South Yorkshire Times March 15, 1969
After Only 11 Weeks
After just 11 weeks of piano lessons an 11-years-old Goldthorpe boy received one mark short of a distinction when hr took second place in his section at Saturdays B.B.C.S. Music Festival at the Arcadian Hall
Roy Wagstaffe, of 2, Market Street, Goldthorpe, achieved this against 19 competitors in his class, of whom the majority have had years of practice. Until his lessons began, Roy had only an out-of-tune piano with a note missing on which to practice, and even this he has had for only nine months. This remarkable achievement is the result of wonderful initiative on the part of the boy.
Said his father, Mr. Richard Wagstaffe: “He has always loved music. When he was only six-years-old he went and asked his tutor, Mrs. Jackson, for lessons without even mentioning it to us. At that time we thought it was just a passing phase with him, because none of our family have ever been interested in music at all.”
He continued, “Last year our next-door neighbour moved and offered us their old piano. We were going to refuse it, but Roy said he could play it, Of course we thought he couldn’t possibly, but we let him have the piano anyway. It was remarkable how he sat down and just started playing tunes, without ally practice at all.”
“Roy then went back to Mrs. Jackson—who he had found himself—and got a bill for the lessons and presented it to us. We couldn’t really refuse after that.”
When the piece for the festival was tried out on the old, piano, it was found that one of the notes would not sound at all.
Despite this, Roy, a pupil at Goldthorpe Junior School, battled on. “We went to /see him play at the festival and were really astounded when he did so well. He has done everything on his own,” said Mr. Wagstaffe, a former colliery worker. “We will certainly give him every encouragement from now on.”