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July, 2013:

4 pianos and not a chandelier in sight

Today I was fortunate enough to visit  the Battersea Arts Centre, a beautiful Victorian building built in 1893. It used to be the Battersea Town Hall. It almost got demolished in 1965 and was saved by a small local group. It was given Grade II listing in 1970. It has the most number of pianos I have ever seen in a public building. I think it’s four. Of course I could not resist playing Tarantella on each one to ‘test’ whether they are playing. Two play and two don’t. Each toilet has a piano outside! The one outside the gents is used as a broom stand.

My son calls the piano without the lid and the front the skeleton piano.

Of course I could not resist playing Tarantella on each one to ‘test’ whether they are playing. This building appeals to my ‘music hall’ interests. The main features are 1/ the intricate mosaic panels and all about bees. I couldn’t find the reason for the symbols. 2/ Fresco ceiling. 3/ grand marble staircase. Even the back of house staircase has the classical monkey tail detailing of the handrail and wrought iron balusters. The restoration is very tastefully, simply and humbly done. The furniture is from IKEA and or handmade from junk. There is no designery fluff or ostentation at all.