"Duck Son & Pinker
The Famous Music Company formerly occupied this site 1848-2011"
"In 1848 Duck Son & Pinker was founded by William Duck (1820-1892), a native of Bath.
His first piano shop was at No 2 Pulteney Bridge and this business quickly expanded until it occupied the whole of one side of Pulteney Bridge, comprising seven shops.
Educated at Bath’s Bluecoat School in Sawclose, and Bancroft’s School, London, William Duck developed a talent for music. He gained considerable repute as a concertina performer making tours all over England. Later in life he became the lessee of the Theatre Royal, Bath, and in 1875 purchased the provincial rights of the famous H J Bryon comedy, ‘Our Boys’. The first performance of this play out of London was at Bath on 29th March 1875, as were the 1000th and 2000th performances and, at that time, its long run was something unprecedented in the annals of the stage. In commemoration of this success, William named his residence in Oldfield Park ‘Our Boys’. Ironically, it was to become the Bath City Secondary School for Girls and this later evolved into Hayesfield Girls’ School.
In 1878 William’s son, George, entered the partnership, and Thomas Pinker joined six years later when the business title became Duck, Son & Pinker.
George Duck was a bachelor and lived with his father in Oldfield Park until the latter’s death in 1892. He moved to live with his sisters in Clifton, Bristol, and became the sole proprietor of the business.
Thomas Pinker was initially employed by George as a piano tuner before being taken into the partnership and was a man of considerable business ability. He was a musician and organist at St John’s Church, Weston, Bath, and a member of Bath Rowing Club. Tragically, he drowned whilst yachting off Ilfracombe in 1887 at the early age of 43 years.
The extent of the Company’s business is gathered from the fact that at its height, 65,000 piano tunings were carried out annually, an average of 1,250 per week, whilst the Sheet Music Department was for many years one of the largest in the Trade.
Duck Son & Pinker took over Milsom & Son here in Northgate Street, but the name remained because F H Milsom and A C Milsom became future chairmen of Duck Son & Pinker.
The company closed its doors for the last time on 1st April 2011 following the death of managing director and principal shareholder, Mr Leslie Fudge."
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