Founded and run by Frank Murphy, himself a frailer of no mean skill, Frailers exists to provide a range of Guitars, Banjos, Dobros and other string instruments of a quality and range not commonly found in one location in this country (UK).
Frailers is able to supply almost any type of guitar or banjo requested. Second user and lower budget guitars and banjos of good quality are also stocked, making the possibility of purchasing an instrument available to all. Most major credit cards are accepted. Looking for the right instrument is a personal experience and Frailers staff will be happy to let you test the instruments without sales pressure for as long as you need to reach your decision.
Each instrument is checked and set up before leaving the shop, and anydiscrepancies found later will be dealt with in a friendly and courteous manner. Returns are not common with the quality of instruments available today but no customer is ever sent away feeling that a personal service has not been given. Service is the key word at Frailers. It is the very quality of our service, and the attention we give to ensure that customers are happy with their instruments, which keeps customers coming back for more.
Frailers has been in this location for 39 years. Frank has had businesses in the area for 52 years.
Frank was born in Liverpool, where he was brought up and remained until he was 20 years old. He trained to be a sports journalist and is still a passionate boxing and football fan, during his teenage days in Liverpool he saw most of the city's club bands which were eventually to become household names (e.g. The Beatles, etc.). Many of the members of these bands are still playing and are now customers at Frank's shop - though they look older!
Frank moved to London in l962 for 8 years, moving back north to Runcorn in l970 where he started a business selling pop-posters and t-shirts, eventually getting into fashion clothing with a shop in Runcorn Shopping City called 'Banjo' - that's a surprise eh ? After a few ups and downs he opened up Frailers in Runcorn Old Town in l983.
The shop (Frailers) started as a group gear shop selling to local bands and then eventually evolved into being a specialist guitar and banjo dealership. Frank started importing instruments from the United States about 1988, one of the very few shops in the country to be able to supply genuine vintage instruments as used on so many historic recordings.
The shop's name - 'Frailers' - comes from a particular style of banjo playing which is traditional in the Appalachian mountains in the USA.
In the above photo, Frank is playing his own Dobro 'Dobjo' from the 1960s. It has a guitar shaped body and a five string neck. It is very rare. It was bought at the Arlington Guitar Show, Dallas, Texas from a dealer from Michigan. It is displayed on the wall at Frailers with a 'not for sale' sign on it. Joe Brown wanted to buy it. Barry and Dave were in the shop and told Joe it wasn't for sale as the 'boss' owned it. However, Joe saw a later version of a Dobro 'Dobjo' in the shop and bought that instead. Joe is seen later on stage with the guitar at one of his gigs.