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Sidney W H Young      1881 to 1964

union jack

Do you have a pre 1940's banjo by this maker?  can you supply us some images?

... was born in Pimlico, Middlesex as the 2nd  of nine childern and was living at 7 Howards Road, Walthamstow in Essex in 1901.


He was first heard of in the banjo-making world as a member of the team of craftsmen making banjos and zither-banjos in the Essex & Cammeyer workshops at 13 Greek Street, Soho, London.   His younger brother Gerald Nicholls Young was also working in the industry but later changed to being a carpenter joiner.


When Clifford Essex and Alfred D. Cammeyer dissolved partnership in 1900, Sidney William H Young was appointed manager of the Cammeyer workshops and it was he who was mainly responsible for the design and manufacture of the 'Vibranite," "Vibrante Royal" and "New Era" instruments (as well as the many other cheaper grades of zither banjos) sold under the Cammeyer name.


When Cammeyer retired in 1939, Sidney Young, took over the small workshop at Richmond Buildings, Soho, where he continued to make instruments for private customers until the outbreak of World War 11. (it was during this period that he designed and made the "Vivavox" models for Emile Grimshaw & Son.)  


Although no instruments were sold in his name, Sidney W. H. Young’s unmistakable craftsmanship can be found on instruments bearing other names.


After the war he established a workshop at 70 New Oxford Street, London, W.C. .  Here he worked in conjunction with John Alvey Turner Ltd., (their premises being next door) until his retirement in 1956. He had acquired a good stock of Cammeyer "parts" and timber, and turned out many "Vibrantes" etc., but these do not bear the facsimile signature of Cammeyer on the heel butt.


In 1937 Turner acquired Alfred Weaver's stock of half-completed hoops, arms, fittings, etc., and Mr. Young's skill fashioned them into instruments almost indistinguishable from the genuine article except that they bore no maker's name.


He died on December 11th,1964.

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