David Oddy 1932 -2017

Following David’s death in June 2017 we received tributes from all over the world, here are a small selection with thanks to John Bickford (one of David’s close frends) for the use of the photo:
David Oddy & Son Luthiers Home of the ‘Oddy Mandocello’ Makers of Handmade Customised Acoustic Guitars & Mandolins
Remember because we make all our instruments from scratch we can customise any of our instruments to your requirements.
About David” My father, who knew a thing or two about music and instruments,described David as “something of a genius”. People commenting on Facebook have talked about David with great fondness, as one of the great luthiers and an inspirational man. There have been many references to his legacy, the hundreds of instruments he made (and repaired) and how they will ensure that David will never be forgotten. These things caused me to muse on the nature of greatness, and ask the question, was David more than a great luthier, was he a great man? I recall many years ago reading an essay by William Hazlitt, “The Indian Jugglers”, in which he made a number of observations. “No really great man ever thought himself so.” David certainly had a pride in his achievements as an engineer and as a luthier, but he never had visions of greatness: he was an ordinary man with an extraordinary talent. “No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.” David’s legacy, his instruments and those who play them, will last for a very long time. “A great chess-player is not a great man, for he leaves the world as he found it.” This is the crux of the matter for me. David did not leave the world as he found it, because like an artist with his creations, he improved the world. His instruments are not only beautifully crafted: they are of a quality which enhances the musical capabilities of those who play them; they enhance the world of those listening to the music; they play their small part in making the world a better place. David did indeedc hange the world - and will continue to do so for a long time. A greatman. Warwick Downes
To all of David’s family and friends. I am so sorry I cannot be with you on this sad morning. This afternoon I’m due to be standing on a stage at the Glastonbury festival and the transport and logistical nightmares of the event render it impossible for me to return in time for my performance. I won’t be with you but rest assured David will be with me. For at  my feet, as ever, will be the Guitar,  the Cuatro, the Mandocello and the Tenor guitar that have been my constant companions for over twenty-five years, that have stood beside me in five thousand venues and journeyed with me for almost a million miles. I will reach for one of them and as I play, through my hands and out across the west country fields will flow the fruits of those countless hours of tireless, steadfast craftsmanship that defined one of the most remarkable men it’s been my privilege to have known and counted as a friend. So this morning we will make our farewells, recount our memories and exchange our stories. And as those with faith in the hereafter pray for him, I will reflect with quiet certainty that this afternoon his spirit will also be here with me. And for as long as I can make music with every note and every chord the sweet air, will resound yet again with his firm, bright and clear Devonshire voice undiminished and undaunted. So goodbye for now David - I’ll see you later at the soundcheck! Steve Knightley
So very sorry to learn of Davids passing. His tenor guitar has brought new songs and magic to my journey and I treasure it's beauty and craftsmanship. Martyn Joseph
I would like to offer my condolences on the loss of your father. I have a guitar he made for me, I would guess, about 17 years ago. You gave it a 100,000 miles service and new pick up in 2011. I just player before writing this and reflected on the life of the man who created it as the notes rang around my room.   He was so kind and patient with me when I bought it and offered words of encouragement and advice that I still apply to this day. He provided me with the instrument which gave me my real true voice and that has grown in tone and presence every day since I have had it. I don’t feel that I own it.... I just look after it, like you would an old master painting. He was a true craftsman and a true gentleman. I am very sorry for your loss. Kindest regards   Mark Pritchard
Thinking of Davids craftmanship, He made me a dobro and a mandolin years ago. I was fascinated by his stock of woods and embellishments for instruments. One of the great luthiers. Best wishes,    Robert Pence
When doing our set at Shaw Playhouse 2 on Friday night, I paid tribute to the late, great luthier David Oddy, who has made three of my instruments and whose funeral it was earlier that day. Photographer Pete Grubb grabbed this wonderful photo of the headstock of my precious 21-year-old cello-mandolin in action, and it seemed very fitting to put it on here to say a huge thanks to David for being a huge part of my musical life. I'm so pleased that his legacy lives on with son Nick who made my recently acquired and superb tenor guitar … the Oddy Luthiers future is in very safe hands. David - we know your skills will be very much in demand up there, if only you can source the right sitka spruce. R.I.P. :) Ian Cleverdon
My name is John Buckham and I am a guitar maker from Australia. I would just like to pass my condolences to you and your family after the passing of your father. I met your father in 2011 when I was over here (I am currently in Exeter and have just heard about your father's passing) and he generously helped me with a little problem that I had with an instrument that I had brought with me to deliver to a friend. I came to his workshop and met him and we talked shop and other things. He loaned me a couple of things to get the job done which I was grateful for being so far from home. I remember also that I met Paul Downes there when I came to return the borrowed tools. I will remember you father for this generosity and I am sorry to hear of his passing.
With great sadness I have read about David's passing. He made my first cello-mandolin in 1995 and many more instruments in the following years.  I remember sitting in his living-roomg or even exploring the treasury attic at Beacon Lane or a pint or two in the Bridge Inn  whenever I was able to fly over from Germany. I still have the all the toys he made for me and a will forever treasure them as well as the memories I have of this kind man who's sense of humour had left me in stitches many times. My thoughts are with you and the whole family and I will play a tune or two for his legacy! Martin, writing from Cologne, Germany!
Sorry if your tribute is not included here, there were so many…. Thanks to all those who took time to email us or wrote kind words on Facebook they were a great help to the family at such a difficult time.