Last week genealogist Liz Yule obtained a piano. One was going spare and it seemed like a good idea. As a historian, of course, the first question is how old is it? Followed by where did it come from? Apparently it was around 60 years old. But why not find out more?!
The maker is one “C H Wood and Co, Hollinwood”. So a piano from Manchester then. Research then revealed that C H Wood was one Charles Henry Wood, who died relatively young in 1901. His daughter continued the business alongside family member John Bainbridge, but kept the name C H Wood. When Charles died he left an estate worth around £2000: fifty years later at the death of John Bainbridge, he left over £100,000. The piano business clearly served the Wood family well, and it is clear Liz’s piano was built under the tenure of John Bainbridge.
And the future of the piano business? On John’s death his two sons were working as a solicitor and a chemist respectively, so it appears that the business possibly died with him.