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3-manual Christie cinema organ in house in Dudley, West Mids for sale, £350,000

Started by Contrabombarde, July 16, 2017, 09:18:09 PM

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The house is for sale, that is....and presumably the three manual Christie organ in the cinema in the attic (yes seriously!) would come with it. £350,000 for a semirural mansion this size looks like a bargain, though I can imagine you would need to spend several times that much to bring the house back to first class condition. And the organ has long been unplayable.

The Christie was installed by the present owner's father when he converted the attic into a paying cinema early in the 20th century. Amazingly I have actually managed to track down a recording of Firmstone senior playing at (scroll down to Eldon Firmstone). It was used to make radio broadcasts in World War II and is one of only two Christie organs to have been installed in private residences apparently.

David Pinnegar

What becomes interesting is that the instrument was part of the house at the time the house was listed and therefore should be part of the listing as Grade II*, the structural necessities of the instrument being part of the house.

What an absolute bargain for such an amazing house.

Best wishes

David P


Would the estate agent and vendor be aware of that restriction in the listing I wonder? Perhaps someone should inform them before it ends up in the skip!

Bargain indeed, though for a reason. As a listed building but with major structural problems it is only being sold to cash buyers with the means to effect the repairs necessary, and I should imagine that the cost of the building itself would be dwarfed by the cost of restoring it to its former glory. The present owner (himself a noted architect who worked on the conversion of part of Somerset House in London to become the Courtauld Institute in London) sold off much of the surrounding land a few years ago to build housing in an attempt to raise more money to save the manor house, but it sounds as though far more is still needed. And in selling off the surrounding land for a housing development, it has inevitably reduced its value further. Just being a listed building would put a lot of people off buying it (including those who might object to having a pipe organ in the attic!) due to the additional costs of having to do any changes sympathetically. 

Still, for the same money you could have a bedsit in central London and I know which I would rather have if I had the means to buy it!