We are a piano sales and tuning, restoration business based in Dorset, UK. We are rare in the piano business with the skills, wisdom and experience of combined historical history of over 100 years. Our workshop is there for all to see in our showroom, there are always works in progress, fitted out with spare parts and tools to completely restore or render minor repairs.

There are now very few piano retailers who have the up to date knowledge and experience to stock the very best selection of pianos for all pockets and piano grades. We have a specific criteria and check list that we adhere to when selecting our used and new stock, assuring quality and reliability.

Dorset Pianos/Westminster Pianos/R G Ware & Son

Established in 1964 after our founder Ronald George Ware left the piano shop Hickie & Hickie Ltd in Bournemouth as workshop manager. From 1968 Ronald Ware changed the business name from Ronald Ware Pianos to Ronald Ware & Son after the birth of his son Nigel Ware, then another name change in the 1990s to Sarum Pianos when we established our first shop front in Wilton, Salisbury. We were also known up to recently as Westminster Pianos due to the early millennium works we had school county piano tuning contracts with Harrow & Bucks and other London based works.

Ronald Ware 1932 – 2021 (1953 Start of national service)

Dorset Pianos Ltd has been registered since 2020 due to the great success of the piano sales business.

A LIFE IN PIANOS – By Ronald George Ware Founder

Following a traditional five year apprenticeship at Hickie & Hickie Ltd Bournemouth Branch, National Service beckoned.  Whilst stationed near Wantage, Berkshire and then near Bicester,  Oxfordshire, I found myself tuning in both areas as due to being semi rural, the nearest tuners were probably in Reading and Oxford and I had acquired my first car.

During my longer 7 or 14 day leaves I sometimes went back to Hickies to work.  At the end of National Service, I found myself running Hickies workshop.

At Hickies I was working alongside someone who had been employed in a factory making pianos, who taught me aspects of restoration that I would not otherwise have experienced.  He explained the making of a soundboard during a thirty minute lunch break.   Setting up and regulating actions that some of the others were short in knowledge;  especially when most instruments were completely restored and you were almost starting from scratch like a new instrument.

Due to the company employing a new manager who knew next to nothing about the piano business, after 14 years at Hickies, I left.    Most of the tuning customers came with me.  I commenced restoring top of the market grand pianos  and repolishing the cabinets “ in house” as I had been working in a French polishing shop for a while and was able to relate that experience to pianos and selling in “as new”  condition;  then moved on to what we have today.


From the age of three years old, I was sat at a work bench by my father in the attempt to keep me amused; from that moment on, I was to be a piano technician. Throughout my school life, in the seventies and early eighties, during the school holidays I put myself to work in the workshop and began learning piano tuning at the age of eight. By the early eighties, I was tuning school pianos, as we had the contract for Dorset County Council and West Hampshire. We can be quite sure that I would have been the youngest piano tuner/technician in the world.

The workshop is where we spent most of our time in between tuning days and where the most interesting work took place. Throughout my adult life, I have had to work on all types and ages of pianos, from the bargain basement horrors to the very best concert grands money can buy. The experience I have over the decades has been rewarded by only now working on the very best pianos that were manufactured in the twentieth century.

Quality and Experience Guaranteed
Over 100 years of combined experience in the Piano business.
Formaly tuning & repair contracts with…
* Dorset County Council
* Hampshire County Council
* West Sussex County
* BucksCounty Council
* Harrow County Council

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