Friday, June 6, 1986

MUSIC man George Spowart is looking forward to a slower rhythm of life now he has retired as the county council’s official piano tuner.

But playing the piano will not be one of his relaxations, because the Longframlington man cannot play a note.

His career has taken him from tiny village halls to world-class concert platforms, often in the course of a day.

Last Friday, his 25 years with the county ended with a presentation of retirement gifts by Education Director Mr Christopher Tipple.

Born into a musical family at Widdrington, where his brother Norman still teaches the subject, Mr Spowart served his time in Waddington’s piano works at Newcastle before being called up during the war.

After a few years’ part-time work for the county, he joined the staff full-time in 1961.

But despite his background, he never learned to play.

“You don’t need an ear for music to be a tuner,” he said.

“In fact, that is one thing you don’t want – it puts you off.”

He has enjoyed the variety of his work, going from a little school in the Cheviots to a big comprehensive and then perhaps a recital by a renowned artist like John Ogdon.

Now he and his wife Ruth, who have two daughters, will spend their retirement devoting more time to gardening as well as listening to music.