Working in the Trade
Needing to raise funds to finish college I took a year out and worked for Kirklees Music Service, setting up and maintaining the string instruments.
Immediately after college I was offered a position in Oxford by a violin dealer. I moved for the work.
Guiviers approached me 2 months later and I was offered an interview. Such an exciting prospect, and the opportunity to be back in London.
While at Guiviers I worked for Alan Wilks, then Peter Biddulph and finally Robin Hamilton and Richard White. A wealth of knowledge exists amongst these great dealers and it was a priviledge to work for them.
As a committee member at its inception (and the only woman for many years) I am proud to say I was there at the very beginning. We ran violin conferences in Dartington (I produced the transcripts) and I regularly wrote for the newsletter. I played a large part in setting up and managing ‘The British Violin’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Music, alongside experts such as Andrew Fairfax and Roger Hargrave. We also published a fantastic book on all the instruments and their history. I remain a member of the BVMA.
I realised there was a real gap between the professsional makers and the students, and so founded my Trust in 1999. With a strong group of colleagues on the committee, and good contact with colleges and the trade, we are making a difference.
Tweed Music Centre
I was involved as a committee member for a number of years. Music is not a big part of children’s lives here in North Northumberland. TMC offers children Saturday morning choirs, musical instrument groups and guidance/teaching. I often work on childrens instruments free of charge. It’s so important to provide for, and nurture, our future musicians.
To keep ‘the little grey cells’ active I regularly take violin and piano lessons.