Paul 'scruffy' Martin looks at the skill of harp making in Wales which had all but been lost for some 60 years until John Weston Thomas (MBE), a talented wood and metal worker, revised the craft, making celtic, chromatic and triple harps until his death in 1992. A memorial prize, "Tlws Coffa John Weston Thomas" was subsequently instigated at the National Eisteddfod, to encourage competition in the traditional folk style. He passed on his skills to three apprentices: Allan Shiers, Brian Blackmore and Alun Thomas, his son. Alun still makes triple and celtic harps in his workshop just outside of Fishguard. Brian Blackmore also makes triple harps, whilst Allan Shiers went on to make concert harps and found Telynau Teifi Harps in Llandysul, Ceredigion.
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“People should exceed the master or the master has failed.” –John Weston Thomas