Clipstone Headstocks: Classical pianist plays three gigs at ex
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Clipstone Headstocks: Classical pianist plays three gigs at ex

Jun 09, 2023

A classical musician from Nottinghamshire had his £100,000 piano craned into an ex-colliery for a three-night celebration of music and mining.

Chris Miggells has sold-out three unique concerts at Clipstone Headstocks for the launch of his album.

The 32-year-old, whose grandfather was a miner, said a performance like it had "never been done before".

The 50ft tall powerhouse will host 150 music lovers on Saturday night, following shows on Friday and Thursday.

Mr Miggells' Steinway Grand Piano, worth £100,000 and supplied by Sherwood Phoenix in Mansfield, was hoisted in using the original manual crane inside the engine room of the pit.

He told the BBC ahead of the opening night: "To have a venue like this to debut my album is extreme.

"It's never been done before and it's not the typical place you'd expect to hear an album of classical music.

"The building really gives the music a unique sound and brings it to life; you're playing the whole room with the piano."

First opened in 1922, the colliery in Clipstone was the heartbeat of the village until it closed in 2003.

Mr Miggells, originally from Mansfield but who now lives in Boughton, said after having the opportunity to look around the old colliery last year he instantly knew it was the perfect venue for his album launch.

Originally he only had plans for a single show, but phenomenal demand meant two more nights were organised at the colliery to accommodate his fans.

"I would have been over the moon if even half of the first night turned up to hear me play my original music," said Mr Miggells. "Three nights sold-out here is just a dream come true."

Owner of Clipstone Headstocks, Stuart Mills, bought the former colliery in 2020 and has plans to transform the site into a visitor attraction.

The site features the tallest headstocks in the world and had been empty since its doors closed two decades ago - until it was purchased by Mr Mills.

He said: "It's been derelict for 20 years - it was owned by the coal authority and they let it go into disrepair.

"We're now reversing all that vandalism and decay that the it's had."

Mr Mills added: "It's almost like the place was built for [classical music concerts] because the acoustics in the iron cathedral - as we now call it - are just fantastic."

A monument in tribute to 57 miners who died while working at the colliery was unveiled at a 100th anniversary fundraising event last year.

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