The J.G. Windows Story
At the heart of the North-East's music scene since 1908
Opened in 1908, J.G. Windows Ltd is one of the UK's longest established music stores. Our flagship store is set out over three floors in the Central Arcade, an elegant Edwardian shopping arcade in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne's city centre. The shop celebrated its one hundred year anniversary in 2008.
James Gale Windows was born in 1870 in Cowley, Oxfordshire. In his late teens he moved to Newcastle, boarding in Elswick, and working as a music seller’s assistant. In 1901 James moved to Heaton with his wife Maude and first son Maurice. At this time James was working as a pianoforte dealer’s assistant.
In 1908 James opened his own shop in the Central Arcade (the current Newcastle store) selling musical instruments and recorded music. The Central Arcade itself was opened in 1906 inside the Central Exchange Buildings, which were built in 1837 as a corn exchange.
Maurice joined the company in the early 1920’s and opened a second music shop in Darlington. The company received its certificate of incorporation in 1925. By 1927 second son Hedley had also joined the company and ran the music department in the Newcastle shop.
James Gale Windows died in 1933 and his two sons took up the management of the company. James Bowen Windows was born to Hedley and Marjorie Windows in January 1940. Both Maurice and Hedley fought during the war, along with a number of their staff.
James B. Windows joined the company in 1961, having trained as a chartered accountant. Hedley died in 1996 at the age of 90, having seen the name of JG Windows grow into one of the most iconic and respected brands of the North East.
In 2006 the company was purchased from the Windows family by three current and former employees and long-time associates. Although the Windows family are no longer involved in the day to day running of the company, J.G. Windows Ltd has stuck to the principles which have kept the company central to musical life in the North East for more than a hundred years.
In April 2009 the company expanded by opening a store in the Yellow Mall of the Gateshead Metrocentre. The Metrocentre was, until recently, the largest shopping centre in the UK and having an outlet there gives our customers the option of shopping over extended hours and with easy access by car and public transport.
In the summer of 2015, our Newcastle store benefited from a huge expansion to its first-floor showrooms, almost doubling the store's floor space. This has enabled us to offer a greater range of instruments and equipment and has created a more comfortable shopping environment for our customers.
Whilst the Central Arcade may appear to be a relic of a bygone era, J.G. Windows Ltd has certainly not stood still. Our website is continuously being developed to bring the same quality and service to customers throughout the country, and to complement our physical shops with convenient options such as click and collect.
Throughout J.G. Windows’ history, we have been fortunate to attract staff with a wealth of experience and knowledge across all our product areas, so when you speak to one of our staff you can be assured of expert advice. This knowledge and expertise also guides our choice of product lines, so we are confident that we have the broadest and most extensive range of quality musical instruments and accessories in the North East.