I remember Ray Spain (what a name for a luthier!) in the 1980s. I think he was based in Salisbury, I remember him doing a guitar class at a festival, some adjudicating maybe, and lectures on making etc. I dimly remember a couple of his guitars being played, that they were worth what was paid for them and have a feeling that in no way was one being charitable in ordering one from him but equally that nobody pretended they were massively special (the asking prices suggest that) and that a lot of the attraction was the thing of having a guitar hand built by somebody one knew.
I'd guess that kind of asking price might be perfectly in order, depending on how well the guitar has survived the years. The Bournemouth Echo article sounds very plausible (I drove through Bournemouth coming home tonight! - local colour ...) Anyway, they'd certainly be well worth a look if one came up in ads again.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)