A HOMELESS busker left devastated after his guitar was wrecked has been overwhelmed after the community pulled together to get him a new musical instrument.

Dreadlocked Adam Searle is well-known figure around Falmouth playing his guitar to tourists and locals in his usual spot at the Meat Counter on Arwenack Street, although this source of income has dried up during the lockdown.

When his usual guitar became impossible to play any more, an acquaintance offered him a second hand one for £150. He went to pick it up in a taxi but admitted because the meter was running he did not inspect it properly until after he had parted with his cash. On closer inspection it turned out the new guitar was in very bad condition and he could not actually use it.

He couldn't afford a replacement as he had spent the last of his money on the faulty one. Aware of his plight, his mother Lynn Ford who lives in Shropshire, posted an appeal on Facebook asking if anyone had an acoustic guitar that they didn’t want or any acoustic guitar strings.

The response on the Falmouth and Penryn and Surrounding Areas Community Information Page was immediate with one member Phil Davidson posting: "Tell Adam he can have mine, I don’t use it. I’ve tried to play it but can't!"

Through contacts it was arranged that Phil would meet Adam in town and hand over the guitar outside the old Marks and Spencer building.

"I sort of know Adam, he used to come into the Arwenack club on a Friday night on karaoke, plus he is a friend of people I know. He is very talented so I want him to have mine," said Phil.

"I know that music and playing music keeps Adam going so he deserves it so he can keep on playing."

Falmouth Packet:

Adam with his new guitar. Picture Paul Armstrong

Adam told the Packet he was overwhelmed by everyone's generosity.

"I can't thank everybody enough," he said. "If I see that man again I'm definitely going to buy him a beer.

"My strings went and I didn't have the money to afford new guitar strings and it was a second hand dodgy guitar anyway. My own fault for not having the time to check the guitar was decent."

His mother, said her son lives on the streets and relies on his guitar for busking to earn money to eat.

"He had his guitar wrecked and had nowhere to turn," she said. "So I put an appeal on your local facebook page asking if anyone had a guitar they didn't use and I was bowled over by the response from the very kind people of Falmouth. Within minutes the guy said he'd got one that Adam could have and he'd even take it to him.

"This isn't the first time that the lovely people of Falmouth have helped me. Last year, Adam lost his mobile and I didn't have any way of finding out if he was safe so again I explained who I was and within seconds there was about 150 people all volunteering to either find him or knew him. I was just overwhelmed with their response. Wonderful community. You're very lucky!"

Adam first came down to Cornwall 12 years ago. He said it was other buskers that had taken him in and inspired him to play and focus on stuff.

He said it had been peaceful on the streets since lockdown but it had been more difficult to earn money because there was no one to play to

He explained that during the recent cold weather he'd been sleeping in two sleeping bags and two pillows under a gazebo on a commercial site. He had been asked to move a couple of times by the owners but the police had told him to stay put because of the Covid situation. He said he had everything he needed. He had got a tent on him but it wasn't really tenting weather.

He said he had been working and living in a pub in Penryn before Christmas but that had all fallen through on Christmas Day.

"I had a missus and everything but unfortunately on Christmas Day I lost the lot," he said.

He said he had been receiving help and The Salvation Army had even asked him if he wanted to go to Truro in emergency accommodation. "But everything is here for me," he said. "I've built up kind of good progress through work and through busking I can't see why I would go to Truro."