Tickling the ivories

piano brings public positivity to Manchester

THEY say it’s the season to be jolly, and staff at Oxford Road train station in Manchester hope you’ll all agree.

Linger long enough at the station’s public piano and you’ll hear everything from Chopsticks to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

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Video from Max Brown

Oxford Road station manager Abbi Patel, and platform member of staff Michael Sheehy, are hoping to hear performances of Christmas carols over the next couple of weeks.

Mr Sheehy said: “It’s for anyone to use, we’ve had some fantastic players.”

The piano was placed in the station a couple of years ago by former station manager John Ryan, and has proved to be a huge hit.

It’s one of a number of train stations housing pianos up and down the country, with other notable locations including: Doncaster, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and London St Pancreas.

Most people tickle the ivories after a night out with groups gathering round for a sing-song, and it’s often a great stress reliever when trains are late.

Patel said: “They’re enjoying it, and that’s what we want at the end of the day. Even if the train is 10 or 15 minutes late, they’re not bothered, they’re getting amused.”

By Emma Sweeney