When Simon Hewlett contacted me in January 2016 it came as a complete surprise. Simon is an award winning furniture maker who had recently begun to make guitars under the guidance of internationally acclaimed Cornwall Luthier Kiff Wood. Simon informed us that he and Kiff had decided to make a guitar for Stevington Guitar Concerts, he said “I am so impressed with what you have got going on there I wanted to make a donation.” The guitar Kif and Simon created is a wonderful instrument made of the highest quality materials.
The guitar spec:
6 string Cutaway model
Back & Sides: Indian rosewood
Neck: American black walnut with a centre beam of idigbo, (Brittle heart)
Top: Canadian Katz spruce
Adjustable neck angle and bridge achieved by Kif Woods unique design
Bracing Kif woods unique design
As a connection to Stevington and Papworth there is a Windmill in the sound hole decoration and a Heart on the truss rod cover.
For more information about Kif Woods guitars see his web site.
We decided to arrange a special 10th year anniversary gig at which the guitar would be auctioned, the money raised would be donated to Papworth Hospital who benefited from the fist gig we had arranged 10 years before.
We contacted Clive Carrol who had played at our first gig and asked if he would do two nights for us as we knew we woud sell out two nights without any problem. Clive’s agent said that Clive was only available for two nights on the spin during the rest of the year. Unbelievably this was the weekend we had hoped to stage the concert and auction. Some things just seem to be destined to happen.
We contacted Donegal based Paul Buckley and asked if he would be prepared to play at our anniversary gig, he was delighted to support the project and catch up with his long time buddy Clive. So we were set to go.
Interest in the guitar was developed through articles in the press, exhibiting the instrument at events including Cambridge’s huge charity fundraiser, Chariots of Fire and at a house concert played by Glasgow musician and long-time friend of Stevington Guitar Concerts John Goldie.
Our online auction generated bids of £1,000 before the day of the auction.
On the Saturday 23rd November the “Stevington Guitar” was auctioned
After keen bidding from three parties the hammer went down at £1500. Huge thanks to John Strutt for his winning bid and to everyone who took part in the auction. John is now the owner of a totally unique guitar built especially for Stevington Guitar concerts by Cornwall Luthiers Kif Wood and Simon Hewitt.
Before proper thanks could be given to Simon and Kif for the hours of work they spent building the instrument and donating it to us Simon stopped the proceedings to present a wonderful guitar that he and Kif had specially built for me. I remain stunned and speechless for their generosity and kindness.
Our tenth year anniversary was the most ambitious event we have arranged to date. We wanted to say thank you for the wonderful support we have received that has led to Stevington becoming an unlikely concert venue for some of the world’s greatest acoustic guitarists.
Final figures are not yet available but despite the high costs involved in arranging this event I estimate, including the sale of the guitar, we have raised around £2,639 for Papworth Hospital.
Huge thanks go to:
Steve Cole who looks after all technical arrangements and gives me unerring support and encouragement.
Jean and Sue for managing the bar to such a high standard.
Richard and Barbara for the hours of work they dedicate to making the events so successful and lastly everyone who has supported the events we have arranged over the last ten years.