Stephen Thomson studied musical instrument making and repair at Merton College, Morden from 1994-6 after training in engineering. Although initially interested in guitar making, it was during the course that he became drawn to violin repair as he realised that violins were constructed in a way which facilitated subsequent disassembly and restoration.
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Qualifying with a City and Guilds in Musical Instrument Technology, he then began to work at Stentor Music Company Ltd, setting up instruments for shops which didn’t have their own facilities, and also working in Quality Control. Three months later he applied to J. P. Guivier & Co. Ltd, who offered him a part time job, which he took on by reducing his hours at Stentor Music. The two jobs continued until the end of 1997 when he became a full time employee at J. P. Guivier.