My poor old piano: what do I do?


My piano has been ruined and I don’t know what to do about it.

I can honestly say my piano has – by quite a long margin – given me more hours of pleasure than any else I own.

I’m no great player.  I’m a thumper who settles for “good enough”, but I practice almost every day, sometimes several times a day.  I have a lasting fondness for ragtime: I can struggle through a fair few Scott Joplin classics (so long as you don’t mind a fair few missed chords and fumbled melodies).

Anyway, meet my piano.

IMG_0152

Nice, isn’t it?   It was my dad’s and now it’s mine.  It is the one I learned on from the age of six.  I love it.

So I was excited when I sent it for a full French polish and restoration – the first of its life I think.

And utterly dismayed when it was returned to me.  I opened the lid, and the gold-stencilled lettering on the inside of the lid had been completely removed.

IMG_0153

In the centre had been the name of the manufacturer: in large capitals, EAVESTAFF.  And bottom right, the (now defunct) dealer who had sold it: Alderson & Brentnall, Newcastle upon Tyne.

All gone, and with it a big chunk of the piano’s historic charm.

Furious and upset barely covers it.  The French polisher was evasive, and claimed I should have told him that I wanted to retain the original lettering.

As if anyone would want to remove it!

Eavestaff, incidentally, is not a brand like Steinway or Bechstein.  It is the Vauxhall Cavalier of the piano world.  It is my good fortune that mine, which was made between 1890-1900, is an excellent example: it can go literally years between being tuned.  (It is about five years since it was last tuned, and it has been moved several times: it still sounds only slightly off.)

I’m at a loss what to do.  Sue the restorers?  Is it worth it?  Seek out a professional stenciller to replace it?  Again, is it worth it – and do such people exist?

Or just live with the disappointment that, every time I sit down to play, I will be reminded that a thoughtless chump of a French polisher spoilt my most favourite thing in the world?

 

 

Back to blog

Time Travelling With A Hamster

My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine, and again four years later when he was twelve.

More Info

What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible

Turning invisible at will: it’s one way of curing your acne. But far more drastic than 13 year-old Ethel Leatherhead intended when she tried a combination of untested medicines and a sunbed.

More Info

The 1,000-year-old Boy

There are stories about people who want to live forever. This is a story about someone who wants to stop.

More Info

The Dog Who Saved The World

Coming soon

More Info