Keith Harding's Mechanical World of Music in Northleach gets a facelift

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Partners John Ferris and Keith Harding in the new building which will be ready in April Partners John Ferris and Keith Harding in the new building which will be ready in April

A MAGICAL museum of music is undergoing a transformation, ready to be unveiled at the start of next month.

Keith Harding’s World of Mechanical Music in Northleach repairs and restores world class antique music boxes. It has been preparing for a grand reopening on April 7 following an extensive renovation across the entire building.

The 54-year-old museum shows a wide variety of self-playing musical instruments which were the only kind of canned musical entertainment available in the home before regular broadcasting began in 1924. All instruments are played by guides as live entertainment.

The World of Mechanical Music, featuring a gift shop, museum and restoration workshops was formerly made up of two properties but business partners Keith Harding and John Ferris recently decided to move everything into one building to save a bit of money.

“It’s just going to look completely different,” said owner Keith Harding. “We’ve got new flooring, new lights, it’s going to look superb.”

Keith’s World of Mechanical Music has been running for 54 years and started off in London. It has only been in Northleach for 29 years, moving to the town in 1985.

The museum was even blessed by the former Bishop of Warrington and good friend of Keith and John’s, David Jennings, after he retired to Northleach.

“The new building will look amazing,” continued 83-year-old Keith. “It’s going to be much better and great fun. It’s such a popular place now and I hope this will make it even more popular.”

The world famous restoration workshops have the reputation for being best in the world for the restoration of antique music boxes and the gift shop has even been called “the best in the Cotswolds”.

The company also boasts strong international connections and currently, one of their big-name buyers is setting up a museum in Singapore.

Keith Harding’s World of Mechanical Music is based on the High Street in Northleach and is open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day from 10am-5pm. Contact 01451 860181 to find out more.

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