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View Full Version : Death of an Industry.


blackace
5th May 2009, 22:39
It is with great sadness that I have to announce the last UK piano manufacturer is closing down. Kemble pianos in Milton Keynes has at last decided to call it a day. They were saved from the brink by Yamaha a few years back, but now Yamaha has decided it is not worth keeping it afloat.

They made my P140...Sniff.

Another casualty of the recession.

RIP the UK Piano industry.

Gone unnoticed, but not forgotten.

Whirlygig
5th May 2009, 22:43
'Tis indeed sad and indicative of what has been wrong with this country's economy for 30 years - we don't "make" anything and have just lived off an unsustainable financial services "industry".

Are Chappells still going? And I believe Boosey & Hawkes have their instruments made overseas now. At least Wheatstone Concertinas is still going :ok:

Cheers

Whirls

Ten West
5th May 2009, 22:49
Plenty of great, world-renonwned guitars and basses still made in England and the UK.

Not to mention another little Milton Keynes cottage industry - run by a certain Mr Jim Marshall of Bletchley. :ok:

jimtherev
5th May 2009, 22:54
Are Chappells still going? And I believe Boosey & Hawkes have their instruments made overseas now. At least Wheatstone Concertinas is still going :ok:

Cheers

Whirls
Chappels now seem to sell Yamaha & Kemble only <sigh>

Mind you we have a Yamaha at church - stonking good instrument...

tinpis
5th May 2009, 23:09
Who was Milton Keynes ? And for that matter Newport Pagnell?

blackace
5th May 2009, 23:14
You know, Tony Keynes son, married Sarah with the lazy eye. You know. Alfred was his cousin, the guy who always had a half eaten packet of hum bugs in his pocket to offer the kids, gap teeth. Yes, scary Alf. You remember.

RJM
6th May 2009, 02:27
Never liked Lyme Regis either. Reminded me of George Sanders.

Blacksheep
6th May 2009, 07:32
Pearl River makes half the world's pianos in China now. Pearl River made one of my guitars as well. A nice solid top acoustic, with a mahogany body, rosewood fretboard and well copied Grover tuners - all for £30. No point in trying to compete with prices like that.

...and I remember when Pearl worked in the Happy Bar.

dead_pan
6th May 2009, 09:11
Pearl River makes half the world's pianos in China now


Who makes the other half? Strange business to be in, making half-pianos. Each to their own.

Mr Grimsdale
6th May 2009, 10:47
My dad worked for Welmar in Clapham for nearly 40 years building pianos. I'll pass on this information about Kemble.

Bushfiva
6th May 2009, 14:50
I played a Yamaha AvantGrand Hybrid N3. It's an amazing piece of kit. The N2 has the same mechanism in a more compact form factor. I like Yamaha, they seem to have a human touch.

bnt
6th May 2009, 14:50
Here in Ireland, I regularly see people offering upright pianos on "freecycle" sites i.e. it's yours if you can pick it up. I would, if I had somewhere to put one. I'm not surprised that new sales are rare, when something like a Clavinova is more smaller, quieter (headphones!), and sounds more than good enough for most domestic purposes.

I think grand piano makers such as Steinway and Bösendorfer are quite safe, for now - though the latter is also owned by Yamaha.

Captain Stable
6th May 2009, 14:51
Who was Milton Keynes ? And for that matter Newport Pagnell?Or Virginia Water for that matter...?

PilotPieces
6th May 2009, 14:53
Ten West,

And of course the new Dave Mustaine Signiture Marshall Cabinet!

airship
6th May 2009, 18:45
I always wished I could play a musical instrument. Closest I ever got was a rendition of "Au clair de la lune" with a recorder when I was 10 years old.

How is one supposed to enthrall and amuse children and grand-children (I have neither) without command of a musical instrument in the 21st century? Or is it sufficient nowadays that we all merely direct them to where they can (illegally) download tunes for free, give them iPods or whatever fro Xmas...?! :sad:

From the BBC news report about the closure (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/beds/bucks/herts/8026910.stm): Brian Kemble, joint managing director of Kemble and Co and grandson of the founder, said: "It is a very sad day for my staff, the Kemble family and for manufacturing in UK.
During the 1980s recession Yamaha rode to our rescue, and thanks to them we have continued manufacturing for another 23 years.
We owe Yamaha a huge debt of gratitude for this."

Presumably, there are fewer piano players these days. After all, everyone's been devoting more efforts to obtaining MBAs and a job in the city during the past few decades?! Even if pianos are heavy objects to transport, set-up, maintain and whatever, the Chinese will probably manage it all in future. But thanks to Yamaha for all their past efforts. :ok: :{

Just airship, feeling a bit sad. Wistfully imagining himself strumming a 12-string together with John Denver or Lobo...

brickhistory
6th May 2009, 22:58
Closest I ever got was a rendition of "Au clair de la lune"


I know a guy who knows a guy.

They could probably set you up with a rendition.