A BROMLEY woman has set up a guitar making business in Orpington High Street - a highly skilled craft that is all too rare these days.

Victoria Hurley, 29, has lived in Orpington all her life, and is hoping to defy tough economic times by turning her business, Hurley Guitars, into a success.

A keen guitarist herself, she graduated from London Metropolitan University with first class honours in guitar making last summer, and set up the business in January.

She told News Shopper: "I love playing guitars so I wanted to set up a business making them.

"It is a bit of a dying art, most people aren't aware that guitars are still made by hand.

"Most guitars are made in factories these days but it is not the same as having a guitar hand made.

"The quality just isn't there."

Miss Hurley, who builds both acoustic and electric guitars, says for anyone who is passionate about playing the guitar, owning a guitar that has been built to their needs makes a world of difference.

She said: "You need the guitars to respond in a certain way so they need to be custom made to the player.

"Each player has certain requirements: the size, feel, how it plays, as well as how it looks.

"The process of building a guitar is quite complicated - it is quite a specialist thing."

Miss Hurley hopes that those who are passionate about guitar playing will embrace her new business.

She added: "When building a guitar, you need a person to listen to it as it is being made.

"It's so important when you pick up a guitar for it to feel right.

"If you have got a guitar that fits you, you sound better for it."

Hurley Guitars, which is located in 112 Orpington High Street, also offers a guitar repair service.

Miss Hurley shares the premises with her father, Clifford Hurley, who repairs watches and clocks.

The store is open all week except Sunday.

Visit hurleyguitars.co.uk for more information.