The Hadleigh Compton Photo Gallery

More photos to follow soon

[Console] Gerald Usher, current resident organist and restorer of the organ.
At the top of the picture you may just about be able to make out the percussion unit, which contains, among other things, a bird whistle, a genuine train whistle (as used by British Rail on their trains), a car horn, an authentic chinese drum and sleigh bells.
The matching shelf on the other side of the swell shutters will eventually have the chromatic percussion rack on it. That has a glockenspiel (which doubles as orchestral bells) and a xylophone, which doubles as a marimba by having an extra octave at the bottom. You can see the chromatic percussion rack end on to the right of the console in the next photo.
[Barn] The [rather low quality] photo on the right was taken a while back, and a lot has changed since then. There is now a proper carpet down and a rather attractive wrought iron chandelier in the middle of the room. There is also a very effective heating system, which is a major consideration for pipe organs which can go out of tune very easily if the temperature isn't kept reasonably constant. To ensure constant temperature and humidity in the organ chamber, an electric radiator and a large bucket of water have been put inside.
This photo shows some of the interesting features of this organ, including the "jelly-mould" lighting for the sides of the console, which we currently believe to be of the "Rainbow" type. To the left of the console, you can see the bottom half of the speaker for the Melotone unit.
[Low pressure pipes] These pipes are on the "ground floor" of the organ chamber, and require a lower air pressure than those on the "first floor". In the background, you can see some of the 8ft wooden pipes, which are cleverly designed to play two different notes. The pipe sounds a note and the semitone above by opening or closing a valve. This technique saves space in the organ chamber. Although space is not really a consideration in the current organ chamber, it would have been in the original organ chamber(s), where pipes would have been crammed into the smallest available space - a practical consideration for the cinema's architects; a pain in the neck for whoever got the gymnastic job of tuning and performing maintenance on the organ!

[Melotone unit] The thing under the green tarpaulin (right) is, in fact not the Melotone unit as previously stated, but a Theatrone. The original Melotone was flooded out while at Hadleigh and so was presumably replaced with this. However, I have no information to indicate that it has ever worked with this organ. One possible solution to the problem of getting the Melotone stops working is to wire up an old electronic organ, which came from Southend High School for Boys.

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