I am delighted to announce that my Violano has come home. This saga
began in 1976 (yes) when I first saw it as a wreck in the British Piano
Museum. It was leaning against the wall because the base and part of
one side of the cabinet had rotted away. There were no doors.
The violin was missing as were the feeder governor and motor, violin
fingering magnet assembly, weight assembly and basically everything
else detachable. This had been one of eleven Violanos found by the
late Frank Holland in an old warehouse where they had been mouldering
since before WW2. The others had been restored and disposed of to
improve the Museum's holdings.
To be thanked for bringing this back to life are the late Harvey
Roehl, Ed Hattrup, Rudy Edwards, Warren Dale and others who made parts
available. Three other Violanos have made their way to New Zealand
and experience on those qualified Kevin Seay to perform the miracle of
resurrection. The Violano was delivered here two weeks ago. I want to
acknowledge the help given by all involved in this long-term project.
The instrument has written on the back in Frank Holland's writing the
words; "Keep For Spares." It is now playing almost perfectly and so
another artifact has been saved. The restorer lives in a town three
hundred miles from here and I did not see the Violano during that time.
Delivery here was interesting. I had arranged for the carrier who had
taken it there to bring it back but on the day it was to be collected
he called me to say that a family emergency had made him return to this
area. I called many companies without success and then found a carrier
in the area where the Violano was. His attitude impressed me on the
phone and he was in fact on his way to my town that day.
He picked up the Violano within an hour and called me late that
Night to say that he had arrived in my area. I invited him to stay
at our home overnight and before breakfast next morning he had planned
meticulously how to bring the instrument into the house. I had three
guys doing some light carpentry and with their help the instrument was
moved from the truck into the house. I have never seem a more caring
and professional job as it was moved without a scratch or a bump. If
only all carriers were this careful.
So there is rejoicing in the Woolf household, and with son Jeremy and
his family visiting from Australia the Violano plays well to a happy
I hope and wish that all MMD readers and especially Robbie and Jody
enjoy a holiday season as happy as this.