Simon Ambridge, 67, from Devon, became fascinated with guitars while growing up, and cobbled together his first from an old bit of sideboard. By the time he was an art student in London – and a keen guitarist – he decided to have a proper go.
“I was forever staring into music shop windows, but I couldn’t afford to buy an expensive guitar,” he says. “I had the woodwork skills because I was making furniture, so I decided to make my own. I went to an evening class in instrument-making and the first one turned out pretty well.” Simon then moved to Devon, where he still lives, and Ambridge Guitars was born. He’s since become such a renowned craftsman that he exports instruments to Spain – the home of classical guitar music – and only produces around eight of his masterpieces every year.