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I apologise if the following biography of Generation Music Ltd reads more like a family history than your typical company ‘about us’ blurb. But, for all intents and purposes, that’s precisely what Generation Music is: a family.
Generation Music is based in the small, market town of Oswestry, Shropshire, which sits on the English/Welsh border and which takes its name from the legend of Oswald’s Tree. And so, speaking of, we must trace the roots of Generation Music back to the summer of 1966 when business-man and engineer Alfred Brown, the father of Generation Music – amongst the cultural backdrop of the mini-skirt explosion, England winning the world cup and Batman first appearing on television – left behind the hustle and bustle of London and relocated with his family and the small, musical instrument manufacturing company that he was managing to the rural tranquillity of Oswestry, Shropshire.
Over the next twenty years, mimicking the growth of the town itself, the business grew under the stewardship of Alfred Brown and from humble beginnings, driven by his vision and crafted by the skilled hands of their loyal workforce, an array of musical instruments began to flow from the Oswestry workshop. Recorders, swanee-whistles and tambourines were some of the first instruments to be produced, and then in 1968, in a pivotal moment for the company, the now famous and world-renowned Original Generation Flageolet was born.
After his well-earned (semi) retirement, Alfred Brown – who, well into his twilight years, could still be seen most days of the week tinkering with the tooling and machines at the factory – handed the reigns over to his two sons: David and Peter. Through the 1980s and into the early 2000s, they steered the ship as the company continued to expand and evolve in an ever-changing and globalised world. Old instruments were retired, and new instruments were brought to market, including the much loved original Generation Metal Sub-Kazoo.
In 2006 the modern incarnation of Generation Music was born when David and Peter Brown took full control of the company and helped secure its future by purchasing larger premises to cope with the ever-increasing demand for the Generation brand of instruments.
Fast forward to today and Generation Music is going from strength to strength. We manufacture an extensive range of Generation Flageolets, the much-loved range of Generation Metal Sub Kazoos, and the time-honoured range of Miller Brown Marching Flutes.
We are continually striving to develop and improve our instruments, and we pride ourselves on producing the best quality British made instruments for fair and affordable prices. We are a modern, forward-thinking business, and our brand is evolving every day. We pride ourselves on the “old fashioned” values of kindness, loyalty and respect: this is why over the years we have built up an excellent relationship with our customers and business partners and have gained a reputation for exemplary business practice.
Since the summer of 1966, the world has significantly changed, and trends have come and gone. The mini-skirt is no longer the poster child for teenage rebellion, England is no longer the best football team in the world, and Batman no longer says Kapow! But for all the changes, there has been a comforting constant: Generation Music Ltd.
I started this biography by talking about how Generation Music is much more than a company and how it is a family. And I will finish on this thought as well. We are an authentic, one-hundred-per cent-real family business, that has been run by three generations of my family, and I feel very privileged to be part of that legacy.
And when I talk about family, I don’t just mean my immediate family. I use the term to describe all the employees who have worked hard for Generation Music since the 1960s – some who still work for us today and who I have known since I was a child. And I use the term to describe all of our loyal customers who have been playing Generation brand instruments since its inception. We love what we do because you love what we do.
2016 was the 50th anniversary of the company that is known today as Generation Music, and so I would like to say a heartfelt thank you, to everyone who has been part of the Generation Music family for a little over half a decade. Here’s to the next 50 years of hard work, innovation, friendship, and instruments that bring joy to young and old the world over.
(Full disclosure. I stole that last line from my grandad – Alfred Brown. Sorry gramps, but you said it so well.)
Director. Generation Music Ltd.