WEST Marton Village Hall stepped in at the 11th hour to allow piano exams to go ahead.

For dozens of Craven pianists it seemed like all their practice was in vain after it was decided to cancel the exams due to Covid restrictions.

Ordinarily the exams would have taken place in the home of ABRSM piano exams host Irene Truman.

Irene has been hosting the examinations in her house in West Marton for 20 years but social distancing restrictions dictated otherwise and students would not be allowed to enter her house.

“People don’t realise that students may be practising for months or even years on the lead up to their piano examinations. It was such a terrible let-down after all that hard work,” said Irene.

“We got thinking and said what if the exams were not held in a house at all but in a village hall?” she added.

As long as social distancing and all Covid protocol were observed it was admitted that this could be an option.

Irene got together with Rachel Davidson who helps run West Marton Village Hall.

Together they hatched the plan with the only sticking point being they had no piano.

Fortunately, Adam Cox, of Yorkshire Pianos, in Beamsley, kindly offered the use of a piano at short notice and had one delivered to the venue.

Rachel said: “It’s fantastic that students were able to safely take their exams in our lovely hall and I’m so glad that there is some good news at this difficult time.

“The village hall is sadly not being used for anything at the moment. It’s really important that we let people know once all this is over village halls are open for business as usual.

Around 60 piano students played in front of examiner Steven Wilkie.

Mr Cox added: “Practice is key for piano performers. Lockdown has meant many different things to different people. Although our computers have become more important than ever, many people have found a return to traditional pursuits to get through lockdown. It doesn’t get much more traditional than playing the piano.”