In the wake of the CIPS announcement that manufacturing has seen an all time high, Britain’s last piano manufacturer is due to shut. Parent company Yamaha is transferring all its operations to Asia and the last piano was shipped out of the Milton Keynes-based firm earlier this week.
The family business is currently run by Brian Kemble, whose grandfather founded the business in 1911. Kemble is not bitter about the announcement, given that Yamaha saved the company from closure back in 1986. "They’ve given us another 23 years of making pianos," he says.
Since the deal with Yamaha, Kemble & Co has made and sold more than 120,000 pianos and won a Queen’s award for export. The brand name will continue to feature on the Kemble & Co pianos, which will be made to the firm’s strict specifications.