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18 April 2019, 13:38 | Updated: 18 April 2019, 13:51
The instrument was trashed by a hen party who were passing through the train station over the weekend.
A hen party has destroyed the public piano in Newcastle Central station, after “kicking in the panels under the keyboard”.
Peter Tracey of Newcastle Rotary Club, who installed the piano four years ago, told Chronicle Live it was a “real shame”, as the piano was used and loved by many people passing through the station.
“Unfortunately a hen party decided to have a smashing time – literally – and they’ve damaged the piano beyond repair. They kicked in the panels under the keyboard out, and they’ve damaged the keyboard by hitting it.
“It’s a real shame, the piano was much-loved by everyone at the station. Lots of people used to use it on a daily basis.”
Formerly homeless teenager Kevin Jones got in touch with the local newspaper, to describe how the piano “saved his life”.
Kevin, who last year found himself sleeping rough on the streets around the station, was renowned for playing the station piano – even though he had never touched a musical instrument before.
“It was the only thing that helped me emotionally,” Kevin said. “To have no family, to have no one there for me, it was all I had. The piano sits there in the station and I don't think people understand how important it is to some people. It literally meant the world to me.
“It’s just a disgrace to hear someone has decided to go that far and destroy it.”
The damage was spotted by station security staff, who have since moved it out of the main station area. Local media have reported no legal action is being taken.
Tracey, who came up with the idea after seeing a similar installation in a train station in Prague, has since found a new piano for the station.
The replacement instrument has been sourced from a local church, and will be installed in the station in the coming weeks.
According to Chronicle Live, the new instrument will also have collection boxes to raise money for cancer charity Daft as a Brush. The old piano, which gave players a chance to donate to the Children's Heart Unit Foundation, raised more than £1,000 for charity.