WHEN Tina Hinks decided to sell her late husband’s prized amplifier, she only expected it to get a couple of hundred pounds at most.
But she was overjoyed when the rare 1969 Laney sold to a private collector in Canada – fetching an amazing £2,500 – thanks to the honesty and hardwork of Steve Wright, who runs the Guitar Centre, in Highlands Road, Southsea.
Now, Tina has publicly thanked Steve for his help and is encouraging others to visit his store to show their support.
Tina, 66, said: ‘Steve Wright was the right man for me. I went in to talk to him and straight away he was warm and welcoming.
‘I got somebody to help me take the amplifier to his shop, and he put it on display – it looked beautiful. He couldn’t believe the condition it was in.
‘My husband David had kept it in tiptop condition. Steve put it on the website and did some research.
‘I didn’t push him as I could see just how much he loved it and he knew that I wanted it to go to a good home on behalf of my husband.’
Tina’s husband David died in December 2014. They had been married for 45 years. When they met, he was in a band called The Remains and he had kept the amplifier from his band days.
It had been gathering dust in a spare room in Tina’s home in North End – so spurred on by her desire to carry out some home improvement tasks and a desire to visit her grandchildren in Australia – she decided to see how much it would fetch.
She said: ‘David had kept the amplifier and speakers all those years – they were part of him.
‘When he passed away I wanted them to go somewhere nice. When Steve told me it was going to a private collector –well a little tear came out. He has been brilliant.’ ’
Steve – who turned down Tina’s original offer to buy it off her for £200 – found a buyer in Canada, who paid £2,500 and it’s now been packed up and shipped off.
He said: ‘Because it was in such good condition, I didn’t want it to go to a band who would take it on tour, I’m pleased it’s gone to a collector.’
An online post about Steve’s work has gone viral on Facebook, but the modest shopkeeper said it was ‘all in a day’s work’.
He said: ‘It’s a bit embarrassing. I’m just doing what I thought was right. At the end of the day I’m just glad she is happy, that’s the main thing. I would do it again, every time.’
Steve has worked at the shop, which also does repairs as well as sales, for 20 years. He took over running it last August when the previous owners retired and the future of the shop was hanging in the balance.