Dave Walsh at Eternal Guitars in Chichester

Dave Walsh, left, with colleague Matt Warwick (Photo by Philip Traill)

Dave Walsh, left, with colleague Matt Warwick (Photo by Philip Traill) - Credit: Philip Traill

Dave Walsh of Chichester-based Eternal Guitars has turned his teenage passion into a successful business, supplying youngsters buying their first instruments right through to international performers

“At the age of 17 or 18 it became my life,” says Dave Walsh on his love for the guitar.

Chichester-based Eternal Guitars specialises in set-ups, custom-builds and repair work. The seed of the company was planted the very first time Dave took a guitar apart, which he says led to a “love and fascination” with the instrument.

“I then went to get an apprenticeship with a repairer in Denmark Street, London. From there I learnt everything I could.”

Translating those early experiences into today’s business Dave is proud of the breadth of skills he and colleague Matt Warwick use – including metalwork, woodwork, paintwork and electronics. He says it doesn’t matter if they’re working with a teenager’s first guitar or a professional performing around the world: “Everyone gets the same service.”

Reputation is the name of the game in Dave’s industry and it’s constantly at the back of his mind. “There is always pressure. We get a lot of repeat business and recommendations so we have to keep to a certain level.”

Despite serving most of West Sussex and selling their products all over the world, Dave says that most business still comes through word of mouth. And since he established the company eight years ago, tongues have been busily wagging, he says: “We’ve got a lot of business; the name is growing at the right pace.”


Sussex Creation is a series by photographer Philip Traill, exploring people in their work environment, capturing the characters and what they do in a single image.

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