The workshop was founded by my father John W. Thomas in 1965. He served in the merchant navy during the war, then taught woodwork and worked at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. Woodworking was in the family - both his father and his grandfather had been joiners. The harp is so firmly associated with Wales that it seems impossible now, but at the time he was the only harp maker in Wales, and indeed one of only three in the whole of Britain.
I joined him in the business in 1975, first serving a five year apprenticeship and then moving on to partnership until my fatherís death in 1992. Since then I have continued the business very much as he began it, still using the same tools in the same workshop. In fact, the workshop was a cowshed in a former life, as our house was once part of a working farm complex, and we are surrounded by the Pembrokeshire countryside.
Our harps are to be found in every corner of the world. We have custom-built crates and shipped to the USA, Australia, Japan and Finland, to name only the more far-flung destinations. British and European clients understandably tend to collect in person, but we have also had personal collections by clients from the USA, Canada and Australia. One couple arrived on a large motorcycle and left for Australia with their new harp in a bag on the back of the pillion passenger. We donít really recommend this.