Paul Ayres is a long-established and highly respected craftsman with over forty years of professional experience.  A Yorkshireman, he began his training in violin-making, restoration and bow repair at Ealing Strings in London in 1975, working with the ex-W. E. Hill & Sons craftsmen Brian Parkinson, Alan Mann and Malcolm Sadler.  After five years at Ealing Strings, Paul moved to the Cranston Workshop in London, again working with an ex-Hill trained craftsman, Martin Godliman and other high calibre instrument makers and restorers, before moving to Manchester to set up his own violin workshop in Withington in 1984, moving to larger premises in Didsbury in 1990.  Paul’s workshop has since gone from strength to strength and has developed into one of the leading establishments for repairs, restorations and violin-making. Musicians throughout the UK and overseas have sought Paul’s expertise, knowledge, experience and craftsmanship and his own instruments can be found as far afield as Australia and the United States.


Dave Slight, originally a time-served cabinet maker, subsequently trained with Kevin Wilkes (formerly of W. E. Hill & Sons) in violin restoration and making at Leeds College of Music. He achieved his diploma with distinction, receiving, in addition, the Best Student Award and the Musical Instrument Technology Prize. He joined the Ayres Violins workshop in 2000.   During his time working alongside Paul Ayres, he has extended his knowledge of violin-making and restoration techniques, building up a great reputation for his high standard of work and expertise and becoming a highly valued member of the Ayres Violins team.  His clients include members of orchestras such as The Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Opera North and the Royal Northern Sinfonia as well as the Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. His hand-made violins, violas and cellos are greatly in demand and are sought by instrumentalists throughout the UK, mainland Europe and South Africa.


clare yates

Clare Yates comes from a musical family and has a broad interest in all kinds of music. She learnt the cello, attending the RNCM Junior School and enjoyed playing in various youth orchestras in the North West and at Cambridge University, during her time there reading Modern & Medieval languages.

She has a great love of opera, fuelled by a period teaching German to opera singers at the RNCM, and has worked as a solicitor for some years.

Though Clare’s musical life is now largely spent as an audience member, rather than a performer, she enjoys playing the bassoon and the cello in an informal setting and is currently grappling with learning the free bass accordion.


Ayres Violins Ltd
Registered Office & Shop
69-71 School Lane,
Didsbury, Manchester
M20 6WN

Company Number 8282730
Registered in England and Wales
TEL/FAX: 0161 448 1860


Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 9am - 5pm by appointment only. Sat & Sun: Closed