There’s many a moving wartime tale played on an old fiddle

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Made In The Great War, 
Buxton Pavilion Arts Centre

Six years ago Sam Sweeney, fiddle player with Bellowhead, bought a violin in Oxford. It had all the appearance of a new instrument but the label inside gave the date 1915 and the name Richard S Howard.

Research revealed the violin had been made – but never finished – by music hall performer Richard S Howard, who left for war in 1916 aged 35, leaving his violin unfinished.

Richard didn’t make it back and the violin pieces were left to his daughter Rose, who kept them all her life.

In 2007 luthier Roger Claridge bought the pieces, finally finishing the violin and placing it in his Oxford music shop window, just as Sam happened to be shopping for a fiddle.

It inspired Sam to create a multi-media performance telling the incredible story – marking the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

The production comes to Buxton Opera House next Monday, September 14.

Collaborators of the show include award-winning story-teller Hugh Lupton.

Made In The Great War brings the reality of World War I into 2015, and Sam performs the show with his 100-year-old fiddle.

The show will take place at Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton from 7.30pm. Tickets are £17.50 on 01298 72190.