Brian Whittle MSP was in his element on a visit to the Bailey Guitars workshop near Maybole.
The South Scotland MSP and self-confessed old rocker was fascinated to meet with owners Mark Bailey and Carol Davies and hear how the couple have built up a business with a global reputation for creating superb custom guitars.
From a first workshop inside an old double decker bus in 1998, Bailey Guitars reputation has grown across the UK and around the world. After an invitation to attend the Kirkmichael International Guitar Festival in 2000, the couple chose to relocate their workshop to Ayrshire and took up residence in their current home in the Carrick Hills.
In addition to building custom guitars for others, Mark offers “build your own” courses at his workshop that have attracted students from as far afield as New Zealand. For those who can’t make the journey to Ayrshire, Bailey Guitars have embraced technology and offer online courses with videos made and produced by Mark in the workshop.
Brian Whittle MSP said: “It was a pleasure to visit Bailey Guitars and see a selection of the beautiful instruments Mark and his students have built. The passion and skill that Mark puts into every instrument is amazing and that’s demonstrated by the number of guitar players who come to him for an instrument. Bailey Guitars is another example of an Ayrshire business whose product is recognised and respected around the world and I hope it goes from strength to strength.”
Mark Bailey said: “We have never been visited by a politician – it was good to have an opportunity to speak directly to Brian and raise a few issues that are important to us – in particular the policies around solar and wind power generation and the importance of music in communities. It was great to see an MSP taking the time to come to a small business like us, and that Brian found the workshop tour so interesting…being a player himself! There is a fantastic creative community in Ayrshire, and it’s vital that politicians, local & national, are aware of this and take us into account when making plans for the future. “