I was in the Cestrian Skiffrocks with Cliff Bowes when he bought the Hoyer Fantastic Bagpipes Guitar possibly from somewhere in Manchester I assume.
On the first gig at Alderley Edge Scouts' Hall a guy called David Steele trod on the lead and pulled the pickup out. Looking at Cliff was the first time I ever saw a guy go purple - incandescent is a word that springs to mind! This would be late 1956 or 57.
David Bowker (stage name David Booker) now in Denver, was in Cliff Bowes and The Arrows (as was I for a while). He remembers Cliff would come on stage with the guitar, then put it down and sing just with the mike. He thinks 6 more were made, not quite the same and these were for an exhibition, rather than to be played.
The guitar was not a great instrument to play. It's just as well, Cliff and I were not to become great axe men.
Mike Rhodes remembers that Arnold Hoyer made the guitar in Germany. Cliff sold it to Mike around 1966 for
about Ł20. Mike had it for some years and in 1971 he sold it to Charles Hulme of Alma Lane, Wilmslow (the same Lane where Mike lived).
Charles was about 14 then and at Wilmslow County High School at the guitar was sold for around Ł18. Mike has put me in touch with Charles, now a professor at York University. He had the guitar for a year or two and sold it to a second hand shop in Church Street, Wilmslow. The shop was formerly Jakord's car accessory shop and was situated opposite to where Waitrose now stands. Charles remembers that the name Cliff Bowes was stencilled in the case of the guitar. Charles was in a band at school but played bass guitar. Cliff was in silk screen printing so it was easy for him to stencil his name in the guitar case. Charles left Wilmslow when he was 18.