banjo ukulele by dennis taylor
The Beddoes Banjo Ukulele
Ron Beddoes was a Banjo maker and a player. He was a British Rail engineer and had serves 35 years until his retirement. Another of his hobbies was model steam locomotives and he had a track laid round his garden and his shed was used as a loco station. Ron was introduced into the George Formby Society in the early 1970’s and he was also asked if he could try his hand at making a Banjo Ukulele.He agreed to try and being a person for fine detail, perfectionist no less, he produced a few instruments. These, however, were similar to his banjo’s as he had his own style and he didn’t wish to deviate. The peg heads were slightly larger than most ukes and the resonator backs were all flat at first He eventually devised a heavy press so that he could manufacture a curved convex shape. The back design was generally four diamonds made from light beech or maple. Most of his instruments were copies of Gibsons and Ludwig’s and very successful instruments they proved to be. Although it was suggested that he go into mass production on the ‘Dallas’ scale he declined due the cost of set up and also being at retirement age. Shown here is a Beddoes ‘New Concert’ model based on the Ludwig, which proved to be very popular. Sad to say that Ron Beddoes is deceased.