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Compton Lodge- 40th Anniversary and closing concert:
Compton Lodge, on the corner of Sapcote Road and Grace Road in Sapcote Leicestershire which opened in May 1979 will close its doors for the last time on Sunday May 5th.
Established by Paul Kirner, this theatre organ venue has been entertained hundreds of thousands of people over the last 40 years. Changes in people's leisure habits and significant rises in travelling costs, have seen numbers decline in recent years, which has led to the management taking the decision to close this May.
There is to be a final farewell performance at 2.30pm on Sunday May 5th 2019 where Paul will perform where patrons can say goodbye to it and each other.
Paul created this venue with his late wife, singer and comedienne, Hazel after they ceased touring clubland. There were daily group visits where patrons were entertained by the couple and well fed with luxurious buffets. There were also regular Sunday concerts by Paul and the country's leading theatre organists.
The original organ was the 2/5 from the Odeon Wealdstone. Although a small instrument it had good quality pipework as specified by Henry Wingfield, Musical Director for Odeon Theatres and was an ideal powerful interval organ. It comprised of Wooden Tibia, Tuba, Muted Trumpet (15”), Cello and open flute. Although a good instrument for intervals it wasn't comprehensive enough to cope with 2-hour performances, so over the years it has been enlarged and improved. Initially a third manual was added along with a Diapason and Vox Humana as well as some extra bases. About 20 years ago the Ritz Belfast console was acquired which allowed for significant expansion and for it to be developed into it's present specification.
Paul has been able to hand pick the best of pipework from the various manufacturers over the years to give a very broad spectrum of tone colours.
 
English Horn (Wurlitzer - North Cheam)
French Trumpet (Wurlitzer)
Tuba (Gottfried)
Tibia I (Wurlitzer)
Tibia II (Wurlitzer)
Vox Humana (Wurlitzer)
Vox Humana (Compton)
Cello (Compton - Wealdstone)
Gamba (Compton - Belfast)
Violin (Wurlitzer)
Violin Celeste (Wurlitzer)
Diapason (Wurlitzer)
Quintadena (Wurlitzer)
Flute (Wurlitzer)
Clarinet (Wurlitzer)
Kinura (Pawlyn)
Saxophone (Wurlitzer - Ipswich)
Orchestral Oboe (Wurlitzer)
Krummet (Compton - Odeon Leicester Square)
Oboe Horn (Marr & Colton)

 

Although we are sad to see the closing of Compton Lodge, the instrument has a very positive future. After May 5th the organ will be dismantled and carefully shipped to the Music Palace in Ynyshir, South Wales which is part of Paul Kirner's Theatre Organ Collection. The Collection is a registered charity (1176604), which was established to preserve and promote these magnificent instruments and their music. There are currently 4 theatre pipe organs at the Music Palace so with the Lodge organ it will have 5 in total which will make it one of the largest collections of it's type in the world. As well as the pipe organs there are examples of some very rare vintage electronic instruments and other memorabilia.
Whilst the Lodge instrument has been enjoyed by many people over the last 40 years the acoustics of a relatively small room have always held the instrument back. The Music Palace has a 30' high ceiling and far more room for the pipes to speak so we eagerly await hearing it in the new home.
So come along for your last opportunity to hear this magnificent instrument- the largest theatre pipe organ in the Midlands.
Date: Sunday May 5th 2019 Venue: Compton lodge, Sapcote Road, Sapcote, Leicester LE9 4DW
Time: 2:30pm (doors open 2:00pm)
Admission: £7 per person Enquiries: email pkmusicpalace@gmail.com Phone 07974 813445

Open day at Bournemouth Pavilion:
On Saturday March 16th 2019 there is an open day with all area tours of the Pavilion with Cameron Lloyd featured at the Compton organ throughout the day. There will also be vintage cars outside the Pavilion, and theatre workshops performed around the building. The Cinema Theatre Association will be presenting a display of cinema artefacts. This event is free.
On the following Tuesday, March 19th at 6:30pm, there will be an anniversary film show on the actual day the Pavilion opened, 90 years ago. Donald MacKenzie will be featured at the Compton organ, the Municipal Orchestra will be playing hits of the 1930s, and the Warner Bros. 1933 film, '42nd Street' will be presented on the big screen. Tickets for this event can be obtained from the Pavilion box office.

It was confirmed on February 5th 2019, by Cannock Chase Organ Club, that the 4/57 Compton Concert organ which was originally installed and still housed in the Wolverhampton Civic Hall has been removed.
Due to 'possible asbestos contamination' of the organ, the largest of its kind built by The John Compton Organ Company, it has already been scrapped as contaminated waste.
Steve Tovey worked tirelessly in his time as Wolverhampton City Organist, to keep this organ in playing condition for all to enjoy. The organ saw numerous restorations and improvements under his watchful eye, thus making it one of the finest examples of Compton's work right until the end.
CCOC would like to thank everyone that has supported them and this instrument in the past, and to everyone who has fought to continue Steve's work in keeping this instrument in the public eye.

Kevin Morgan informs us that, due to change of circumstance, he is now available all year round for concert and recital bookings, please write to:

444 CLIFTON DRIVE NORTH
LYTHAM ST ANNE'S
LANCASHIRE
FY8 2PP
Or phone:
01253 723370

Kevin Grunill says: After 15 years at St Andrew's Church, Penistone, Thursday Lunchtime Organ Concerts commence at The Astoria Centre, Barnsley on 6th September 2018 at 1:00pm

A new CD from Donald MacKenzie at the Odeon Leicester Square's original 1937 Compton Cinema Organ.  The recording is crystal clear and the organ is well captured. It is available from Donald at 5 Lewis Close, Aylesbury HP19 9AW (with cheque) or at his concerts or via eBay with PayPal (just search on his name and the CD will come up). Priced at £11.50 inc P&P.

The tracks are:

1. At the Odeon
2. Leicester Square Looks Round (March)
3. Forgotten Dreams
4. Rickshaw Ride
5. Tunes from '42nd Street'
6. Mary Poppins Film Music Selection
7. The land of might have been (from 'Gosford Park')
8. Waltzing in Song selection
9. Sweet Sue (from 'Some Like it Hot')
10. Transatlantic Lullaby
11. Grain of Rice
12. Sixties Swing selection
13. Ain't Misbehavin'
14. Sidewalk Serenade
15. The Genius of George Gershwin selection
16. You Raise Me Up!
17. George Formby Memories
18. At the Odeon

 

Organist Don Thompson died on January 5th 2018.
After leaving university Don got a job at the Trocadero Ballroom in Derby before moving to Brussels as organist for the their World Fair from April to October 1958.
Don was born in Kendal, Cumbria in 1934 and his interest began, like so many, in the Tower Ballroom Blackpool listening to Reginald Dixon. He was appointed assistant organist at Kentmere Church in the Lake District when he was sixteen and soon after moved to the large Stricklandgate Methodist Church in Kendal.

 

 

Upon his return to the UK he found work playing in nightclubs and ballrooms in the north. After a year spent in Beirut Don moved to the USA in 1968 and became an established Pizza Parlour organist at a variety of establishments, playing five nights a week for around 20 years.
Don returned to the UK several times and played concerts at (amongst others) Leicester Square Odeon, Regal Henley-on-Thames and finally, at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.