Earlier this year I promised to deliver a public piano for Brighton Station...and today it landed! And not just any piano, a spectacular customised piano themed for our seaside setting.
Of course the first priority for stations and rail companies is to deliver safe, reliable and affordable services. But our station is also a public space and I love the idea of making all public spaces accessible and engaging...and fun!
We're a city bursting with talent and exhibitionism - now visitors and commuters can benefit from both!
After we installed the piano today we had plenty of people lining up to play. A Scout from Holland, musicians Josh and Nicolai. But when an off-duty train cleaner called Antonio sat down and began playing beautifully, the whole concourse stopped, listened, and erupted into applause when he finished. Have you ever seen passengers stop and applaud train cleaners before? That moment alone made it all worthwhile.
Peter and Gemma from the Brighton Piano Warehouse created this stunning piano and Beth, our Station Manager, cut through the red tape and made this all possible. Thank you to them.
Many thousands of people from Hove use this station every day, and I hope it brings everyone who passes by a little joy from time to time. Enjoy!
Best wishes, Peter
PS: Here's a video report from the launch on Latest TV: http://thelatest.co.uk/brighton/2014/08/01/commuter-delight-as-pop-up-piano-appears-at-brighton-station/