Guitar donation hits all the right chords for Northern Ireland Hospice

Charity to auction off 19 collectable Fender Stratocasters

A GUITAR enthusiast from Belfast has donated an amazing collection of 19 Fender Stratocasters to Northern Ireland Hospice.

The collection will go on sale at a special auction hosted by Wilsons Auctions on November 30.

Brian Bennett, 63 donated his personal collection of guitars in honour of his late mother Nora who was a dedicated volunteer at Northern Ireland Hospice.

A number of the guitars are autographed by famous rock stars including the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman, Motley Crue’s Vince Neil, Guns ‘n’ Roses axeman Slash, Cream’s Jack Bruce and Def Leppard’s Belfast-born guitarist Vivian Campbell. One guitar, a 2002 US Custom Shop-made seafoam green Strat boasts signatures from Bad Company and Free drummer Simon Kirke, fellow Bad Company member Mick Ralphs, Jack Bruce and Rolling Stones legend Bill Wyman.

Six of the 19 Fenders were made in Japan and one in Mexico while the remainder were crafted in the United States Some of these guitars have gone throught modifications, such neck and pickup replacements. A number of it were replaced with Seymour Duncans. Head over to Music Critic for reviews on these amzing strat pickups. Among the most desirable in the collection is a 1977 American-made maple-wood Strat which also carries Jamie Moses’ autograph, the respected session guitarist best-known for his work with Queen, Amy Winehouse, Bob Geldof and Mike and the Mechanics.

Generous donor Brian said: “I was able to amass the collection over a number of years thanks to musicians and music shops in Northern Ireland, and I would get signatures from Rock Camps I attended in London, at the Abbey Road studios, and at the House of Blues in Las Vegas.

“I’ve had the pleasure of jamming with some of the world’s most famous musicians and I am glad I was able to get guitars signed by them; hopefully this will benefit Northern Ireland Hospice.

“It was always my intention to collect as many Fender Stratocasters as possible to one day donate to the hospice in honour of my mother and her support for the organisation. The hospice has always been our family’s charity. My mother always admired the values of Northern Ireland Hospice and its staff, and she volunteered throughout her retirement years. I guess she left me conditioned to make sure I did my bit for Northern Ireland Hospice.”

The guitar haul will be sold at auction in Wilsons Auctions Belfast on November 30.

John Ardill, Wilsons Auctions’ Belfast Branch Manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Northern Ireland Hospice by auctioning such a fantastic collection of guitars on November 30th, with full proceeds going to the charity. Wilsons Auctions realises the importance of supporting worthy charities such as Northern Ireland Hospice and the work it carries out throughout the local community. We would encourage people to register as soon as possible as we hope to raise a significant amount on the night for this worthwhile cause.”

Heather Weir, CEO of Northern Ireland Hospice, said: “The goodwill shown to Northern Ireland Hospice over the years has reached far and wide and has brought many quirky donations to our attention. This guitar collection is unique. Not only will it bring vital funds to support our care services, it will also raise awareness of Northern Ireland Hospice’s work.

“This donation has brought a great level of excitement and interest among staff. It is a great compliment to Nora Bennett’s legacy and her support of Northern Ireland Hospice and a wonderful gesture by Brian.”

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