A PEEBLES man is about to drive 1,500 miles to collect once-popular instruments to be played at a “unique” show.

‘The Goodacre’s Wonderful World of Mechanical Music’ gig is about barrel organs, street organs and music boxes.

They were popular 100 years and more ago, encountered by distant relatives at the fairground or on street corners.

Julian Goodacre, an internationally known bagpipe maker, is on a mission to fulfill a musical dream of a lifetime.

“I’d wanted to own a street organ since childhood,” said Julian, “My brother John and I became fascinated by them.

“We used to travel round Europe in the 1960s searching out organ makers and mechanical musical instruments of all sorts.

“And I’ve had a growing ambition to gather them all together in one place so they can be heard and enjoyed.”

The creation of the show will require more than a dozen instruments to be collected by the brothers from Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Lancashire and brought to Peebles.

And afterwards they will have to be transported back again.

They don’t even fit into a regular van.

But Julian is unfazed at the logistics of moving this rare and unusual collection around the country. He said: “Luckily my sister-in-law has a horse transporter.

“These precious instruments are old and need careful handling.

“It will be very exciting to have them all together in one place.

“This is a unique occasion, quite literally; it has never happened before and will never happen again.”

All money raised through ticket sales will go to the Eastgate Theatre – where the gig will be held for one night only on Thursday (November 2) at 7.30pm.

“Most of them were wrecks when we bought them in the 60s and 70s,” added Julian. “One is currently being repaired with a street organ repairer in Lincolnshire.”

There are still people whose living is repairing these instruments; there is even a British Organ Grinders Association (BOGA).

Julian – proudly wearing his BOGA membership badge – said: “The development of mechanical music is a missing link in the history of recorded music.

“It bridges the analogue and digital ages.

“It begins with birdsong and ends with the computer.

“But you’ll have to see the show to find out how.”

Some of the instruments are currently in the window of printers Elmbank Print, on Elcho Street Brae.

Tickets, priced at £15, are available now at the Eastgate box office on 01721 725 777.