Imagine The Tales This Piano Could Tell

BEATLES lovers may have heard whispers of Strawberry Fields Forever or Norwegian Wood as they ventured around Cheshire Show.

For the original ivories from the school piano that John Lennon learned to play on in the 1950s were on display.

Fans were able to run their fingertips over the same keys that inspired the iconic musician thanks to registered blind piano tuner and restorer David Finegan, from Lymm.

The Star Lane resident got his hands on the ivories from the old Bluthner Grand when he was called to Calderstones School in Liverpool to refurbish it four years ago.

“It was in a pretty poor state of repair but we were successful in refurbishing it and it is now still on the school stage where it was in John Lennon’s day,” said David.

“It is a privilege to work on something he has made music with. It’s special.

“I went to school in Liverpool so I’ve always been a fan. The Beatles and John Lennon encouraged so many people to sit in their bedrooms and learn to play.

“They left a legacy of people wanting to be like them. You still hear their influence in modern music.”

John Lennon attended Calderstones – then known as Quarry Bank School – between 1952 and 1957, teaching himself how to play the piano and forming ‘skiffle’ group, The Quarry Men.

David, proprietor of Cheshire Pianos in Warrington Road, Statham, added: “I was lucky enough to have grown up in Liverpool at the time of the Merseybeat and the Beatles have always meant something very special to me.

“Music has always been in my family too – my father sang with the Swinging Blue Jeans.

“The ivories are a small part of Beatles history but it’s amazing what sorts of memorabilia people collect.”

The 43-year-old, who has been blind since birth, started piano lessons when he was six. David learned the art of piano tuning at a school for the blind and has now practiced the profession for 27 years.

“When you lose one of your senses, another tends to be enhanced so piano tuning has been the perfect profession for me,” he said.

Among his clients are many of the UK’s pop and showbiz glitterati, including Take That, Oasis, Sugs from Madness and jazz-pop singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum. And that might not turn out to be his only brush with fame after he was asked to audition for a forthcoming BBC film.

David added: “My partner Trudie took a telephone call the other day from a talent scout who had been thumbing through Yellow Pages and said he was trying to find a blind piano tuner.

“She paused for few seconds and then said: ‘I think you’ve come to the right place’.”

The film, ‘All At Sea Charlie and His Piano’, is about a young boy who attempts to fool his blind piano teacher that he is playing when, in fact, it is his much more accomplished friend. David went for auditions at MediaCity and is waiting to hear back.