About Top Wind

Welcome to our web site.  We hope you like it and find it interesting and useful that is the whole point after all!

This section gives you a bit of information about the shop and staff and the sort of services we offer to flute players all over the world.

Have a browse around and if you have any questions about the shop, the staff or the services just send us an Email.
 
We also produce a printed catalogue which lists prices of instruments and accessories (In Pounds sterling including VAT). If you would like to receive a copy, then please email us at enquiries@topwind.com.

 

 

Our History:

Flute store in Waterloo.On Friday 13th September 1991 Top Wind first opened its doors to flute players from all over the world. It may have been tempting fate by choosing such a day but Top Wind's continued success proves that luck doesn't really come in to it.

Andy and Patrick, after many frustrating years working for other companies in the specialist flute trade, decided to take a gamble and set up the sort of shop that they would like to have seen when they were both studying. They reacted against the 'hard sell' techniques adopted by many music shops and created a place where the cornerstone of the service is 'advice'. They decided that Top Wind should supply everything that flute players of all standards should have and that everything stocked would be of good quality. They agreed that Top Wind would be regarded as the only place for flute players to shop, and since the beginning they have worked to that end.

From the outset Andy and Patrick agreed that only flute players would be employed as shop staff. This has guaranteed that the Top Wind staff know what they are talking about and can understand a customer's needs quickly.

Top Wind never "hard sells" a flute.  Players are encouraged to choose a flute from as wide a range of instruments as possible and to make their own decision based on unbiased advice.  That decision should be made with careful consideration so Top Wind provides a relaxed atmosphere, no pressure and lots of tea and coffee 'on tap' all day so that the player can stay as long as he or she would like (We pride ourselves on the selection of refreshments!).

Top Wind has, in fact, become a bit like an 'International Coffee Shop' as it has become the place to visit when you or your orchestra is touring Europe, or you want somewhere interesting to spend a few hours between rehearsals.  Or even simply if you're in London for the day and want to browse through the flute music and flute recordings.

This may sound to good to be true but there's really no other way to check it out except to come for a visit!

 
When and Where
 

We are open

8.30am 6.00pm Monday to Friday
9.00am 5.00pm Saturday
Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays
We do not close for lunch
 

Where to find us

Our location and postal address is:
2 Lower Marsh
London
SE1 7RJ
ENGLAND

You can contact us by 'phone, fax or email'

Telephone:
From the UK 020 7401 8787
International +44 20 7401 8787
Matt's Repair Line:
From the UK 020 7928 8181
International +44 20 7928 8181
Fax:
From the UK 020 7401 8788
International +44 20 7401 8788



 
How to get to Top Wind
 

By Train

We are situated on the south side of Waterloo station.  You should leave the main station concourse by Exit No. 1, next to Platform 1.  Turn right and walk down the hill past the taxi ranks.  At the bottom of the hill descend the stairs and turn left.  At the end of the ramp you are on Lower Marsh.  Turn right and you will find us about 50 metres away on the left hand side.
 

By Underground

Our closest underground station is Lambeth North on the Bakerloo Line.  Turn right out of the exit, cross the road at the lights and walk up Westminster Bridge Road, towards the railway bridge.  Lower Marsh is the first road on your right and we are about 50 metres from the corner, on the right hand side.  Waterloo Underground is slightly further but more convenient if travelling by the Northern or Jubilee Lines.  It is best to go upstairs to the main railway station concourse and follow the instructions in the previous paragraph.
 

By Car

Lower Marsh is a one way street which must be entered from Westminster Bridge Road, travelling south.  There is a secure attended car park one hundred metres away and there are many parking meters nearby.
 

For our international customers

From London Heathrow Airport take the Piccadilly Line and change to the Bakerloo Line, southbound, at Piccadilly Circus. Alternatively take the Paddington Espress to Paddington and then the Bakerloo line southbound to Lambeth North.

From London Gatwick Airport take any British Rail train to Clapham Junction, change here and take any train to Waterloo Station.  Please note that the Gatwick Express train service does not stop at Clapham Junction and will take you to Victoria Station.  If you arrive at Victoria Station there is a connecting Bus service between Victoria and Waterloo.

Waterloo International Station is the terminal for all Eurostar trains coming in to London.

For customers arriving at London Stanstead, London Luton or London City Airport please contact us for specific directions.
 

 

View Larger Map
 
 

Services we offer

Top Wind isn't just here to sell things to you; we also offer a range of services to help you in your 'career' as a flute player.

Read through the sections and, if there is something that isn't clear or that you would like more information on, Email us with your questions.

 

Insurance Cover

One of the worst things that can happen to a flute player is the loss of their instrument or serious damage.  Many flute players rely on their instrument for their income and, as a result, need a quick replacement.  We recommend that you should have your flutes insured and also that you keep your insurance cover well up to date.  Always insure your instrument for the full Recommended Retail Price not a discounted or second hand value as there can never be any guarantee you will be able to find a replacement at a discounted price or second hand.

Check your household contents insurance policy and confirm that it covers you for outside your home and also that the excess is not more than, say £50 (if it's more then effectively you have no cover for damage).

For United Kingdom residents, whose home insurance doesn't cover them, we would suggest Allianz, formerly the British Reserve Insurance Company.  They provide an excellent fully comprehensive policy with no excess at very reasonable premiums.  Please contact us if you would like more details.

 Insurance Valuations

We are happy to provide you with a free written insurance valuation of your flutes.  It is best if you can bring the instruments to us, but if this is not possible we can provide an 'instruments unseen' valuation.  Please check that this will satisfy your insurance company's requirements before asking.  If it will do then we will need the make, model, specification and serial number of all the instruments.
 

Hot List!

This is our list of stolen instruments.  We've been compiling this since our first days in order to help our customers trace their lost instruments (Yes they DO occasionally turn up).  Our stolen instrument list contains flutes only.  When an instrument is stolen the usual procedure is to inform the police, then the insurance company (if it is insured of course!).  Not many people actually think to let us know.  As we keep record of these and are just as likely to retrieve an instrument as the police, it makes sense to give us a call as well.  We also need a crime reference number and the name and phone number of the police station where you reported your flute stolen.  This means that if we find your flute we can immediately report it to the police and let your local station know (there is no central database of stolen items in the U.K. at the moment).  This even applies for overseas customers as flute thieves do get around!  We've had several instances of flutes turning up in other countries.  These do tend to be the more expensive hand made instruments that are less likely to be traced outside the country borders.

Instrumental Trial

Flute store interior1. In the Shop
When you come to the shop looking for a new flute or head joint we always insist that you try as wide a range as possible.  We have two air-conditioned practice rooms and are more than happy for you to spend as long as you like trying things out.  Coffee, various teas and other refreshments are 'on-tap' all day!

If you find that you cannot make a final decision between instruments or that you want a second-opinion, say from your teacher, we are happy for players to take instruments 'on approval'.  We don't ask for payment in the form of holding cheques or pre-authorised credit payment, all we ask is that you provide ID of some sort, give us your teacher's details and make sure that the instrument is insured properly for the time you have it out.  We have a special arrangement with Allianz that supplies 30 day, all risks, and worldwide cover for a very small charge.  This service is available to all our customers, although due to customs laws there may be complications in returning an instrument to us from several countries.

2. By mail order
Flutes can be tried by mail order (EEC countries only).  It isn't ideal because you can only try a couple of instruments at a time and you will always have a much bigger selection by coming to the shop.  If you can't do that, however, and are fairly sure what sort of flute or head joint you want we can send them to you for a trial period.  The normal period for trial is between 7 and 10 days.  Generally, we don't require pre-payments but do need all your details and payment for the postage and approval period insurance cover.  We will also need the details of your flute teacher (if you have one) as a cross-reference.  If at the end of the period you decide not to have the instrument simply return it to us by the recommended postage method and you can start again.
 

Ways to pay

We offer our new flutes at competitive prices when you buy your instrument outright.  If you would like a quote please let us know exactly which models and specifications you are interested in using our order form or simply Email.

We accept the following methods of payment:

All major Credit Cards
All major Charge Cards
All major Debit Cards
Cash (Pounds Sterling)
Foreign currency by special arrangement
Building Society Cheque
British Bank Draft
Personal Cheque with Cheque Guarantee Card and/or ID
Travellers Cheques
Eurocheques
Direct Credit Transfer
Foreign Sterling Cheque drawn on a British Bank
Please note that if you use a method of payment which incurs bank charges, e.g. Direct Credit Transfer, you should make clear to your bank that the charges are to be met by you and not deducted from the transferred amount.  Please also give the bank a reference to be included in the transfer e.g.  an invoice number.
 
 

The Staff!
 

Andy (Thomson)

Fab flute buskerI started to play the flute when I was 11 years old because my Mum had one!  I really wanted to play the trumpet.  During my first public performance the lip-plate of my flute fell off during a quiet part giving me my first insight into repairs, care and maintenance.

I studied for 4 years (with Chris Taylor as my flute and recorder professor) at the Royal Academy of Music during which time I first sampled session work and professional playing.  I was captain of the football and cricket teams and chairman of the bar committee, which has held me in good stead in the world of the flute business.  After college I freelanced and taught for some years until I became embroiled in music retailing.  I have since served my time on the council of the British Flute Society.

My precious spare time is split between  golf  and restoring my Victorian house to it's original splendour.
 

Patrick (Onn)

Fab flute salesI started flute playing at 11 and ended my studies with four years at the London College with Rainer Schuelein.  Since that time (apart from some teaching and playing) I have been a shopkeeper in both specialist and general music shops.  I am sure the time I spent as a barman has helped form the relaxed atmosphere at Top Wind!  My main motivation is to ensure that Top Wind is professional in all its activities and all of us strive not only to do what we do well but, also to enjoy as much of it as possible.  As specialists we are required to know about all the aspects of the flute and not just the playing of it, the sort of things they don't teach at college.  I also concentrate on the office-based side of things and oversee the financial and personnel aspects of Top Wind.

Away from the shop I divide my time between my family and gliding neither of which receive enough of my time!
 

 

Matt Ziemann

Fab flute repairerA big welcome to Matthias, who joins us all the way from Leicester.

As "one of the original four" when Top Wind first opened in 1991, I went back to Germany in 1993. Having gained a further 12 years of experience I have now returned and can offer a full range of quality repairs. I was the first repairer to use "Straubinger TM pads" outside of the USA on flutes played by professional flautists. I also helped make the Straubinger pad popular with many other repairers in Europe. These pads are now used by many different flute makers such as Brannen, Muramatsu and Miyazawa.
 


 

Top Wind Europe's Favourite Flute Shop
2 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7RJ. Tel: 020 7401 8787