Profile: Wayne Mayor

Stuart Reed writes:

If you want to know anything about restoring violin, viola, ‘cello or any other sort of bows, speak to Wayne Mayor.

After a lifetime of working in wood as a craftsman carpenter, joiner and cabinet maker, now at the age of sixty, Wayne has moved into in the field of bow and instrument restoring.

When you speak to him, make sure you’ve got time to spare. He’s the relatively new boy on the block and his enthusiasm knows no bounds. No detail is too small to escape his attention.

Stemming from a suggestion by Malcolm Porter, conductor of Northwood Strings and professional viola player, Wayne was encouraged to study at Merton College in South East London. This led on to work experience at an established musical instrument dealers and repairers in Lisson Grove, North West London. The firm was impressed and Wayne emerged with flying colours. They regularly commission him to restore and re-hair bows.

Now, a year on, Wayne has a workshop at his home in Shirley, Southampton. It’s a woodworker’s Aladdin’s Cave, packed with materials of all description. There is Mongolian and Siberian horse hair. Some of it is black and some is white. There are bits of precious wood, silver solder, fine wire, plastic and bone, French polish, oils and varnishes.

Wayne also has stocks of mammoth ivory, which unlike elephant ivory, is perfectly legal. The bone and plastic are for the tips of bows or for adorning the heel. There is mother-of-pearl for Parisian Eye decorations. There are tools of all description too: razor-sharp chisels, drills, specialist planes, vices and cramps. The rest of the workshop is filled with instruments like double basses, ukuleles, violins, ‘cellos or violas in various stages of repair.

Wayne Mayor is building up a reputation for careful, exacting work at prices which are par for the course. To check out Wayne Mayor’s bow restoration service, phone him on 07733 328933. Alternatively, email to schedule a visit to his fascinating workshop.

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