Author Topic: Compton Electrones  (Read 26498 times)

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chrislawtonorganist

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Compton Electrones
« on: May 01, 2012, 05:11:26 PM »
Hi there,

Does anyone know of any churches which still use Compton Electronic organs?  I have a big interest in the post war electronic work of Compton.

I did write to Makin organs (as they took over from Compton in 1971) and got the reply 'sorry we cant disclose this information'.  This is PC gone completely mad - im asking for details of organs in PUBLIC places of worship - not a patients medical records!

Hope there are some individuals on here who are ruled by common sense and not PC!  However, private message me if you would feel more comfortable.

Thanks in advance,

Chris Lawton

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Seeking information on Compton Electrones
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 05:17:13 PM »
Makins......hmmmmmm.....what can I say?  Not got a lot of time for the company.  The organs are 'okay' but nothing exciting.

My dealings with Makin have not been brilliant.  I recently asked them for information for research im doing on Compton electrones and I got told 'we cant give away such information'!!!  PC gone mad????  Im asking for info on organs in PUBLIC places of worship - not after hospital records!

Secondly, they were extremely rude and very unprofessional when someone I know who was looking for a home practice organ decided to go for an Eminent instead of Makin who he ahd initially approached.

Im not a great fan of digital organs but given the choice id go for an Eminent.  Every bit as good as a Makin for less the price AND much more helpful!

Just my twopennys worth!

David Pinnegar

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Re: Re: Seeking information on Compton Electrones
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 06:51:39 PM »
Hi!

Makin not wanting to give info on Comptons seems a bit daft as hardly can that technology have any relevance to their current commercial interests. Or else they simply don't have it and don't want to say as much?

Best wishes

David P

revtonynewnham

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Re: Re: Seeking information on Compton Electrones
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 07:17:53 PM »
Hi

Please be careful of how opinions are expressed about any organs - electronic or otherwise.  Considered constructive criticism is fine - calling a project a load of rubbish is not!  What I or someone else dislikes may well be perfectly acceptable to someone else.

As for Compton Electrones, the various bankruptcies and ownership changes over the years mean that the current Makin firm has little real connection with Compton.  Compton organ specialists in Suffolk MAY have some info available - and other electronic organ specialists may also be able to help - but, good as they are on their own terms - and in the light of what was available in their heyday - they are now very old technology.

Every Blessing

Tony

revtonynewnham

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 07:24:24 PM »
Hi Chris

See also my comments in the Makin repair thread re the current company.

Burnham on Crouch URC was still using a Compton Electrone in the late 1990's when I left the area, as was the Anglican Chapel of Ease in Maylandsea, Essex (that's the church in Maylandsea village - NOT Maylands parish church which is about 3 miles away and has (had) the remains of a 2 manual Forster & Andrews house organ cut down to a single manual.  The Electrone at Maylandsea was put in c. 1996 - secondhand.  I was one of 4 local organists who played the opening recital.  (That was the occaision where I played Norman Cocker's Tuba Tune - printed in the programme as "Tuber Tune"!)

I've not come across any others recently, although one of the now redundant Congregational Federation churches was selling an Electrone recently.

Every Blessing

Tony

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2012, 07:32:56 PM »
Thank you muchly for that Tony!

I also realised today why Makins wouldnt disclose to me the info - everytime I go somewhere and tell the church how rare and wonderful their electrone is, im potentially losing them a sale!

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Re: Seeking information on Compton Electrones
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 07:36:40 PM »
Had no luck with Compton organs in Suffolk either Tony.

However it has occured today as to why Makins and Suffolk Comptons dont want to give me info.  Im potentially losing them business!

Im visiting churches and telling them how rare and wonderful their electrone is and how they should hang on to it etc etc.  I know for a fact ive lost one of the forementioned companies two sales as a result of me visiting!  LOL

David Pinnegar

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Re: Re: Seeking information on Compton Electrones
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 08:23:32 PM »
However it has occured today as to why Makins and Suffolk Comptons dont want to give me info.  Im potentially losing them business!

Im visiting churches and telling them how rare and wonderful their electrone is and how they should hang on to it etc etc.  I know for a fact ive lost one of the forementioned companies two sales as a result of me visiting!  LOL

Um. Perhaps their lack of forthcoming and your activities in losing them sales might possibly be linked. They might well consider that you're setting up in competition and declaring commercial warfare . . . Possibly not the best way of making friends and influencing people . . .

Best wishes

David P

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 08:31:10 PM »
Thank you muchly for that Tony!

I also realised today why Makins wouldnt disclose to me the info - everytime I go somewhere and tell the church how rare and wonderful their electrone is, im potentially losing them a sale!


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chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Seeking information on Compton Electrones
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 10:57:52 PM »
A big thank you to a couple of people for messaging me some interesting information!  They know who they are!  Thats two more electrones found!

Love them or hate them they were wondrous things of their time and opportunities should be taken to preserve examples for future generations - just like the great steam locomotives.  I happen to really admire them and know im in a big minority - but then again, I never was one to 'follow the crowd'!!!

Compton Organs(R)

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 09:57:17 PM »
I was rather disturbed by comments that Compton Organs Suffolk have been unhelpful in supplying information on churches using Compton Electrones and general information on Compton Electrone organs.

Firstly, out of courtesy to a church and conducting a business on a professional level, it is important to us to ask the permission from a church, before giving their details to a member of the public. Whilst the Compton Electrones were light years ahead of the competition in the 1950-60's most organists and churches would agree that later technology has seriously put these once fine instruments in the shade, regarding authentic pipe organ tone and practically maintenance free costs. As a result very few churches today still use a Compton Electrone organ. When requested recently for a list of Compton - using churches we were hard pushed to name two! When asked whether we could have their authority to let  someone who has an interest to play these organs to contact them, both declined. We should therefore respect people's opinions on not allowing organ enthusiasts to play their instruments and not just assume it is Political Correctness gone mad.

To suggest that we are worried that it could lose us new business, is rather a banal comment, when you consider an elderly 50-60 year old Compton is hardly in the same category as a new digital organ!

We have people emailing us, sometimes from outside the U.K. asking for information on Compton Electrone organs and we are very pleased to be able to help them. Indeed we have never refused this class of help and being fortunate to possess such specialised material, we feel a deep sense of responsibility to pass on this information.

Robert Cook

flared_ophicleide

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 01:16:37 AM »
This may be a bit off-the-wall, but I was watching the Beatles' HELP! movie, and early on, we see Paul McCartney playing a 3-manual electronic theatre, Art-Deco-style.  My first guess was that it was a Compton, possibly an Electrone.
By chance, has anybody seen this movie?

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 10:31:30 AM »
I watched the Beatles Movie last night after reading your comment and at about 6 minutes into the film is the organ scene.  It is indeed a Compton electrone - the model 3ME to be exact.  The surround is a copy of the Odeon, Leicester Square.

I feel I should also point out that my comment regarding losing electronic organ companies business was nothing more than a joke and wasnt meant to cause any harm.  I dont think any church is going to take much notice of a guy who makes one visit to play their organ and as pointed out, a 50-60 year old electrone is nothing over a modern digital without any moving parts.  I guess many people in the 60s begged British Rail not to get rid of their 'rare' and 'wonderful' steam locomotives......

Compton Organs in Suffolk have been VERY helpful - I had an email from them yesterday.  I had emailed a few months ago and received no reply.  A pipe organ building friend of mine had told me not long after I approached Makin and Compton Organs 'not to expect much from an electronic organ company' which seemed to make sense at the time and having never approached organ companies before in this way this was completely new to me.  Obviously, if a church says no then there is nothing else that can be done.  Always think attitudes like that are destructive really when you get organists that see it as 'theirs' and 'theirs only'.  Is it any surprise why so many youngsters now have no interest in the organ?  Who can blame them really if they show an interest and their first encounter is with a 'terrotorial' organist.  However, that is an entire topic in itself.

I must say though, having wrote to 3 pipe organ builders I received info very quickly without any problems.  In fact, I know now the locations of pretty much every Compton pipe organ in Scotland!!!  Im not going visiting yet though for as much as I am a big Compton fan, im not driving a round trip of 600+ plus miles to play a Miniatura in a village in the Highlands 20 miles north of Fort Augustus for just one example!

MusingMuso

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 10:46:19 AM »
This may be a bit off-the-wall, but I was watching the Beatles' HELP! movie, and early on, we see Paul McCartney playing a 3-manual electronic theatre, Art-Deco-style.  My first guess was that it was a Compton, possibly an Electrone.
By chance, has anybody seen this movie?


===========================


I like the organ-console in this film:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44Nf1ahgmyk


That's got to be a Compton, surely?



MM

David Pinnegar

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 05:44:45 PM »
I guess many people in the 60s begged British Rail not to get rid of their 'rare' and 'wonderful' steam locomotives......

:-) Perhaps lovers of pipe organs might consider the Electrone comparison better made in the efforts to preserve lost and unloved dirty and noisy DMUs which caused a distinctive rumbling whoosh to be emitted from many a countryside tunnel vent and without which, in the absence of church clock bells, timekeeping in the countryside no longer has aural landmarks . . .

Best wishes

David P

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2012, 06:22:54 PM »
However, interest in the old British Rail DMUs is started to slowly rise.  The East Lancashire Railway now has regular 'Diesel Days' (in addition to 1940s weekends, LMS weekends etc) and seems to get a good number to these.

Barrie Davis

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2012, 07:40:18 PM »
Hi

We could start a new thread about railways!!! I remember the GWR having a diesel railcar on its Severn Valley line when it went from Kidderminster to Shrewsbury, noisy horrid looking machine, I much prefer steam!!!!

The late Charles Lloyd who was organist at Worfield in Shropshire had a large minature railway in the grounds of his house, he used to get back from church and in between services and open the line to the public.

David how about a line at Hammerwood  :P

Best wishes

Barrie
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 07:42:06 PM by Barrie Davis »

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2012, 09:42:26 PM »
Well a lot of organ enthusiasts also have an interest in railways (myself included) so why not?

I guess you could say I have a love of all things vintage and unusual.  Railways which include everything from steam, diesel, electric, underground and metros to Virgin Pendolinos.  I did want a vintage car a few years ago but my partner Michelle put up a barrier on that one - she did let me have an electrone taking up half the lounge so felt not worth pushing my luck! Art-deco is another of my interests and sometimes when I visit London I get a thrill from just walking around such places as Northolt, Greenford and Perivale - and of course old cinemas where that interest and the organ go hand in hand.

One musnt think im anti-pipe - far from it.  I have an interest in the Compton company as a whole.  On a practical level, the sound is nothing on modern technology but spinning wheels and glowing valves fascinate me.  Looking at a few circuit boards just doesnt thrill me if you see what I mean.

David Pinnegar

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2012, 10:11:09 PM »
The late Charles Lloyd who was organist at Worfield in Shropshire had a large minature railway in the grounds of his house, he used to get back from church and in between services and open the line to the public.

One of the past presidents, I believe, of EOCS at Dormans in Surrey opened his doors to the society to enjoy the large three manual instrument he built as well as his railway line. Sadly I arrived too late to experience the latter . . .

One of the most genious of organists, in my opinion, of our time earns is a Great Western driver as his main job. It's a pity that good instrumentalists are not appreciated enough for them to be able to earn a living from playing . . .

Best wishes

David P

David Drinkell

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2012, 01:31:55 AM »
However, interest in the old British Rail DMUs is started to slowly rise.  The East Lancashire Railway now has regular 'Diesel Days' (in addition to 1940s weekends, LMS weekends etc) and seems to get a good number to these.

I remember, a few years ago, on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch, a small boy kicking up a dreadful fuss when they took the diesel locomotive off at New Romney and put one of Greenley's Pacifics ('Hurricane' - my favourite) on to take the train to Hythe.  Obnoxious little brat, of course, but a sign of the times.

 


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