But the winner was not Gail McGarva, on her third gig for Lyme Regis, or myself but a fabulously dedicated violin maker by the name of Christoph Gottings. And I have absolutely no problem with that. Apparently he carried out nearly 1000 tests just to get the varnish right, which is why his violins are mentioned in the same breath as those made by Antonio Stradivari.
|Photo copyright Nick Hand|
The awards took place at The Connaught in London, a treat in itself although I seemed to get through a pocketful of £1 coins in the space of a few minutes: every time someone hailed a taxi or opened a door.
|Gail McGarva, gig builder extraordinary|
Kevin McCloud, one of the judges, told me that the choice to nominate two boat builders out of three finalists had been a hard one. Encouraging for all of us doing our little bit to keep the traditional ways alive.
However, if there's one thing more important than a wooden boat, I would have to admit that it is the power of music. Which makes it no disappointment to be a runner up to someone like Christoph. On the contrary, just to be in the same category was an honour. To be honest I felt a bit of a fraud in such company...