A report Thursday (4/30) on the BBC website states, “The UK’s last piano maker, based in Milton Keynes, has announced it is closing with the loss of 90 jobs. Kemble and Co in Bletchley has been making pianos for almost 100 years. Main shareholder Yamaha decided that it was no longer viable. The company says it will do all it can to help the workforce following the closure in October. From November, the Yamaha and Kemble pianos will be made at other Yamaha factories outside the UK. … Brian Kemble, joint managing director of Kemble and Co and grandson of the founder, said: ‘It is a very sad day for my staff, the Kemble family and for manufacturing in UK. During the 1980s recession Yamaha rode to our rescue, and thanks to them we have continued manufacturing for another 23 years.’ … Since 1986, when Yamaha became involved, the company has made and sold more than 120,000 pianos and won a Queen’s award for exports.”

Posted May 1, 2009