A BELOVED community piano in the heart of Bicester has been repaired after it was vandalised, and people are happy to play the instrument once again.

Inspired by London Railway Street Pianos, resident David Thompson renovated an unwanted 1930s piano turning it into the Bicester Street Piano in time for Bicester Festival in September.

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Local artist Casimira Mostyn spent 50 hours painting the instrument with the Bicester Festival theme, of 'Sea Change’. It has a sea scene from ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ on the bottom and on the upper half a tree, decorated with different birds.

Sitting outside the Bicester Ex Services Club in Pioneer Square in the town centre, the piano is free for anyone to use with children and adults alike enjoying either their first attempts at playing in public or rekindling a skill they had many years ago

But on October 15, David was shocked to find the piano lid had been broken in two.

After quickly fixing it, it was vandalised again, but it hasn’t put David off from keeping the piano going.

He said: “I was a bit disappointed but was always aware that it could be vandalised. However, it only took three or four hours to fix, and is still functioning okay.

“Since then, it is more disappointing with another attack on it on Sunday night. Given the joy and a bit of colour to the town I am not unduly put off continuing to maintain this lovely piano.

“I have been overwhelmed by the support and positive comments on social media, it really is most heart-warming."

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Casimira says that despite the damage, the piano is a great way to bring the community together.

She said: “Until the street piano was vandalised, I had not realised just how much the people of Bicester love and use it. Both children and adults are loving the opportunity to play it. I have had such lovely comments regarding the piano and how much they love the artwork as it's fun and cheerful.

“This piano gives me so much comfort. I play it when feeling stressed and feel so much better. Sometimes people even go and play and sing.

“It's such a wonderful way of getting the people of Bicester together and enjoy something unique and such a wonderful idea of David's who has dedicated so much of his time looking after it and organising sing-alongs and piano playing events.”

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