Phil Hutton started his working life in the Royal Air Force and for 13 and a half years travelled all over the world, defending our nation. Coming out of the Air Force he did 6 years in Saudi Arabia where he also took part in Gulf Wars 1 and 2. Most the time when not at work, he ran the BAE Diving Club racking up a considerable number of dives in the Red Sea, The Gulf and, on two occasions, the wonderful waters around Cyprus. Leaving Saudi in 1995 for health reasons, he took a job in Bedford with an IT engineering company where he met his beautiful wife Louise.
He left the IT company in 2000 and Louise started IT Contracting to allow Phil to renovate houses for a living. This led to Phil and Louise starting a Commercial Refurbishment company with Louise’s brother. Unfortunately this did not work out well so Louise went back to contracting and Phil had the worst time in his life, not even being able to find work in a supermarket.
In 2007 a friend of Phil’s decided he wanted to make a flute so he and Phil went to Steve Frost of Nightstar Flutes where they were shown how to make hollow bits of wood make lovely sounds. Phil and his friend both came away with 2 flutes that they had made and with this new-found knowledge, Phil started making flutes for friends and family. Still not being able to get a job it was hinted at that a new career in flute making might be just the ticket. So, late in 2007, Phil made 25 flutes for a show where he shared a tent with his best friend and Steve Frost. The show went rather well and he sold 13 flutes.
As a result, in 2008, Phil started Red Kite Flutes properly with the help of a neighbour Jerry who went in most days and Louise, being the dedicated engineer, and as the years progressed the flute quality got better and better to a point now where we can honestly say that Phil’s flutes can compete with the best.
In 2016, The Vibe, a huge wind instrument shop in London, started stocking and selling Red Kite Flutes to members of the public. This is ongoing.
Since Phil sadly passed away at the beginning of 2017, Louise and the team endeavoured to fulfil all the engagements that had already been made and continued to carry forward the business, with enormous support from his friends, family, acquaintances and members of the public. It has been a year of vastly mixed emotions as you can imagine but at the end of it, we can unequivocably say that we did Phil proud. Louise learnt how to tune the flutes and has since taught Mark’s son Sam how to do the tuning and making of the flutes.
Red Kite Flutes are continuing to trade and flutes are made by Sam Ward and Louise Hutton. The team consists of Louise, Sam Ward, Mark Ward, Jerry, Steve Cloudsong and Faye Bradbury. Steve and Faye both run flute workshops and meditations (Steve in the South and South West, Dorset, Wiltshire etc and Faye above Bristol, Wales, Midlands etc) and are open to working with others such as yoga teachers. Steve also performs using the hang drum and flutes. He is open for bookings.
Red Kite Flutes would like to thank all those people who have chosen our flutes and given us support over the years, particularly this year and look forward to seeing as many of you again at the various shows around the country
May your path be long and enlightening.