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Stephen Dutfield

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About Stephen Dutfield

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  • Birthday 03/01/1966

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    Organs of any sort (church, concert, town hall, theatre, fairground) Clocks, Paddle Steamers, and the occasional real ale!
  1. 1) Broadly speaking, this is the case. the design of the chest was standard (although, of course they were perfectly able to construct 'non-standard' chests when required) being a single stage Roosevelt. From the mid-1930s onwards, with the introduction of the compound magnet, it was usual to use these on the bottom two octaves effectively making these notes two-stage pneumatic. These chests were produced in three widths, known in the factory as String (6 1/2" wide at the top board), Diapason (9") and Tuba (11"). It might also be of interest to know that, as standard, Compton pipework was mitr
  2. Now this is one area where you'll find examination of the theatre organ output very useful. From, I should think, the late 1920s until the outbreak of WWII, just about every Compton theatre organ included this latter type of Polyphone (known in the factory as the Biphonic bass) using just six pipes for the 16' Tibia octave. The earliest version had a pneumatic on the outside of the pipe, which opened a valve over a hole giving the higher of the two notes. Towards the end of 1933 a newer type came into production with the pneumatic inside the pipe, and an extension tube, complete with tuning sl
  3. Firstly, the 'nature of their relationship' was purely professional, being kindred spirits for many years in terms of the development and building of their organs. Jimmy Taylor was a family man, and his son was certainly still alive a few years ago when the late Ivor Buckingham was in touch with him over his researches. I seem to remember that JT's brother-in-law also worked in the electrical department. Jimmy Taylor died exactly a year after John Compton, at Easter time 1958. Incidentally, in an obituary to John Compton reprinted in the Elvin book, JC's age is given as 83. After Taylo
  4. Yes, they did a lot of the 'specials' - particularly the larger ones like the two at Southampton Guildhall and, I believe, the original BBC theatre organ which had beautiful quarter-sawn panelling on the sides. The console workshop at Chase Road did build the vast majority though, as most Compton consoles were made in one of their house-styles. I think the specials cost a lot more. The one other fundamental component which Compton's DIDN'T make themselves were keyboards, which were bought in and fitted into Compton-built frames. S
  5. I should have mentioned before that there is a very comprehensive run-down of the Compton company in Laurance Elvin's book 'Pipes & Actions'. Also of interest is an audio transcription I have of an interview which the late Clifford Manning conducted for research purposes, I think in the 1980s, with Roy Skinner who was a mainstay of Compton's electrical department from the late 20s. Thinking back on it, I have a feeling that he was married to Jimmy Taylor's sister. Also still believed to be in the land of the living is Susie Perkins - the adopted daughter of John Compton - who was last
  6. This is indeed true. There are many Compton theatre organs still in good working order, and a good many of them still operate on their original direct-electric relay system which is as efficient and long-lasting as it is ingeniously designed. Although probably not as plentiful as theatre organs in this state, there are also a good many pre-war Compton church organs still ticking along quite happily in their original condition. One was brought to my attention only recently in Sussex which retains a horseshoe stopkey console on a west gallery, so that it's rarely seen by members of the congregat
  7. It was indeed St. George's Hall, which had previously been the Maskelyne and Devant theatre (dedicated to the owners' illusionist shows) but had been taken over by the BBC as a light entertainment studio. The auditorium adjoined that of the Queen's Hall. In 1936 a four manual twenty-three unit Compton theatre organ was installed there as the first BBC Theatre Organ, making broadcasts easier when the vast majority were live and couldn't quite so easily take place in the afternoon or evening without disrupting cinema programmes if done on location. Reginald Foort FRCO was the first staff BB
  8. I am very pleased to see that Michael Hoeg - assistant organist at Llandaff for more years than I (or probably he) care to remember - has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. At the other end of the spectrum, as he embarks on his 34th season at Blackpool's Tower Ballroom, Phil Kelsall can also now add the letters MBE to his billing, as did his predecessor Reginald Dixon! S
  9. I'm fairly sure that Coychurch crematorium, near Bridgend, South Wales, has TWO pipe organs - one in each chapel! S
  10. I would have given it at least 4 out of 5... but then I like transcriptions when they're performed with the accuracy and panache of Thomas Trotter! He addressed the audience from the front of the nave at the beginning of the recital, but also introduced each item individually using a radio mic at the console, including his customary gems of information on the music and the composers. Everyone I know who was there was suitably impressed with the new organ, and afterwards I managed a quick chat with both Guy Russell and Andrew Moyes, as well as David Thomas (second assistant organist) and al
  11. I had meant to catch up with this thread before. Acting on the information provided by list members I was able to contact William Dore at Ampleforth, and he sent me the following about his father, which may well be of interest here: Born: Portsmouth 25 September 1903 Educated: Prebendal School, Chichester (chorister) and articled organ pupil of Dr FJ Read. FRCO awarded (c.1921) Queens College, Cambridge (organ scholar, originally to read History, but changed to Music. Double First Class Degree). N.U.I. Dublin (MusB) Borough Organist of Portsmouth (
  12. Thank you very much Malcolm. This is all very interesting information, and I'd like to take you up on your offer of a photocopy of the Barnard article if I may. I'll message you privately about that. I also had no idea that there had been any solo recordings made of the Pavilion organ as long ago as that. I'm glad I asked now! I have also had a reply from one of the brothers at Ampleforth who has forwarded my enquiry to William Dore. S
  13. Thanks David - I had no idea about this. I shall write to him this weekend. S
  14. I'm in the process of writing an article on the Pavilion, Bournemouth Compton for an enthusiasts' newsletter, but I'm finding it very difficult to find information about Philip Dore anywhere on the web. I know the details of his time at Bournemouth thanks to Malcolm Riley's excellent book on Whitlock, but can't seem to find any details of other appointments apart from Ampleforth, and no dates for anything - including his birth and death. If anyone could give me a quick run-down of his career, I'd be very grateful. Thanks in advance! Steve
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