Piano tuner loves his industry 50 years on

David Guy has been tuning pianos for 50 years
David Guy has been tuning pianos for 50 years

A PIANO tuner who marked 50 years in the industry this week has spoken of his lengthy career and working with the stars.

David Guy, 67, of Dominion Road, Worthing, was introduced to the trade in 1962 through an apprenticeship with J W Mansfield of Worthing.

At the age of 15, he worked a five-and-a-half day week and earned £3.

He said: “My mother used to work in service for a large house and they had a piano that the manager of Mansfield’s used to come and service.

“That is how I became aware of the company and it seemed like an obvious choice when it came to getting a job, even though my father worked for the council so I probably could have gone into another trade.

“I had played the piano since the age of 12, although once I started tuning I did stop because it seemed very much like a busman’s holiday.

“It is funny because despite what everyone thinks, playing a piano and tuning one have nothing to do with each other.

“As soon as I started tuning I liked it straight away, and it is the sort of job that you have to like because you are never going to make a fortune doing it.”

When the Mansfield brothers retired the business, David went to Lyon & Hall of Brighton, where he worked until he started on his own in 1972.

“Setting up on my own was always my aim, it was just a case of finding the right time,” he said.

“In the 1970s, you could not really go wrong because the trade had taken off like a rocket.

“Whereas the forties were the war years and in the fifties and sixties TV was very popular, the seventies saw the piano become really popular and everybody suddenly wanted to play.

“I am not boasting when I say that you could probably name most of the stars of the last couple of decades and the chances are that I will have tuned their piano.

“I jokingly say to people that I tuned for ABBA before they were even famous as I worked on the piano that was used in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest when it was in Brighton.”

David still tunes and looks after the contract for Worthing Borough Council. He said: “I love getting out and about and cover a wide area. To a certain extent, the trade has died a death but I love what I do.”