A MAN who pawned a guitar for just £70 has thanked the pawn shop staff after it turned out to be worth more than £3,000.
Church musician John Drew, of Queen Street, Portsea, turned to Cash Converters for help when he was short of cash and needed to pay a gas bill.
He said: ‘Unfortunately, this winter I experienced severe financial difficulties so I took my guitar into the Cash Converters in London Road, North End and they gave me £70 for her under their buy-back scheme.
‘However, my diabetes blood sugar levels went dangerously out of control and I got mentally confused and accidentally failed to make a further renewal payment.
‘When I visited the shop some time later, to my horror an assistant told me it had gone. They claimed that they had waited for a week for me to come in, and as I didn't, they had sent it off to be valued by a specialist auctioneer in Bath.
‘He valued it as being worth £3,600 on a good day, and £2,600 on a bad day.’
After speaking with shop manager Andrew Sedgal, they managed to track down his guitar and return it to him.
John said: ‘I was very upset.’
The guitar, an acoustic flamenco guitar, also had sentimental value to John as he saved up the money to buy it when he was just 18 years old through teaching English in Cordoba Andalucia during the summer of 1966.
John said: ‘At the end of my time there I had just enough money saved to buy a flamenco guitar made by Manuel Reyes, the best local guitar maker in that part of Andalucia at that time.’
John said he is thankful to have been reunited with his guitar, although he has no intention of using the services again.
Store manager Andrew said: ‘Mr Drew approached us to help raise some money by using our buy-back service against his guitar. This is a service that allows people to release money to the value of their goods, without giving them up forever.
‘We took the item in and held it securely with the intention of enabling Mr Drew to buy it back at a later date. Whilst the item was in our possession, we understand Mr Drew became ill and, as a result he wasn’t able to come into store and buy the item back.
‘A member of his parish contacted us to ask if we could keep the item safe for him, which we were happy to do. However, during this time we also realised the item was worth a significant amount of money – several thousand pounds in fact – and the team and I gifted the item back to Mr Drew at no cost.
‘As a team and as a business, we will always try to do the right thing by our customers, and we would all like to wish Mr Drew a speedy recovery.’