Roy sounds out his final note at shop
When Alden's Pianos
door is locked in Gloucester Street, Norwich
, at the end of May 2006, it marks the end of 35 years of piano sales, renovation and tuning from the premises.
Formerly a grocers shop, it was acquired by Roy Alden who, up to the early seventies, had carried on his piano restoration and tuning business from a shed in the garden of his home at Sprowston. It also served as a base for the work he did at Norwich School as a peripatetic piano teacher and tuner.
Well qualified in many aspects of the music industry, Roy had his own band but also played the piano in many other groups and appeared with stars such as Dick Emery, Frankie Vaughan and Mike Yarwood on Yarmouth's Britannia Pier.
For ten years he was the organist at St Matthews Church in Thorpe Hamlet and on many occasions was an integral part of the team leading the Sunday services in Norwich Prison.
Roy recalls the time when he was selling 25 pianos a month from the Gloucester Street shop and needed staff and five vans to make sure all were delivered to customers on time.
"Many times I had to get up at three o'clock in the morning, drive to London and pick up new pianos from the factory and then deliver them all over East Anglia. There were about 18 different manufacturers in those days but now there is only one in the whole of the UK," he said.
Although Roy will no longer be carrying on his retail business, he will continue as a piano consultant and can be contacted on 01603 434290.
By Peter Barnes
Pictured is Roy Alden at the piano.