Obituary for Martin Weedon

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Martin Weedon, my brother, who died of cancer at the age of 67, was the founder of the very famous Piano Warehouse, which provided musicians and celebrities with pianos.

In 1977, Martin and a partner, Mike Neill, founded a company together, starting with used furniture and pianos. This evolved into the restoration of the piano and finally the Surbiton, Surrey, based Piano Warehouse.

The company grew to include the importation of new pianos in the 1980s. The business supplied musicians such as Oasis, Coldplay, George Solti and John Ogdon with instruments for several prosperous years, as well as other well-known personalities such as broadcaster Jon Snow and film director Sam Mendes. Martin was born in Dorking, Surrey, the third of Veronica’s four children (née More), a journalist, and Tom Weedon, a freelance photographer and lecturer at Guildford. Our family relocated to Fornalutx, Mallorca, when Martin was six years old. A few months after the transfer, our father died, but we lived there for three years.

In the village, Martin made friends and formed a lifelong link to the town. We went back to the UK in 1962, to Newdigate in Surrey and then to London.

At Ottershaw Academy, Martin did well, but left at 16. He got to know the musicians of the time, made several friends among the bands, and taught himself to play drums in part through my job as a music photographer.

But he was conscious that he needed a new path.

He joined the Divine Light Mission in 1972 – staying briefly in an ashram and leading a very austere life – and worked with the mission to establish charity stores. He became friends with Mike in the process, and together they went into business.

Martin was an enthusiastic sailor and spent most of his free time in the Caribbean and Mediterranean chartering vessels, often taking his teenage nephews along to give a break to their parents. He was an avid reader, especially of philosophy. When he discovered an old manuscript of our mother’s life in photography, it was Martin who had it digitized in 2019 and helped edit it for publication by the Mallorcan Archives of Sound and Image, ASIM.He never fully retired and worked part-time in his business, which was run from his home in Horsham, West Sussex, until his death.Martin married his longtime partner Deborah Hollier in 2017.

She leaves him as well as his son Alex from a previous relationship, his stepchildren Eleanor and Freddie and his siblings Tom, Fiona and myself.

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