Weʼre raising £7,000 to help fully restore Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life’s Compton cinema organ.
- Coatbridge, UK
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Built by the John Compton Organ Company in 1937 and originally installed in the 1,750 seater Mayfair Cinema, Aigburth, Liverpool, the organ has three keyboards, or ‘manuals’ and 6 ranks of pipes. Cinema organs evolved from church-like organs in attempt to replace the orchestras which accompanied silent films, so unsurprisingly, the Compton boasts many unique orchestral sounds and percussive sound effects; you’ll find everything from a tuba to a bird whistle, and everything in between!
The organ’s restoration journey isn’t quite complete. In order to bring the instrument back to its former glory, we need to install a melotone, a genius piece of technology invented by Compton, which generates haunting sounds through electrostatic principals.
We would also like to install another rank of pipes, namely, a vox humana, which as the name suggests, imitates the human voice. Though not original to the organ’s specification, there is ample room to add this tremendous amount of colour to the instrument’s sound.
Very soon also, much of the original 1937 leather and woodwork will require attention. This is by no means a quick, easy or inexpensive task, but will prove to be essential in ensuring that the organ sings out for years to come.
We’re now relying on you, the public, to help us get the organ back to full working order.
It is our hope that, very soon, this organ will once again be one of the finest in the UK, allowing us to present the instrument in concerts featuring world-class artists, as well as showcasing the organ in other events such as silent films, tea dances and more – only possible through crowdfunding support.
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Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life started crowdfunding
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Aug 15, 2018
I'm really looking forward to hearing the Compton - I used to go to the Mayfair Cinema, Aigburth Road, Liverpool, during my childhood - early teenage years
Jul 22, 2018
Having loved hearing the organ at Pollokshaws played I can’t wait to hear your organ.
Jul 22, 2018
Heard it being played a few years ago and it was great.
Jul 13, 2018
Jul 13, 2018
Very best wishes for a successful campaign, this is a wonderful instrument and deserves to be heard in its full glory by as many people as possible.
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Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life
Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life is built on the site of the Victorian Summerlee Ironworks. The museum has a working tramway, miners’ row, sweetie shop, Monkland canal, play area, huge exhibition space and lots to see and do.
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