Pianos have taken me to some fairly far-flung places over the years. This is absolutely fine by me, because travel is something I really enjoy.

Most of my trips have been within the UK of course, particularly in the years when the UK still had a piano manufacturing industry. I know the town of Milton Keynes rather well, for example! Possibly the most interesting (and memorable) trips though have been overseas.

Many of my travels have taken me to Germany and the Czech Republic. As it happens, both countries are also renowned producers of beer. Piano factories tend to be fairly hot and dry places, particularly during the continental summer months. It’s no hardship to try some of the local speciality beers in the evening. In fact I have always regarded this as something of a duty.

The factories tend not to be located in towns or cities that are typically on the tourist trail. Petrof, for example is based in Hradec Králóve, 70 miles east of Prague. The main manufacturing base of Bechstein is in Seiffhennersdorf, a small town near Dresden, close to the Czech border.

The advantage to someone like myself who enjoys travelling, is that it gives the opportunity to see parts of a country which are more “typical” or “authentic” than a big capital city might be.

I’d like to return to this topic at a later date as I’m looking forward to ‘downloading’ some more memories!