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Thread: Piano Shops, Manufacturers of Liverpool

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Default Piano Shops, Manufacturers of Liverpool

    Liverpool: a piano in every parlour; and a piano in every pub.


    ADVERTISING




    This year, Kemble & Co., after almost 100 years of trading, and who represented the very last British manufacturer of pianos have finally now closed the lid on an important chapter of British industry.

    In Liverpool piano's would have been commonplace in every parlour, and in every pub - and gave a voice to the community that is now belongs to the memory of another time.

    Does anyone have any pictures, photos of old piano shops, memories, knowledge of existing buildings that were used as piano factories/workshops, names of companies, perhaps your gt. aunt used to knock out a few tunes on the ole joanna? Any songs or stories???



    Daz

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    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Red face Unfortuneately...

    ...my memories are of student piano smashing contests on the steps of St. Georges Hall during Panto week in the mid-60's.

    IIRC, it was a timed contest to get all the pieces of an upright piano through a 12 inch circle in a piece of plywood.

    The tools used were sledge hammers.

    I guess in the 60's there was a surplus of pianos as folks wanted more room in their parlors and less kids were learning music...

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Ah-ha, so that's where they all went? Thanks az_gila, I can picture you now with your sledgehammer? I guess most pianos ended their days as firewood, and scrap metal for the rag-and-bone man?

    A bit of local piano history:

    "Rushworth's was founded by William Rushworth [in 1828], a pipe organ builder in Yorkshire. In the late 1800s the company moved to Liverpool. Apparently a piano was sold from the offices, almost by accident, and it was then they decided to sell pianos to the general public. This was the start of the piano retail site. At first pianos were made by Clarence Lyon of London, and not long after Rushworth's began producing classic British pianos alongside their world-famous organ building, which is now in its fifth generation under the leadership of Alastair Rushworth. It has become the largest organ builder in the UK. Around 1921 Rushworth also acquired pianos from Squire & Longsons for ?29.00 and resold them for ?49 guineas"

    [Quoted from the 'UK Piano page' here].

    Does anyone where 'Rushworths' [the music store] was in Liverpool?

    Thanks,

    Daz

    [Image: 'Rushworth's exhibition 1949' from MMM: Stewart Bale collection. Archive reference 49913-3]
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    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Question Rushworths of Beatles fame?

    http://www.rockmine.com/Beatles/Liverpool/Rushwrth.html

    Wasn't it at Whitechapel and Church Street?

    Just down the road from my stopping point as a kid... the famous "Hobbies"...



    PS ... wasn't me with the sledge hammer... I was just cheering and drinking beer....

    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    Ah-ha, so that's where they all went? Thanks az_gila, I can picture you now with your sledgehammer? I guess most pianos ended their days as firewood, and scrap metal for the rag-and-bone man?

    A bit of local piano history:

    "Rushworth's was founded by William Rushworth [in 1828], a pipe organ builder in Yorkshire. In the late 1800s the company moved to Liverpool. Apparently a piano was sold from the offices, almost by accident, and it was then they decided to sell pianos to the general public. This was the start of the piano retail site. At first pianos were made by Clarence Lyon of London, and not long after Rushworth's began producing classic British pianos alongside their world-famous organ building, which is now in its fifth generation under the leadership of Alastair Rushworth. It has become the largest organ builder in the UK. Around 1921 Rushworth also acquired pianos from Squire & Longsons for ?29.00 and resold them for ?49 guineas"

    [Quoted from the 'UK Piano page' here].

    Does anyone where 'Rushworths' [the music store] was in Liverpool?

    Thanks,

    Daz

    [Image: 'Rushworth's exhibition 1949' from MMM: Stewart Bale collection. Archive reference 49913-3]

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    Pablo42 pablo42's Avatar
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    Great guys. Usd to love to hear the ivories twinkling in the pubs. A sound that's sadly lacking.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    Wasn't it at Whitechapel and Church Street?
    I think McCartney's father bought Paul his first guitar from 'Rushworth & Draper', which were based in Whitechapel then. I remember a long narrow shop in Whitechapel, but not Rushworths Music House, which came later? Funny eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    PS ... wasn't me with the sledge hammer... I was just cheering and drinking beer....
    Sorry you said 'student' and 'piano smashing' in the same sentence. Ha ha, I just supposed the rest. I'll take that back and join you for a drink [although it's a bit early here?]

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo42 View Post
    Great guys. Usd to love to hear the ivories twinkling in the pubs. A sound that's sadly lacking.
    Thanks pabs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    I think McCartney's father bought Paul his first guitar from 'Rushworth & Draper', which were based in Whitechapel then.
    It was Rushworth and Dreaper

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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    Thanks pabs.
    if they had sound on here I'd sing you a little song we used to sing a long to. Sadly there is no sound, so you have been spared the agony and the ecstasy of my singing.

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    Local Historian Cadfael's Avatar
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    I used to love going in to that shop and be given chance to play on the Grand Piano's they had there. If they thought you were arsing about you'd be told to move away politely but if they knew you could play then they'd leave you alone!

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo42 View Post
    Sadly there is no sound, so you have been spared the agony and the ecstasy of my singing.
    Another time perhaps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    Another time perhaps?
    Summat to look forward to though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo42 View Post
    Summat to look forward to though.
    Only if it's better than this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    Only if it's better than this?
    Well they're better looking than me.

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    Senior Member GNASHER's Avatar
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    Rushworths had/have a workshop on St Ann St opp the cop shop.
    When I was a youth their ticket office was the best in Liverpool,the lady that ran could get you tickets for any show/concert anywhere.This was long before the interweb and those robbin' bast$rds ticketline.
    I was sent to a piano workshop in Brunswick Rd (about where the top end of Staples carpark is now) for a job as an apprentice piano repair person.After seeing the place and talking to the boss I told him I wasn't intrested and buggered off pretty quick,what a dump.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GNASHER View Post
    Rushworths had/have a workshop on St Ann St opp the cop shop.....I was sent to a piano workshop in Brunswick Rd (about where the top end of Staples carpark is now) for a job as an apprentice piano repair person. After seeing the place and talking to the boss I told him I wasn't intrested and buggered off pretty quick,what a dump.
    Very interesting GNASHER, thanks for that. I've found out a few details on Rushworths below. Apparently their main business was making organs, then gradually began supplying pianos [from other makers] and adding their name to them. They also started making their own piano's as well.

    Cheers, Daz

    Some of Liverpool's piano manufactures and retailers.

    Crane and Sons, 217 Scotland Rd, Liverpool [& London] piano manufacturers.

    J.B. Kramer & Co, [Liverpool and London].

    NEMS ltd [North End Music Stores] musical instrument retailers began life at 62/72 Walton Road as part of Isaac Epstein & Sons furniture dealership, later a dedicated music store opened at Great Charlotte Street under the control of Brian Epstein, and then a second store opened at 12?14 Whitechapel shortly afterwards.

    Rushworth's organ-building manufacturers founded in 1828 [in Yorkshire], by William Rushworth. The first premises was at 13 Islington, Liverpool [late 1800's], then moved to Great George Street in the early 20th century, and then finally to St Anne Street in 1972.

    Rushworths also had a retail wing, which been in partnership with Van Gruisen until 1894.

    Rushworth and Dreaper [merged abt. 1905] - Whitechapel, Liverpool

    James Smith & Son, 74 & 76 Lord Street, Liverpool from at least the 1880s to the 1930s

    Van Gruisen & Son were at 27 Bold Street, Liverpool from at least 1886 to 1936 [piano agents...]

    E.G. Withers & Sons 279 Kensington, Liverpool [piano agents...]

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    Newbie Ken Read's Avatar
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    Some information on W.H & G.H Dreaper which may be of interest. They were piano makers at 96 Bold Street from 1828-1902 when taken over by Rushworths. Dreapers started as Wm. P. Dreaper & Sons and obviously changed names at the death of the father (date unknown)

    W.H & G.H Dreaper are famous for a piano styled by W & G Audsley, Architects of Liverpool which was exhibited in Paris Universal International Exhibition in 1878.

    This information comes from "European Musical Instruments in the Liverpool Museum" 1994 (purchased 2003) where the piano is/ or was exhibited (as I have recently seen what appears to be the same piano for sale on the internet). Perhaps someone local can tell me if the musical instruments are still in the Liverpool Museum.

    There is (or was) also a violin in the museum by Rushworth and Dreaper dated 1920

    My interest in this firm is because of a violin which I own and has a label inside "W.H & G.H Dreaper, No 1092, Liverpool". I would be interested in any information on this subject.

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    Quentin_Sharples
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    Has anybody mentioned that Rushworth & Dreaper were in Islington for many years?
    William Brown Street end.
    They also had a museum of ancient musical instruments in the premises.
    Hopefully, they were saved.

    Crane's built their new premises in Hanover Street.
    Designed by W Aubrey Thomas, and opened in 1915.
    Crane Hall was built for the demonstration of pianos, and became the Neptune Theatre.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Sharples View Post
    Has anybody mentioned that Rushworth & Dreaper were in Islington for many years?
    .
    Ah yes, that was me....covered in Post#16. Thanks for the extra information.
    D

    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    Rushworth's organ-building manufacturers founded in 1828 [in Yorkshire], by William Rushworth. The first premises was at 13 Islington, Liverpool [late 1800's], then moved to Great George Street in the early 20th century, and then finally to St Anne Street in 1972

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    Rushworths was situated at the top of William Brown Street, next to the old court building, there used to be a narrow lane between the two buildings, which lead you to Gerard Gardens (pre flyover days). The organ works was in St Anne Street, Ithink details have been posted about this building before!

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    The St. Ann street works was originally Keisers and the clock tower was known locally as Keisers clock tower.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    George
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    Wasn't there a Henesseys somewhere?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GNASHER View Post
    Rushworths had/have a workshop on St Ann St opp the cop shop.
    When I was a youth their ticket office was the best in Liverpool,the lady that ran could get you tickets for any show/concert anywhere.This was long before the interweb and those robbin' bast$rds ticketline.
    I was sent to a piano workshop in Brunswick Rd (about where the top end of Staples carpark is now) for a job as an apprentice piano repair person.After seeing the place and talking to the boss I told him I wasn't intrested and buggered off pretty quick,what a dump.
    Old thread Gnash, I do appreciate. Do you recall the Nash brothers Piano stool manufacturers of Belgrave Street? Belgrave Street was situated directly opposite were the piano repaires were situated on Brunswick Road albeit accessed via Meaburn Street a little lower.

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