Rare Cajun instrument found in Harpenden charity shop

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 September 2018

The diddley bow in Harpenden's Oxfam.

The diddley bow in Harpenden's Oxfam.


Many Harpenden charity shops will at some point sell second-hand stringed instruments like violins and ukuleles, but not many can boast a South American diddley bow coming in through donations.

This Cajun instrument is just one unusual item which could have been found in the Keech Hospice Care shop on High Street.

Although it has now sold for about £40 on Ebay, the diddley bow was displayed in the shop for some time without being picked up.

The instrument only has one string, is used for blues music, and was commonly played in the Deep South in the early 20th century.

It is thought to be the early version of a modern guitar.

Volunteer Elona outside new Oxfam store in ElyVolunteer Elona outside new Oxfam store in Ely

The last item to be featured in Enjoy Harpenden More’s unusual charity shop finds series was a vintage two-volume collection of Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, which was found in the Cancer Research shop on the High Street.

Assistant manager at that shop, Sarah Crowley, said: “Probably the best thing about working in charity shops is you never know what you’re going to get.”

Seen something unusual or rare being sold in Harpenden charity shops? Get in contact at EnjoyHarpendenMore@archant.co.uk

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