Q1: What is your background in the trade?
As a professional violin repairer and restorer I have been involved in the violin trade for over 30 years.
I have extensive experience of working on violins, violas and cellos by many different makers and ranging from old Italian to today’s modern instruments.
Before moving to Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, I was workshop manager for the world-renowned violin restorers and dealers, J.P.Guivier & Co. Ltd of London.
I restored, repaired, carried out tonal adjustments for professional orchestral players, trained workshop staff, made sales and much more! I have continued to develop all these amazing skills over the years.
Q2: Who do you work with?
I work with orchestral players, quartet players, soloists and traditional fiddlers. Clients include professionals, teachers, amateurs, students and children.
Whatever your level of expertise, you will benefit hugely from a properly maintained and set up instrument.
One of the most rewarding parts of my work is developing an ongoing relationship with clients and their instruments.
Players travel long distances to visit my workshop and I am in the privileged position of enjoying reciprocal visits to hear clients, many of whom have become friends, perform with instruments that I maintain.
Q3: Do you operate across the UK?
Yes. Although a lot of my work involves musicians based in the north of England, the borders and central Scotland, I am more than happy to chat to anyone about how I can help them and their instruments perform better. I have regular clients based all over the country who prefer to return to me, even with the travel.
Q4: How much will your services cost?
I can only accurately assess the cost once I fully understand what is involved in the repair, restoration or maintenance programme.
Q5: Why can’t you give me a fixed price online or on the phone?
See Q4. Beware anybody giving you a fixed price without knowing what is involved in the work.
Q6: Why should I pick you when others might be cheaper?
I offer transparency and honesty throughout. Your instrument is really important to you. I can’t stress enough the importance of having it ‘looked after’ by a professional restorer and repairer with a wealth of theoretical and practical experience. I have both, and take great pride in my work and the knowledge I have accumulated over the years. That knowledge is also yours when you and I work together.
Q7: How do I get my instrument to you?
Once we have had a chat we will work out the easiest and safest way for you to get your instrument to me. The best course of action is for you to come to me. We can then chat and discuss your instrument in the comfort of my music studio.
Q8: Will my instrument be insured?
Yes your insurance should cover any time it needs to be with me.
Q9: I am not sure what to do? Will you give me any advice before I decide?
I am more than happy to have an initial 20 minute consultation where we can get to know each other and you can explain exactly what your journey is and any concerns you have with your instrument. This is free. Simply get in touch by phone or online. I may be able to assess immediately. If I need to carry out a more detailed assessment I will make contact within 24 hours with a comprehensive report on how we need to proceed. However even after a quote is offered you are not obliged to commit.
Q10: I am after accessories including strings. Can you help me?
Yes! I have a huge range of accessories from strings to cases. Visit my Accessories page on this site. I offer them exclusively to clients when I am working with them.
Q11: I want to buy an instrument. Can you help?
Again, I am delighted to be able to help you. Just get in touch and we can have a chat about what quality of instrument will best suit you, your needs and your price range. I always have a comprehensive range of instruments ready for players to try.
Q12: I want to sell my instrument. Can you help?
Of course I can. People are always contacting me about purchasing instruments. Amongst those wishing to sell are players upgrading or retiring, inheritors, and even antique dealers! I can make a direct offer or you can sell through my shop by paying a small commission.