22 May 2015

The Alec Somerville banjo - in print

In the early part of 2014 the BIB carried several news items about old-time singer, clawhammer-banjo player, and Co. Donegal resident Alec Somerville and the 5-string banjo that he donated to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, with its unique collection of signatures by twenty-eight members of the Canadian Corps in France and Flanders in 1917.

Alec and the banjo appeared on a commemorative episode of the BBC TV 'Antiques Roadshow' series last spring. The banjo's story can now be read in the BBC publication Antiques Roadshow: World War One in 100 family treasures by Paul Atterbury, who interviewed Alec on the show. The four-page feature includes a full-page photo showing the inside of the banjo pot, with the signatures on the original skin head. The book should be available in any good bookshop.

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