thought I'd share this email that I sent to Rob MacKillop:
Hi Rob, I have been playing my fathers's old Windsor banjo for the last few years.It probably dates from the 40's with metal rim and neck having the diagonal tunnel for the 5th string. I grew up with my father's banjos around the house and his Emile Grimshaw banjo methods and music, and his love of dance band music. I played clarinet and my brother played saxophone and we were commandeered to make clarinet and saxophone parts to Bye Bye Blues etc, with dad on banjo and my mum struggling to play the guitar accompaniments.  Eventually,I went to the Conservatorium in Sydney and pursued a classical wind player's career, specialising in early music and playing baroque oboe and recorder. My father passed away in 2018 and I inherited the old Windsor and had some work done on the neck and had a new vellum installed. Since having the banjo, I have become a bit obsessed by it. I went through a period of trying the various styles of banjo playing - fingerstyle, bluegrass etc. but kept returning to plectrum style as the easiest for me. I have downloaded some of the classic banjo repertoire meant for 5 string banjo but  play it with a plectrum and adapt it to suit not having the 5th string. I thought I would write to you and let you know how much I appreciate watching your videos on u tube and books on banjo playing. Currently, I am working my way through Early Irish American banjo (I bought an old Windsor tenor banjo with a metal rim) but also keep working on standard banjo, currently trying The Water Bug by Walter E Miles arr Dave Thomas. Anyway, Thanks again and hope you are well, best wishes, Owen Watkins.

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Hello Owen,

Thanks for the post.  I love old zither-banjos.  Just thought I'd point out that it's unlikely that yours dates from the 1940's.  In 1940 (December,I think) the factory was Blitzed by the Luftwaffe, and that was that, unfortunately.  No more ZB's or any other kind of banjo from Windsor.  Would have to see it to get some idea of the date.  Good luck with your banjo-playing journey.   

Best wishes,

Black Jake of Norwich.

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