Our Staff

Jack Pamplin

Founder & Expert

Jack started playing the bass in the 1950s. His interest and expertise grew and he began to source interesting and unique instruments. Thwaites, which held his growing collection, opened its doors in the 1960s and has continued to flourish under his guidance.

Today Jack works in the workshop and acts as a consultant. He is a passionate jazz connoisseur and musician.

Bill Pamplin

Director and Expert

Bill studied music at the London College of Music specialising in percussion and double bass.  He went on to become a professional musician and teacher.

Bill joined the family business in the 1980s. He is passionate about music and musical instruments and has an outstanding breadth of knowledge and expertise. He continues to play and teach at professional level.

Caroline Lovell (née Pamplin)

Director and Bow Restorer

Caroline studied bow restoration in the Hill tradition upon leaving school. She joined the family business in the 1970s, where she has perfected her craft. She takes great pride in her work both on professional bows and student models.

Caroline studied cello and sings in the church choir.

Chris Chinn

Senior Luthier

Chris studied at Merton College, and accrued many years experience repairing brass and woodwind instruments before he specialised in the string instrument family. He has developed and perfected his craft and expertise at Thwaites, and has been with us for over 20 years.

Chris is also a multi instrumentalist. He plays violin, trumpet, flute and guitar, and regularly performs with local bands and at local sessions.

Richard Dean


Richard studied violin making and restoration at Merton College. He plays many instruments including violin, banjo, bass and guitar, and is an accomplished audio engineer. He makes violins and guitars in his spare time.

Richard joined Thwaites in 2013 during his final year at Merton College, having previously been employed in the busy workshop of a London music shop.

Lance Hunter-Darch


Lance studied violin making and restoration at Merton College. He gained his interest in instrument making and repairs from his mother, who made harpsichords.

Lance joined Thwaites in 2016, and is originally from Colorado in the United States. He started playing the violin at the age of six and was a member of the Denver Youth Orchestra. He still plays the violin and also plays the mandolin.

Amy Lovell

Apprentice Bow Restorer

Amy studied Drama at Manchester Metropolitan University and has been part of the amateur dramatic scene since she was eight. Amy has also played the flute since she was eight, and continues to play for local productions.

Amy completed a bow restoration course and joined the family business in 2016, following in the footsteps of her mother.

Helen Hollis

Shop Assistant

Helen started learning the double bass at the age of sixteen and played in the Watford School of Music and Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestras.

Helen still plays regularly with local orchestras and chamber ensembles and is more recently enjoying looking at the solo bass repertoire by taking part in bass courses and workshops.

Ben Millard

Shop Manager

Ben started the violin from the age of 6 and achieved ABRSM grade 8 with distinction at age 13. Ben lead many youth orchestras in Birmingham and Solihull, before studying at Birmingham Conservatoire where he gained BMus (hons) in 1998.

Ben taught as a peripatetic violin tutor for many years before a long career with a musical instrument manufacturer and distributor.

Ben still plays regularly as a freelance violinist for various orchestras and ensembles.

Hannah Fisher

Office Administrator

Hannah is a multi instrumentalist who studied Music at University of Birmingham. They like to play violin and piano in their free time and they play regularly in local orchestras and quartets.

Hannah looks after our rentals and repairs here at Thwaites. If you have any questions or queries regarding our instrument rentals or instrument repairs, they’d be happy to help.

Jonathan Pamplin

Shop Assistant