Students have old piano playing a new tune - as a bar

Nicholas Hibbitt (second right) is presented with his piano bar by tutors Andy Whyley (left) and Reece Pridmore, and a student Daniel Stainwright.
Nicholas Hibbitt (second right) is presented with his piano bar by tutors Andy Whyley (left) and Reece Pridmore, and a student Daniel Stainwright.

An old piano bound for the recycling pile has been given a new lease of life as a drinks bar thanks to the creative talents of joinery students at West Nottingham College in Mansfield.

Last academic year, the joinery department engaged entry-level carpentry and joinery students on the ‘Reloved’ project which presented them with an old piano that was beyond repair.

Their challenge was to craft something new from the old wooden artefact.

After a full strip down, removing the keys and strings, students put their joinery skills to the test and totally transformed the instrument into a bespoke mini-bar with space for bottles and glasses.

Students were supported with the refurbishment by tutor Reece Pridmore and programme area leader Andrew Whyley as well as wood occupations technician Ian Bradford, to ensure they were on track with the correct materials and measurements and to price the item up for sale.

This month, Nicholas Hibbitt, of Scenic Landscapes in Riddings, Derbyshire, came to collect his new piece of furniture.

Mr Hibbitt spotted the piano recently when visiting the construction campus with his son who came for a course interview.

He said: “When I spotted the piano in the reception area, I was drawn to it.

“I’ve got a real one-off piece here and it’s going to sit pride of place in my games room at home, ready for a merry Christmas.”

On taking delivery of his new furniture, Mr Hibbitt also dropped off another piano, ready for the students to turn into another masterpiece.

He added: “This piano I’ve donated came from my old local pub, The Out of Town Inn in Ripley.

“I used to play on this very piano when I was 18 and the pub was going to dispose of it.

“I took it off their hands with the intention of doing something with it.

“But I’m handing it over to the college and I’m keen to see the final product once they’ve renovated it.”

Daniel Stainwright, 19, a wood occupations level two diploma student, was one of the learners who worked on the revamped piano last year.

He said: “When it came to the department, it was just about playable.

“We worked hard on stripping it down.

“We researched some designs and decided on the bar idea.

“After lots of hard work and using our carpentry skills, it took on its new use.

“When we saw the final product it made us really proud as a group.”

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