of the very few major importers and stockists of high quality luthier guitars.

There have been so many good times, with Mike, Gordon, John, Dave Godden, Chris Gilbert, and so many other folk.

Sad.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso"

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre closing

Post by Adrian Allan » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:58 pm

Do you think this is due to the competition of the internet for guitars and sheet music, or do you think there are other factors at play?
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JohnB
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Location: Bristol, UK

Re: Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre closing

Post by JohnB » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:00 pm

PS They are selling off their stock of sheet music at 50% discount BUT ONLY TO PERSONAL CALLERS who can browse, NOT via phone/e-mail/online.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso"

DaveLloyd
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Location: UK

Re: Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre closing

Post by DaveLloyd » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:36 am

Wow!

That is sad news!

I only have one guitar at present, which came from the Spanish Guitar Centre circa 1975. It's a Manuel Gaci Mayoral, and back then cost the princely sum of around £250.00.

A couple of years ago, I wanted to contact the Spanish Guitar Centre to see if they could give me more info about the guitar and its maker. I could never reach them by phone, but, I did get a kind response to an email I sent.

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Blondie
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Location: Devon, UK

Re: Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre closing

Post by Blondie » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:31 pm

Sad news indeed, bought my first decent classical guitar there and it carried the finest stock in the South West, including a nice range of flamencos.

PeteJ
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Re: Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre closing

Post by PeteJ » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:53 pm

So sad. I had some lessons with Mike Watson at age about twelve before going electric and later got to know Chris G, John Edwards and others. I loved the old building with its smell of guitar cases and glue and its nooks and crannies full of guitarists. It had to happen, money was tight, but for me it died when the original building was sold.

Recently I discovered that Bristol had a guitar society back in the 19th century, based in Clifton, but info is hard to come by.

JohnB
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Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:17 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Re: Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre closing

Post by JohnB » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:47 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:58 pm
Do you think this is due to the competition of the internet for guitars and sheet music, or do you think there are other factors at play?
I think that is part of the reason, especially as the Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre has a very limited on-line presence, but of course there are other factors as well.

It is a sad time. Chris has always been marvelously helpful and a point of contact if someone needed help, e.g. he put me in touch with Christopher Dean for a repair to my Hermanos Conde some 20 years ago and more recently put me in touch with Alastair McNeil for some adjustments to a used Stephen Frith I bought on the auction site.
PeteJ wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:53 pm
So sad. I had some lessons with Mike Watson at age about twelve before going electric and later got to know Chris G, John Edwards and others. I loved the old building with its smell of guitar cases and glue and its nooks and crannies full of guitarists. It had to happen, money was tight, but for me it died when the original building was sold.

Recently I discovered that Bristol had a guitar society back in the 19th century, based in Clifton, but info is hard to come by.
There is currently a Bristol Guitar Society, though I haven't ever attended.

Yes, I too liked the old venue - with its alarming cracks in the walls and the wonderful cave of a workshop where the walls hadn't been painted since the year dot.

I have fond memories of the (very civilised) parties (in the old venue) which they held after the guitar recitals which they promoted.

Back in the late 60s and 70s, when I was most around, it was also a social hub for classical guitarists - especially as The Prince of Wales pub was just across the road.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso"

PeteJ
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Re: Bristol Spanish Guitar Centre closing

Post by PeteJ » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:52 am

A social club is how it seemed to me - but I was too young to be part of it and by the time I was older and came back to CG from other things it was gone.

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