About Nightingale Trumpets
Brian Robson, The Founder
I trained as a mechanical engineer, learning skills such as fitting, turning, milling, welding, brazing, soldering, tinsmith work, etc., etc. My earliest venture into instrument repair was at the age of about 12 when I was given a J. Higham cornet with a squashed bell. This I managed to resurrect using a dolly tub handle and a bottle.
As a mechanical engineer I worked in shipyards and at sea, and at the same time keeping up my interest in trumpet playing and following the jazz scene.
After leaving the life at sea I became involved with computers, becoming a programmer always on real-time applications such as Fylingdales Ballistic Early Warning Systems, Flight Simulations, Traffic Signal systems, etc. During this time I was still involved with jazz and continued to repair my own instruments along with those of my friends.
In 1972 as a change of career I bought an ice cream factory and had to learn to be a business man. I was however much more interested in the design and engineering side of the business. During my 30+ years in ice cream I re-designed the factory involving some specialised machinery along with designing and building numerous ice cream vans. This included a lot of panel beating, which is not unlike instrument repair, but with a bigger hammer.
When I sold my ice cream business I was left with considerable sized premises in which I was able to accommodate Fred Croft of Pro Brass, who brought with him a large collection of brass instrument repair tools, and importantly a number of trade connections.
After about two years Fred went on to other things and I bought all his tools and lots of spares. During this two years with Fred’s connections I had acquired many second hand instruments, mostly American, on which to hone my repairing skills. Since then I have been seriously involved with repair work with local music shops, colleges and brass bands.
Above all this I have been largely interested in the design aspect of instruments, and in keeping, building prototypes of various instruments including a left handed trumpet, a left handed cornet for Chez Chesterman, my version of a Holton Superbone, some input into the Geneva trumpet and now my own design of trumpet, the BGR NIGHTINGALE.
In my desire to get into professional brass repair I would like to acknowledge the help and advice given to me by consumate professionals such as Paul Rygel, Granvil Rhodes, Gerry Birch, Andy Taylor, Mike Rath etc. There are others, who if only during ordinary conversation were helpful, and I hope by not necessarily naming names they will not be offended.
Custom instruments can also be requested or ordered these can range from left handed instruments to special modifications made to an existing instrument. To have a custom instrument made, please contact us. We can then create a design and a price for you.
Instrument repairs are also offered. But these are undertaken on a work load basis. For more information regarding repairs and requests for any repairs to be undertaken please contact us.