Cat no. 5092

On Camera: Organs No. 1

Running time23:25 Black & White Sound 1971

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A tour of preserved cinema organs around East Anglia.



The programme's organist and presenter visits a series of transplanted organs, beginning with a Wurlitzer from the Granada North Cheam, which now resides in an old railway goods shed in Burnham Market, Norfolk. After explaining the basic layout of a cinema organ, the presenter performs 'Sentimental Journey'. Also in Norfolk, the Colchester Regal's Wurlitzer has been restored and installed in the Oxnead Watermill, where it is powered by the mill's water turbines. Fittingly, the presenter plays 'The Mill'.

In Gorleston-on-Sea, a former cinema without an organ has become a bingo hall with an organ, as the Palace Bingo Hall houses the Aldershot Empire's Compton organ, which produces a different sound to the Wurlitzer as the presenter plays 'Beautiful Dreamer'. Another Wurlitzer, formerly of the Paramount Newcastle, is oddly located inside the Kitchen Brothers' motor garage in Diss, where the presenter plays 'Rio Chambira'.

Now serving as the gymnasium of a preparatory school, the former stables of Taverham Hall also house the Compton from the Harrogate Regal. Here, the presenter demonstrates the main difference between church and cinema organs - which sees the inclusion of a 'toy counter' allowing drums and effects noises - and to round out his 'organ safari', he performs an electric melotone and percussion version of 'Tambourin Chinois'.

Background Information:

According to the Cinema Organ Society, the Burnham Market Wurlitzer featured in this film is now in a private collection in Lymm, Cheshire; the Oxnead organ is now in a private collection in Hove, West Sussex, whilst the watermill now houses the Compton organ from the Norwich Carlton; the Gorleston organ is now in storage in Fleggburgh, Norfolk; the Diss organ is now in storage in Northampton; and, the Taverham organ is now in a private collection in Haughley, Suffolk.
[Source:, retrieved 24 May 2011.]

Featured Organisations:

Palace Bingo; Taverham Hall School

Featured Buildings:

Oxnead Watermill; Palace Bingo Hall, Gorleston-on-Sea; Taverham Hall

BBC East

Gordon Mosley

David H. Jones

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