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How a dumped piano got a final curtain call

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Media captionGlen Akenclose plays the piano at a recycling centre. Video courtesy of Max Sinclair

When we visit our local recycling centre, we may not expect to be serenaded on a doomed piano by a worker sat on a washing machine, to make a viral video, nor to make a Facebook friend.

When Max Sinclair visited the local recycling centre in North Shields, North Tyneside, he found Glen Akenclose, who normally assists people disposing of their goods, helping people through their visits with an original composition.

And when the video clocked thousands of views on social media, Max and Glen were able to keep up where they left off.

Image copyright Max Sinclair
Image caption Max Sinclair hoped to recover the piano, but it was recycled overnight

"As soon as the bloke opened his van and I saw the piano I thought 'I'm going to jump on it'," says Glen, 25.

"I've worked at the recycling centre for a year. I've seen electric organs but I'd never had the chance to play them because I couldn't plug them in."

"I was dumping some rubbish off and heard some music," says Max, 50. "I thought it was from one of the cars. Then I saw this guy, realised he was playing the piano and thought it was a good tune."

"I made the music up myself," says Glen. "I'd done some tutorials because I'd been doing music production for 10 years. It was part of the learning to use a keyboard. Once you learn a few chords you can make a pattern."

Image copyright Glen Akenclose
Image caption Glen Akenclose says music is a hobby he shares with friends

"There were loads of people there, but nobody was paying attention," says Max. "I showed the video to my wife. She said I should stick it up on Facebook, people would like it. We had 25,000 hits on our page, we just had a video go viral!

"I've been getting a load of notifications on Facebook. I just thought he'd record the video and that'd be it," adds Glen. "I got loads of feedback because everybody says it's nice to see something like that. Dropping off your rubbish can be a chore."

"I didn't know Glen, but through Facebook we found each other and had a chat," explains Max, , who is starting a nearby decorative salvage yard. "When we open, Glen's going to play.

"I tried to get the piano. I went back, said I wanted it, but they said I wasn't allowed to take it off-site once it was there. I left a message to cover it overnight, but they must have changed shifts; it got trashed, but I know the wood went to recycling, so did the metal."

Glen says the experience has boosted his musicianship. "I've still got a keyboard in a cupboard at home. I'm always doing my own tracks, I think I'll put a bit more time into it.

"I'm no Mozart. It's just a hobby. A lot of people I know do it. The target is to release my own record this year."

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