Video: Bolton Abbey boogie at Yorkshire’s only piano factory

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IN his job as a piano seller Adam Cox has always needed perfect pitch. But later this month he will need to move up an octave when he attempts to put Britain back on the global piano-making map at one of the the largest music fairs in the world - the Frankfurt Music messe.

Mr Cox and his partner Charlie McEwan have joined forces with other experts to launch Cavendish Pianos – the only pianos they say now being produced in the UK.

Owner Adam Cox with one of his grand pianos in his showroom at Bolton Abbey. Picture by Gerard Binks

Owner Adam Cox with one of his grand pianos in his showroom at Bolton Abbey. Picture by Gerard Binks

Mr Cox, director of Yorkshire Pianos at Harrogate Road, Bolton Abbey, says he was inspired to start the venture after the well-known British piano range Kemble, which he had sold for years, ended its UK production after 99 years, transferring to the Far East back in 2009 when they were taken over by Yamaha.

A gap was left in the market and Yorkshire Pianos is hoping to exploit this with a selection of family-focused pianos.

These instruments, ranging from small uprights to large grands, are now being produced at their Harrogate Road base.

Cavendish Pianos will be officially launched at the European Music Fair: Frankfurt Music Messe 2012, March 21-24.

Mr Cox said: “For a lot of people looking at buying a piano, their main question is: ‘Where was it made?’.

“We think there must be lots of others who, like us, would like to know more about the production of their instrument and what materials were used.

“We’ve had a piano shop going on for 20 years and I’ve always wanted to make pianos, so now we’ve seen there’s a gap in the market we’re going for it.

“There seems to be a feeling that, as a country, we can again produce great British goods and we believe there is a growing demand for them.

“We’ve been given a Government grant for our stand at the European Music Fair because of our export potential and it would be great to sell some pianos to France, Germany or Italy.”

The company sourced all the specialist materials and craftsmen needed in the local region, which means their pianos can boast of being made in Yorkshire.

Mr Cox, a father-of-three said: “We are a tiny operation compared to the big boys and we’re doing a very small production run, but that means we can do things the Far Eastern manufacturers can’t.”

When he and the Cavendish Pianos team looked into setting up the UK’s only piano manufacturing centre they found that the traditional skills needed do still exist in Britain, and indeed in Yorkshire.

These skills include piano string making, felt making for hammers, action building and cabinet making. Each piano has approximately 20,000 individual components so putting them all together requires some skill.