Dale, Forty & Co Ltd.,
The oldest name in pianos in Cheltenham
Dale, Forty & Co. Ltd., is the oldest name in pianos in Cheltenham. Founded in 1873 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, partners Henry Dale and Frank Forty, formerly piano tuners with the Broadwood company purchased the established music house of Finlayson. The newly named Dale, Forty & Co. also acquired Hale & Co. music publishers by appointment to the Queen. Their magnificent music warehouse dominated the town’s famous Regency Promenade. Situated opposite Neptune’s Fountain, Dale, Forty sold absolutely everything to do with music, instruments, gramophones and later, radio. The Dale, Forty piano workshops imported all major marques of piano, repaired and reconditioned customers’ instruments and by the late 1900s manufactured a range of uprights and small grands, many of which are still in service today. By the early 20th Century, Dale, Forty had upwards of sixty shops throughout the Midlands and Wales, a tuning and repair service covering more than half of the country, together with a showroom and offices in Great Portland Street, London.
Henry Dale is also a source of great controversy in Cheltenham, causing the ‘Leckhampton Riots’ of 1902. Henry Dale had bought a lot of land on Leckhampton Hill, fencing off what had been a public right of way and building Tramway Cottage on the site of an annual travelling funfair that occurred every Good Friday. In outrage, 10,000 people stormed the land, destroying the fences and knocking down the cottage, which was subsequently re-built. A further attempt at its destruction was made and the principal of The Cheltenham Ladies’ College demanded that all of its Dale, Forty pianos be returned in light of such scandal.
The name Dale, Forty & Co. Ltd., was purchased in recent years and the pianos have once again gone into production both in the UK and in Shanghai. Named after prestigious areas of Cheltenham the different models come in a range of beautiful finishes, with lovely action. We were asked to create a brand identity for the company, imitating previous designs, so that the pianos would have an authentic look both inside and out.