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Report - Pianoforte Factory, Roade


grumpy sod
Regular User
One of the sites from a day of industry undertaken by me and Flubbera. After an early setback we headed for Northampton to see what we could do, and I remembered the Pianoforte factory just outside Northampton in the small village of Roade and we set off there with no idea of where it was or what it was like.

Areas of the site are locked tight, we did what we could with the access we could find. It's a good mooch but I didn't really 'feel' anything inside it, probably because we only got access to a relatively small part of the site. The heat eventually got to us and we retreated to the shop to buy ice cream.

History shamelessly pilfered from somewhere else

The sprawling industrial site of Pianoforte lies on the edge of the small rural village of Roade in the heartland of Northamptonshire.

In 1910 a London floor polishing paste firm known as J. Masters&Co began the manufacture of polishing paste on a site nearby the railway tracks along the small village train station.

J. Masters&Co closed after only 12 years in business and was purchased by a former employee, C.T Cripps. In 1923 Cripps founded ‘Pianoforte supplies Ltd’ which was dedicated to the production of castings and fixtures for Piano manufacturers and also successfully produced large quantities of fixture parts for automobiles.

In 1933 the factory suffered from severe fire damage and was rebuilt later that year.

During WW2 the factory went into full time production creating spare vehicle and aircraft parts as part of a contribution to the war effort in Britain.

Later during the 1960’s employment peaked with the factory employing just over 1,800 workers, this success was however short lived and when the railway station of Roade was closed in 1964 Pianoforte began a slow journey into gradual decline.

In 1980 the factory ceased to production of piano parts altogether.












Lastly a quick panorama


A few more pics here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157626336954131/with/5603744020/ thanks for looking:thumb


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