The Hadleigh Compton Cinema Organ

Serial number: A337

Apologies for the recent lack of updates. However, I now have a copy of the article in the June edition of the Cinema Organ Society Newsletter here

Apologies for even fewer updates over a longer period of time! Other people have started their own sites about this organ and its restoration. Links are provided below:


I now have some recordings of the organ in action - I took a tape recorder to the barn and then "digitally remastered" the files and converted them to MP3 format when I got home.


The organ was originally installed in The Kingsway Cinema, Hadleigh - the close-up of the console and Grantham jelly-moulding were emailed to me by Ivor Buckingham, and the view of the whole console was mailed to me by John Sharp, who took it on 27th June 1968.

The organ was moved to Rochford in 1972, but was not fully operational until 1984. The colour photos came from the website of the National Pipe Organ Register in Cambridge. The black and white ones were taken by John Sharp on 11th November 1984

The organ is now in the late stages of reinstallation in a barn on the outskirts of Southend. All photos in this section were taken by me with an APS camera.


The organ was originally installed in the Kingsway, Hadleigh in 1936. It was moved to the Nurses' Recreation Hall at Rochford Hospital in the 1970's, presumably when the Kingsway closed. David Stanley was resident organist until the demolition of the Hospital started, which was when I became involved in the project to relocate the organ.

It is now being re-installed in an 18th Century barn (build in 1770 - the year Ludwig van Beethoven was born) by Gerald Usher, a part time teacher at Southend High School for Boys.

The organ has 500 pipes, lots of percussion and special effects. It is powered by a 15 horse power motor and a 3ft fan. The console case is of the "Rainbow" type, and is like the one at the something in Grantham. It would probably originally have been on an electric lift, but is currently sitting on breeze blocks... :-) Apparently, some organs were on hydraulic lifts, but these tended to leak leaving the organist to sink back into the pit before the end of his interlude!

The mechanism is electro-pneumatic with 22,000 interconnections, running on 15 volts DC, powered by the original Compton generator.


The Compton List This site, by Ivor Buckingham, is attempting to recreate the data lost in a fire at the Compton factory during World War II. Ivor has given me some information regarding the Hadleigh organ, and this will find its way onto the site in due course.