November 2018 Update

Welcome to November, for the first time in a while I don’t feel the need to apologise for the delay in writing an update! The clocks have gone back, the temperature has dropped, barbecues have been replaced by roasts and new batteries have gone into the torches. I have to admit I love the diversity of our seasons, I wouldn’t like to live in year round sunshine, honest! This weekend just gone saw the first lighting of the log fire in the Wheeler house and this morning saw a decent frost with the sound of car windscreens being scraped for the first time. Traditionally, the cold dark nights signal the start of the busy season in the piano trade as people move inside to activities such as music making. We are hoping to see many visitors to the showroom in the coming months, the heating in the showroom is set on a thermostat and the kettle always happy to perform. Since writing in September things have been steady at the showrooms with a regular amount of pianos being selected and delivered by Tobie. We have Grotrian-Steinweg uprights on order in various finishes, yew, light oak, larch and mahogany to name a few! Our fabulous Concertino upright is currently in Cornwall awaiting a service after the unsettling journey to the Falmouth area. The 192 grand remains reserved awaiting a final visit, having seen the customer play this piano I can’t imagine it not going to their home. The S188 Steinberg is safely installed in Newbury and being enjoyed by the family, it sounded amazing when I tuned it for them. Kawai have been really popular recently with our GL10 baby grand going out at the weekend, another arrived to take its place in the showroom along with a replacement K15 upright. We will be supplying a K300 upright to the local ABRSM centre in December, we usually then offer the model that we use at a discounted price upon its return, first come first served! We have recently seen some fantastic used uprights, many that we originally supplied, with two more having arrived on Friday that are awaiting preparation. A really good used piano can be an attractive purchase and many of the recent arrivals have not been with us for long. Another piano due to leave us very soon is the Bluthner model 6 grand piano. We have had this piano for eight years now and have loved it being in the showroom, however it is time to let it go, Bluthner in London are taking it to sell in their London showroom for us. Piano tuning is as busy as ever, especially so as we go into the season of central heating. We are currently working on a digital diary system that in theory will make life easier for us! My trusty Filofax with the four diaries in will be heading to retirement as the iPad takes over. The transition is a little daunting for one so technically challenged but the benefits of the new system are very apparent. Michelle will be able to view all of the diaries and book new tuning appointments without having to ask me to check availability. Vicky, Richard and John will be able to access their schedules on their phones and I won’t have to email the details of the weeks’ tuning on a Sunday evening. I am reluctant to change but can see the advantages and look forward to going live with it next weekend. Please excuse any hiccups during the transition! Life on the road is as enjoyable as ever and crucially important to the activity of the showroom. Tuning is fantastic for building trusting relationships, a business like ours relies on word of mouth recommendations and contacts made through the tuning rounds are so important. We are often contacted by people who have been referred to us by friends of customers, it can be an enjoyable challenge to trace it back to the customer that we know! And long may it continue, all the time that we are receiving regular referred customers it is confirmation that we are doing things the right way. We recently provided a beautiful upright piano to a family who were recommended to us by their piano teacher, the head of music at school and a parent who overheard the conversation! I think that is about it for now, I always say it but do come and visit us..! We have recently seen some new arrivals at Ash Park, calves born to the Highland cattle in the field adjoining the driveway onto the park. I think a picture of one is going onto our Facebook page soon, the image was taken by my youngest, Henry, and shows mum and baby with dad lurking in the background. With the sun shining it is a fabulous location to have the showroom. The new fridge is working well, coffee, chat and pianos on offer to visitors. All the best, Ben Wheeler
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