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Harold Thomas Merriman 1903 -1977

Merriman inlays

  ... of Gloucester, was a banjo enthusiast who made (and sold privately) several conventional banjos when he was a pupil of S.E.Turner of Cheltenham. In 1927 he conceived the idea of making an all wood instrument.

Basically, the hoop of this banjo (which he patented in 1928) consisted of a series of blocks glued together in a ring and turned to a section similar to that of a bell. A metal band was fitted under the"shelf" of the hoop to act as a wearing plate for the nuts of the tention brackets, thus eliminatingthe neccessity for the conventional shoes.

Mr Merriman sent his prototype to Windsor of Birmingham who made about half a dozen instruments to his design. They were sold privately. In 1932 about the same number of instruments were made for Mr Merriman by J.G.Abbot and he advertised them in the June 1932 "BMG".

When these were sold Mr Merriman retired from the field of commericial banjo making. In later years Harold was the Landlord at the Royal Exchange Public House in Hartpury Gloucester.

Pictures countesy of John Craze of a banjo made by Merriman in 1943 while serving in Kenya. He and John's father Frank Craze played with the Phil Barker Banjo Boys from Gloucester.

hand-white

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