This is my C.Bechstein Model 9 upright piano from 1911, serial number 101058.
I have had it since 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday 9th January 1973, when I was nine years old.
I’d previously asked my parents if I could learn to play the piano. I was already quite a good recorder player and had tried the acoustic guitar for a year without really taking to it. Neither of my parents played an instrument although both loved listening to music. They had no real idea of what to look for in a piano but happened to hear that an old lady in the next village was selling hers. It turned out that she was asking £25 for it which was quite a lot of money to my parents back then – they really had to think about whether or not it was affordable and had little appreciation of the quality of the instrument they were getting. They were told it had been “tropicalised” and recounted to me how it must have spent some of its life in hotter climes… My first piano lesson was at 5:10pm on Friday 12th January 1973 (with Miss Dorothy Parkin: she had a Steinway upright that I had all my early lessons on, as well as about a dozen cats).
My C.Bechstein has been through many moves with me over the years and in 2013 I had it fully refurbished by Evan Hatch of Launceston, Cornwall. Today (Saturday 23rd March 2019) it is being sampled for Piano Book by Patrick Ytting who kindly reached out to me in the comments section of one of Christian’s YouTube videos, offering to come and capture it for the community and for posterity.