Shock closure of Llandysul harp business

Thursday 2nd June 2022 1:25 pm
Telynau Teifi has closed (Pixabay )

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THE SHOCK closure of a popular Llandysul business is a “blow to the town”, a councillor has said.

Teifi Harps announced on social media last week that the business was to hang up its tools “due to circumstances entirely beyond our control”.

The not-for-profit community enterprise was founded in 2004 by harp maker Allan Shiers.

Allan has been making harps for over 40 years and was an apprentice to the late renowned harp maker John Weston Thomas.

With help from funding from the European Union, Teifi Harps purchased a victorian school by the River Teifi in Llandysul and converted it into a workshop.

In a social media post, Teifi Harps said: “We realise that this may come as a shock to many of you, but it is with incredible sadness and great regret that we have to inform you that due to circumstances entirely beyond our control, our wonderful team at Telynau Teifi have had to hang up their tools for the final time this week.

“We are beyond proud of the instruments that we have made and the new directions in which we have pushed the harp as the traditional instrument of Wales.

“We have done our utmost to safeguard and record the traditional techniques used so that at the very least the legacy of our founder Allan Shiers will not be lost.

“We extend a huge thank you to all our friends, customers and supporters who we know have appreciated our instruments in the way that only musicians can, and we hope very much that there will be new makers in the future to continue this legacy.

“With sadness but also with thanks for the wonderful times.”

Speaking to the BBC, harpist and harp teacher Eleri Turner from Penrhyn-coch when speaking to Living Wales said the closure was “very sad”.

“Teifi harps have a very special sound and of course Allan Shiers had extensive experience as he had been an apprentice to the renowned harp maker, the late John Weston Thomas,” she said.

“The company’s influence can be seen across Europe in continually improving the sound and the way they made the harps.

“It’s the only company of its kind in Wales to tell the truth - and it’s disappointing but what’s good is that the method used to make the harps has been well documented so the invaluable work the company does not will not be forgotten.”

Cllr Keith Evans said the news was a blow to Llandysul.

“They had a pretty good business - they exported all over the world and they employed local people,” he said.

“It’s certainly a very difficult time for businesses as they rebuild after Covid - and it’s a difficult time anyway.

“They have been able to put Llandysul on the map and it will be a great loss to the area.”

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