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Houghton banjo mandolin

GUEST,Anne NZ 06 Dec 03 - 04:28 AM
Dave Hanson 06 Dec 03 - 06:55 AM
Eugene Judge 06 Dec 03 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Belinda 17 Sep 04 - 07:20 AM
Jimmy C 18 Sep 04 - 01:03 AM
GUEST,rob 25 Oct 04 - 12:39 AM
Rex 02 Nov 04 - 02:05 PM
BanjoRay 02 Nov 04 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Nov 04 - 10:41 PM
BanjoRay 03 Nov 04 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,rob 11 Nov 04 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,peter 07 Jun 07 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Jo 01 Jul 07 - 08:51 PM
oldhippie 01 Jul 07 - 10:28 PM
GUEST 02 Jul 07 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Buggss 15 Jul 07 - 05:30 AM
GUEST 13 Nov 07 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Robbie 31 Dec 07 - 12:30 PM
GUEST 09 Jan 08 - 04:14 PM
GUEST 15 Jan 08 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,G HOLM SOUTH AFRICA 21 Jan 08 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Zolo888 06 Apr 08 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,sted 08 Apr 08 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,magjam 16 May 08 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,ANON 27 May 08 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,ANON 27 May 08 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Erlin Hawks. 06 Aug 08 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Scott P 26 Aug 08 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Craig 09 Sep 08 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,max 18 Oct 08 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Andrew R 09 Dec 08 - 08:19 AM
Dave Hanson 09 Dec 08 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,guest kim 20 Jan 09 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Ring Around the Tub 24 Jan 09 - 11:11 PM
GUEST,Guest 08 Feb 09 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,Guest 22 Mar 09 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,thelawnranger 22 Apr 09 - 04:47 AM
GUEST 22 Apr 09 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,VAna Afrika 01 May 09 - 09:17 AM
GUEST 29 May 09 - 03:17 AM
GUEST,Morne South Africa 29 Jun 09 - 04:58 AM
GUEST,Shaun 15 Jul 09 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Guest - Baffled 05 Jan 10 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,fascinated 02 Apr 10 - 01:51 AM
GUEST 06 Jun 10 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,Jen 17 Aug 10 - 08:33 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 10 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Texas 16 Sep 10 - 02:27 AM
GUEST,Andrew UK 30 Oct 10 - 01:20 PM
Tangledwood 30 Oct 10 - 06:31 PM
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Subject: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Anne NZ
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 04:28 AM

Have acquired a GH&S (G Houghton & Sons) banjo mandolin.
Model XS . Has 8 strings, small resonator of 8 inch diameter.
Can anyone give any further information about it eg probable age. Anyone have links to web sites about Houghton instruments?
Thanks,
Anne


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 06:55 AM

no,
eric


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: Eugene Judge
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 10:02 AM

Anne

Information on George Houghton taken from Terry Holland's British Banjo Makers on http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Terry_Holland/homepage.htm

George Houghton established his Reliance Works in Heaton Street, Birmingham in 1888 and the range of banjos and zither-banjos he made were branded "Reliance". His well made inexpensive range of instruments quickly found favour with dealers and players alike and before long his factory was extended, his staff increased and the name changed to G. Houghton & Sons and production almost wholly devoted to making instruments for other firms to be branded with the vendor's name and/or trademark. Houghton's maintained a stock catalogue of instruments (usually marked with a gold-embossed lion with the initials G. H. & S. underneath) with which many retailers and most of the wholesale houses made up their own catalogues.

One of the most popular selling lines of their banjos was the inexpensive instruments labelled "Melody Jo". Besides making,their own stock instruments they would also copy other firms' prototypes for them, to be branded with the latter's name as "makers". In 1962, town-planning development in Birmingham plus staff difficulties finally decided George Houghton (son of the founder) to close down and he moved to London to become associated with John E. Dallas & Sons Ltd. The plant and materials and a few of his key workers he brought from Birmingham was established in a factory-at 12 Gravel Hill, Bexleyheath, Kent, and from that time until he retired in 1965 he made the inexpensive banjos sold under the Dallas label.

Hope this is some use

Eugene


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Belinda
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 07:20 AM

Hi I have just bought my dad a GH&S 5 string banjo, can anybody point me in right direction as to how I can find out the age of this instrument? Thanks


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: Jimmy C
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 01:03 AM

Thanks for the info Eugene. I have a little banjo-mandolin with an embossed gold lion, but all it says is " british Made" BELLTONE - Patent Applied for. Could this be Houghton ?.

It's a real little beauty , lots of resonance and a pleasure to play.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,rob
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 12:39 AM

i have just come across a GH&S banjo/mandolin *The Marvel 328*, and from literature found with it a possible timeframe of the 1920's. Any one know of a possible value and where i can get a skin for it. The old skin isn't damaged yet but is starting to sag under the bridge.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: Rex
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 02:05 PM

From what I have found, the banjo mandolins started to appear around 1910 and were in full flower by 1920. If there is evidence (catalogs, price lists, patent applications) that GH&S was making these prior to that, I would be very interested to see it. The earliest banjo/mandolin hybrid with an 8 string neck that I have heard of is one "mandolin banjo" made by S. S. Stewart starting around 1900. It has the 8string mandolin neck and a small 7 inch rim. I count myself as lucky to own one. This is not to be confused with another "mandolin banjo" first offered by Stewart in 1884. It had a half-scale five string neck on the same 7 inch rim and by 1890 was renamed a "Little Wonder" piccolo banjo. My musical cohort, Mark Gardner has one of these. The two make for a fun combination onstage.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: BanjoRay
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 06:09 PM

Rob - British mandoline banjos have never really been in demand, so it's not going to be worth more than a couple of hundred, and probably a lot less. If the head's just sagging a bit, tighten it up - go round it with a spanner, just giving a quarter of a turn to each nut, and check it each time you get right round. It's abouit right when it looks tight but you can still push it in a little with your fingers. If it needs a new head, you can get a vellum from Sully at Halshaw Music, if you're in the UK. He sent me one by return of post. You need one about 4 inches wider than the rim of the banjo.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 10:41 PM

just out of interest..
do you like the sound of it..

i tried some £200 - £400 new far east made instruments
in h*bg*blin and other shops..
and its difficult to make my mind up
if the sound is good enough to buy for long term playing..
cos none of those music shops seem to know how to set them up properly,
let alone intone and tune them well enough
for prospective customers...


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: BanjoRay
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 03:59 AM

Very few music shops have a clue how to present a banjo for sale - the set-up's usually terrible, with missing or badly placed bridges, slacked off strings and terrible action. Guitars are usually much better sorted.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,rob
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 03:07 AM

To all those who answered, Thankyou for your time and the information you supplied.

Cheers...rob (south australia)


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,peter
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 07:59 AM

hey mr jimmy c,
today i bought a banjo mandolin that fits the description of the one you mentioned above, the one with the gold lion and the words british made, was wondering if you ever found out anything more about this and about its age etc. v. interesting
pete


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Jo
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 08:51 PM

I recently was given a "New Reliance" banjo mandolin with a torn vellum. Apart from that it is in very, very good condition. There are few chips (one small veneer chip on the headstock), the varnish is still glossy and intact with no crackling. From the information I can find online this model came from the Houghton factory but I can not find out roughly when these were made

There are a few issues:
- There is no lion or makers mark anywhere but the case. It took some deduction on my part and identification on the part of Simcha Delft (thank you Simcha) to figure it out where it came from.
- One of the tension bolts is missing off the pot rim.
- The neck needs to be reset and the pot needs the tension to be balanced out (It was explained to me I understood, but don't know the terminology).

Apart from that I have been told it is in exceptionally good condition.

Does anyone know anything or have one of these? I have only found others looking for information online, but actual answers.

I am assuming it is a cheap but high quality instrument designed to be sold in catalogues and to travelling theatres or the shoestring musician.


This is a picture of it...
New Reliance Banjo Mandolin

Any information or opinion would be welcome.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: oldhippie
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 10:28 PM

The 1920s was a popular time for a banjo mandolin. I have a Gibson from that era.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 07 - 12:06 PM

hi i have a acoustic guitar made by them...does anyone know when they started making guitars


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Buggss
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 05:30 AM

Hi,
Just interested in finding out the age of an 8 string banjo mandolin hubby bought today.
It has G.H & S,the gold lion with "British made trade mark" and "The Gem" stamped on it.
4 strings are missing but apart from that it's in good condition.
Thanks for any info!


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 12:09 PM

I have a Melody Joe Tenor Banjo
An 8" Melody Junior Mandolin Banjo and
an 11" Melody Major Mandolin Banjo. I parted with a 2nd 11" recently)
All the cases and instruments are stamped with the lion and just british made.
I believe that these were all made prior to the first world war. I am sure I read somewhere years ago that his son joined him after the first world war. So that would suggest G.H & son was added then.
They all play surprisingly well with lots of volume.
Dennis


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Robbie
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 12:30 PM

Hi all,

Have recently been given a Melody Jo tenor banjo as a present and am having a hard time trying to find a replacement head. Can anyone tell me what size head fits these banjos and where I might get one?
Thanks,
Robbie


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 04:14 PM

i have recently been given an 8 string banjo in a black leather case the only markings i can find are on the case it says "the new reliance" registered trade mark imprinted on the case.there are no other markings on the banjo i wonder could anyone shed any light on where the banjo would have come from.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 08 - 07:55 AM

I have a similar instrument .8'' resonator body. The only label aagin is ' new reliance' stamped on the case .

This instrument belonged to my mother c1930. I had a new velum put on .The tuning posts are rolled brass and have become damaged. I can only reliably tune the D,A & E strings. I intend to get the tuners replaced . It has a loevely sound and dead easy to play.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,G HOLM SOUTH AFRICA
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 08:38 AM

I INHERITED A GH AND S 6 STRING BANJO FROM MY GRANDPA ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO. IT IS IN A VERY GOOD CONDITION AND I DO PLAY IT ON A REGULAR BASIS. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHEN IT WAS MANUFACTURED. IS IT WORTH SOMETHING?

GEORGE HOLM


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Zolo888
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 02:08 AM

I have a Reliance Mandolin Banjo (or so im told) but it has no markings - it is identical to the one in the picture from Guest Jo. The only thing is it has 12 strings i.e. 4 groups of three!! nobody seems to have seen one before!! anybody got any info - seems to be a bit of an enigma!! - thanks. M


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,sted
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 06:00 AM

I have a 8 string GH &S Melody Maker Banjo Mandolin, has anyone ever heard of it? I took off 4 strings, and the 4 left has it sounding great and not cluttered


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,magjam
Date: 16 May 08 - 05:57 AM

I have a mandolin banjo, no markings except H3 stamped on reverse of head. Drum is 8" nearly and a 9inch neck. The case has the Houghton lion etc. Can anyone name that model and/or a rough date?
Ta muchly!


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Subject: Houghton Melody-Jo Banjo
From: GUEST,ANON
Date: 27 May 08 - 07:22 AM

I have a beautiful old banjo. It has a Gold Lion which says 'British Made' under it on the top of the face of the head stock (very faded) and 'MELODY-JO' simply inscribed across the middle of the face of the head stock between the machine heads. It has 22.5 frets. It's nice and heavey and makes a great sound. The back of the body has a convexed (outward rounded) piece of laminated wood on it. The drum has 16 adjustable metal 'lugs' surrounding it, that all sit in the overall bowl that is the bottom of the body attached by/on four of these 'lugs'. Any one else got one like this??? My g-string (high) machine head is missing, so i play it as a four-string.
TIP!!!
If you tune the banjo, but then move up the fret board and find that the tuning is more out when you get to around the 12th fret, try adjusting the bridge. I tune her up, then play each string on the 12th fret to see if it's sharper or flatter, then slide the bridge up accordingly. You may find that the finished result is a diagonal looking bridge. Ha.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,ANON
Date: 27 May 08 - 08:03 AM

It's me again who wrote just above this. I found this and think you might all be interested. It could put a concrete finish on exatly what period of time certain things were happening with this company and certain instrument for some of you.
It's the official patent details. If you read through it all, you'll realise that there are supposed to be drawings for the banjo mandoline.
How cool am I??

Applicant ALBERT GEORGE HOUGHTONJOHN HARRISON HOUGHTON


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Erlin Hawks.
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 10:14 AM

I was amazed to see so much interest in this instrument so I have taken the time to display information and Photos pertaining to the GH&S Banjo mandolin on my website.

Here is the link/address:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=302399020

Email:

kris.whelan@hotmail.de


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Scott P
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 12:17 AM

Hello

I purchased a G.H&S Banjo / Mandolin 8 string. From what i undersand it is approx 1920's with 8 strings.

Does anyone know where I can research it further for type / price etc.

Regards

Scott


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Craig
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 09:45 AM

Hello I recently found an old banjo in my grandfathers shed.
It has 8 strings and has 17 frets and is in good condition.
NO ACTUAL BRAND NAME JUST (ENGLISH MAKE)Silver badge on end of banjo. . OVERALL LENGTH 560MM, DIAMETER 210MM.
Any links or help would be appreciated.
If anyone knows anything or is able to help i can send photos.
Regards Craig


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,max
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 05:46 PM

I have recently been given a GH&S mandolin marked XXS registration number 834824. The skin bit on which the bridge sits is past its best - could anyone help and tell me where to get another one. Also, how old is this instrument as it still sounds quite good!
Thanks


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Andrew R
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 08:19 AM

Hey

recently bought a G. Houghton & Sons marked with a gold-embossed lion with the initials G. H. & S. from Birmingham. It is in very good condition Says BELL-TONE 225 engraved underneth the lion emblem

and on the reverse side says G. Houghton & Sons Birmingham. It has a metal rim and is wood all round I think

Can anyone tell me how much money in US$ this would go for ???

thanks


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 09:49 AM

50 cents.

eric


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,guest kim
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 03:32 PM

i have recently purchased a houghton guitar classic 50s shape with the g houghton & son birmingham label on the inside and gold reliance on the neck any info appreaciated thanks kim


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Ring Around the Tub
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 11:11 PM

i bought a gh&s xxs in a pawn shop in Nelson NZ about 15 years ago. It never really played right after i brought it back to Alaska. The neck shrunk, back cracked (it is pretty dry here)
The scale length seems to be closer to a uke than and mandolin, but it is 8 strings. I have little idea of its age and it seems relatively unplayed. I would guess that it may be 50's-60's vintage. It is pretty wild to explore this corner of the world of relatively rare acoustic instruments and find more people with questions vs answers(:->) any clues to scale length or
more ideas and info would be most welcome

we should all listen to John Balch more often
-Land


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 12:46 AM

Hi,
I have had this banjo for about 5 years it says 'The Triumph 115' on it it's also made by GH& S.

I bought it for $180AUD

Any info would be good

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 04:01 PM

Hi All,
I have just bought a "Melody Uke" banjo ukulele. It has the Lion`s Head Logo with British Made Under it.Any one know when these were made or can share any other information with me?
Thanks
Ken


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,thelawnranger
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 04:47 AM

hi All, I have had a banjo mandolin for the last 15+years and are now looking for info on it. It is an 8 inch GH&S Model 3000. Had a hard life & the vellum has a few cuts round the edge but played ok last time I played it. Any one any ideal of age or value? May not be as rare I had thought. Cheers JohnM


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 03:39 PM


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,VAna Afrika
Date: 01 May 09 - 09:17 AM

I have also found myself a banjolin made by GH%S, says Gallotone on it and its in fantastic condition. I hope it's old, can anyone tell me how old or where its from?

Kindlu.V


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 09 - 03:17 AM

wOW. CANT BELEIVE HOW COMMON THESE BANJOS SEEM TO BE. i HAVE INHERITED A G HOUGHTON 5 STRING BANJO. IT HAS MOTHER OF PEARL INLAYS ON FRETS, NICKLE PLATED HEADSTOCK A WALNUT NECK AND BEAUTIFULLY INLAID STAR DESIGN ON BACK, WITH WHAT MIGHT BE GOLD TRADEMARK STUD IN THE MIDDLE. THE TRADEMARK IS RELIANCE AND PATENT NUMBER 23874. I THINK IT MAY HAVE BEEN MADE ROUND ABOUT 1925. i WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE VALUE IN NZ DOLLARS IF ANYONE CAN HELP??


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Morne South Africa
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 04:58 AM

I have the same make and myne is about 75 years old.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Shaun
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 11:12 PM

Hi, I need some help please. I have recently come across a G.H & S Banjo/Mandolin, not really sure what it is. It has 8 strings, and a gold embossed stamp at the top of the neck. It is also stamped with 'Model XXS' just below the Trademark. I was wondering if somebody could please shed some light on this for me, by giving me a rough guess at the production date if you can. Thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Down South Banjo Ukulele
From: GUEST,Guest - Baffled
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 09:52 AM

Hi, I have recently come across a banjo ukulele with a paper label just above the neck which reads Down South British Manufacture. There is also at the top of the headstock what looks like a horse or lion with the words British Make embossed into the wood. The wood is a very light colour and the resonator is silver metal. Would be grateful for any information of either the instrument or the company.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,fascinated
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 01:51 AM

My mother was given a banjo as part of an inheritance but knows nothing about it. The only information we can find is a stamp on the black leather case that says 'The New Reliance' Registered Trademark. Can anyone help me out with any information or can anyone suggest an internet site that would help?


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo ukulele
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 12:36 AM

made by g, houghton and sons birmingham ,they made banjos for other companys ,with vendors name, normally stamped with a gold lion and
stamped british made g.h&sons, factory origin wealey st 1888


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Jen
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 08:33 PM

I just bought a mandolin banjo while traveling in Edinburgh, Scotland, last week. It came in a black case that's stamped with the words "The New Reliance Registered Trademark," but only words/numbers/symbols on the actual instrument say "English Make." It has 8 strings and 17 frets. I've been trying to do research on it since I got home to track down a manufacturer and/or year, but I haven't had any luck yet. If anyone could point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks, all!


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 04:03 PM

Looking for information on a G.H.&S Melody Junior,four string, 17 fret Banjo-ele?


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Texas
Date: 16 Sep 10 - 02:27 AM

Hi All,

I just bought a GH&S Banjo Mandolin at an auction and would like to restore it, but would love to understand if it has any value before I do. It's a really neat little instrument, 4 string "Melody-Uke", I assuem a Banjulele? Need's new velum for sure, but other than that, I'm in love with, but will probably give it as a gift. Any thoughts on value before I go spending a ton of $$ on it

Thanks to all!


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: GUEST,Andrew UK
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 01:20 PM

I've been clearing out my loft recently and came across what I think is a mandolin-banjo. It looks very similar to the pictures someone posted no so long ago, bar a few minor details. It has room for eight strings though most are rusted or missing. It's not in great shape but you can still clearly make out the words Reliance No.10 punched in at the very top of the head. And there is also a stamp on the black leather that says The New Reliance.
I'm not too sure how this Manjo came into my family but I would like to know how much it's worth.
Thank you for any contributions towards this post.


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Subject: RE: Houghton banjo mandolin
From: Tangledwood
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 06:31 PM

I'm wondering if the pictures you're referring to are ones I posted of my Cuckoo. (1920s vintage) I did do enough work on it to make it possible to play, although you wouldn't call it playable in the usual sense. I got far enough to find that it sounded so bad it wasn't worth spending more time on.
The Cuckoos appear from time to time for sale in Australia usually around the $A70 mark.
A repairer near here has a Cuckoo on his wall with a price tag of $700. He said there is no way it is worth that but it is an indication of how much time he has to put in to make it playable and to discourage anybody else asking him to repair one.
If your Reliance is anything like the Cuckoo I'd suggest it could be worth some refurbishment for it's curiosity value, but no more than that.


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