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Click here to visit the official website of the Stockport Town Hall 4/20 Mighty WurliTzer.
Looking down at the keydesk of the beautiful
Stockport Town Hall 4/20 Mighty WurliTzer

Introduction and Credits

The Featured Organ of the Month for July, 2005 is our first Cinema Pipe Organ from anywhere outside the United States. This awesome instrument is located the Great Town Hall of Stockport, Cheshire County, England, U.K. It is owned and mantained by The Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust.

This feature was co-written by fellow Walnut Hill Featured Artist and Wall of Famer, Jim Reid. We apprediate the hard work he did researching the material you are about to read. We want to dedicate this month's feature to Bruce Miles from York, England, creator of the beautiful Cinema Organ SoundFont that gives the Mighty MidiTzer by Jim Henry its lovely voices. Thanks, Bruce.


Visit The Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust

We also thank the Trust for letting us quote from their website dedicated to this fantastic Theatre Pipe Organ. Be sure to visit their site to learn more about this fine WurliTzer, as well as all the other great Theatre Pipe Organs under their care.

About the Stockport Town Hall 4/20 Mighty WurliTzer

The Paramount Manchester was opened in October 1930 and was originally going to be one of a series of 50 proposed Paramount Theatres, these were to be equipped with WurliTzer PUBLIX 1 Theatre Organs. Only one of these fine instruments was finally installed at the Paramount Manchester, being the only one of that model to leave the United States.

When the Odeon Cinema was converted into a multicinema venue, the WurliTzer was acquired by The Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust in the face of attempts from overseas theatre organ societies to purchase it.

The organ was installed in the Free Trade Hall over a period of four years and was opened to the public in a special BBC Organists Entertains program in September 1977. The organ was placed on loan to the City of Manchester.

In August of 1996, Manchester opened a new International Concert Hall, called the "Bridgewater Hall", named after The Duke of Bridgewater, who built the Canal system around Manchester. As a result, the Free Trade Hall was closed, and as the new Concert Hall was built with a Marcussen Concert Organ, the Mighty Wurlitzer was again looking for a new home.

After several months of negotiations with Manchester City and various local authorities, a new home was found in the Great Hall of the magnificent Stockport Town Hall, a listed heritage establishment built in 1908.

It was decided to completely restore and rebuild the organ as near to its original condition as possible, hence negotiations were made for a grant from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts. This grant has enabled one of the largest Theatre Pipe Organ restoration projects in Europe to be undertaken.

About The Stockport Town Hall

It is quite fitting that this superb example of a WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ is located in Cheshire County. It is the only Theatre Pipe Organ in a public building in the county. Cheshire County is the birthplace of Robert Hope-Jones, telephone engineer, inventor and organ builder.

Robert Hope-Jones is credited as being the father of Theatre Pipe Organs, his many patents taken out at the British, and later, the US Patent Office, were the foundation of the design of the Theatre Pipe Organ as we know it today, and certainly the Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organs we have grown to love.

Click here to learn more about the Stockport Town Hall.

The Stockport Town Hall was the pride of local burghers when it was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1908. Built in white limestone with its distinctive tiered clock tower, it was (and still is) fondly known as "the wedding cake". It was designed by Brummel Thomas, who had earlier designed a town hall for the city of Belfast.

The interior is richly decorated with marble and has grand wrought iron balustraded double staircases. Besides council chambers, offices and a mayoral suite, there is a great hall, known as The Ballroom, which hosts public functions and is also available for hire for private parties and functions, as well as being used for its regular midweek Tea Dances.

Stockport Town Hall was built by the architect Arthur Brumwell Thomas in the Renaissance style. The building is known as the 'Wedding Cake' because of its ornate, white facade. Completed in 1907 at a cost of 56,881 pounds, it opened for business in 1908.

About Stockport, Cheshire County, England

Located on the River Mersey about 7 miles South-East of Manchester City Centre, Stockport is an attractive old town with a long history. Oddly, two alternative explanations seem to exist for the origin of the name of Stockport. One has it that, as a Saxon village, it was given the name "Stockport", which means " the market place at the hamlet " In fact, it has had a market there since well before it was officially granted in 1260 AD. Strangely, though both Cheadle and Bramhall (which now exist within the Metropolitan Borough) were referenced in the Domesday Book of 1086, Stockport itself received no mention.

Alternative authorities have it that here is sufficient evidence to support the argument that there had existed a fortified stronghold in the vicinity since ancient British times, and that even Agricola had recognised its strategical advantages and fortified Stockport to guard the passage of the Mersey. The town's name, then, could have been derived from two alternative Saxon words: "stoc" - a stockaded place or castle; and "port" - a wood. Literally, a castle in a wood. Either explanation is plausible and possible.

Recordings made on the 4/20 Mighty Stockport WurliTzer

Click here to buy At Your Request by Nigel Ogden
At Your Request by Nigel Ogden
Catalogue No. OS 248

Track List

  1. Our Squadron Leader
  2. Music from Heaven
  3. Don't Blame Me
  4. Mexican Hat Dance
  5. Evergreen
  6. Dance of the Hours
  7. Concerto for Lovers
  8. Saving All My Love for You
  9. Swinging Shepherd Blues
  10. Music by Henri Mancini
    • a) Anyway the Heart Goes
    • b) The Thorn Birds Theme
    • c) Darling Lili
    • d) Dear Heart
    • e) Whistling Away the Dark
    • f) Mr. Lucky
  11. Body and Soul
  12. Telstar
  13. Medley
    • a) Careless Whisper
    • b) Last Christmas
  14. Soho Samba
  15. The Haunted Ballroom
  16. Festival Toccata

WurliTzer - Style PUBLIX 1 Standard Specification

Click here to visit the official website of the Stockport Town Hall 4/20 Mighty WurliTzer.
Looking at the lovely console of the
Stockport Town Hall 4/20 Mighty WurliTzer.

4 Manuals - 20 Ranks - 8 Tuned Percussions - 9 Traps - Curved Console

This wonderful instrument has 4 manuals and 20 ranks of pipes. The specification of this organ was drawn up by Jesse Crawford, who in the 1920-30's was allegedly the highest paid organist in the world, earning an estimated 100,000 pounds per year.

Tuba Mirabilis8'73 pipes
Trumpet8'61 pipes
Tuba Horn16'85 pipes
Diaphonic Diapason16'85 pipes
Tibia Clausa8'85 pipes
Tibia Clausa16'97 pipes
Orchestral Oboe8'61 pipes
Kinura8'61 pipes
Clarinet8'61 pipes
Saxophone8'61 pipes
Solo String I8'61 pipes
Solo String II8'61 pipes
Viol d'Orchestre8'85 pipes
Viol Celeste8'73 pipes
Oboe Horn8'61 pipes
Quintadena8'61 pipes
Concert Flute16'97 pipes
Vox Humana8'61 pipes
Vox Humana8'61 pipes
Dulciana8'61 pipes
Piano85 notes
Marimba49 notes
Cathedral Chimes25 notes
Master Xylophone37 notes
Xylophone37 notes
Glockenspiel37 notes
Sleigh Bells25 notes
Chrysoglott49 notes

WurliTzer - Style PUBLIX 1 Stop List

PEDAL
16' Tuba Profunda
16' Diaphone Wood
16' Tibia Clausa
16' Bourdon
8' Tuba Mirabilis
8' Tuba Horn
8' Octave
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Clarinet
8' Saxophone
8' Solo String
8' Cello
8' Flute
4' Flute
16' Piano
Bass Drum
Kettle Drum
Snare Drum
Cymbal
Crash Cymbal
Accompaniment to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Solo to Pedal

Pedal Second Touch
16' Tuba Mirabilis - Pizzicato

10 Adjustable Combination Toe Pistons

ACCOMPANIMENT
16' Solo String (TC)
8' Tuba Horn
8' Diaphonic Diapason
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Clarinet
8' Saxophone
8' Solo String I
8' Solo String II
8' Viol d'Orchestre
8' Viol Celeste
8' Orchestral Oboe
8' Quintadena
8' Flute
8' Vox Humana
8' Vox Humana
8' Dulciana
4' Piccolo
4' Piccolo
4' Viol
4' Viol Celeste
4' Flute
4' Vox Humana
4' Vox Humana
2 2/3 Twelfth
2' Piccolo
8' Piano
Mandolin
Marimba (re-it)
Harp
Chrysoglott
Snare Drum
Tambourine
Castanet
Chinese Block
Tom Tom
Sand Block
Octave
Solo to Accompaniment

Accomp Second Touch
8' Tuba Mirabilis
8' Tuba Horn
8' Diaphonic Diapason
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Saxophone
8' Strings
4' Piccolo
Cathedral Chimes
Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Triangle

10 Double Touch Adjustable Combination Pistons

GREAT
16' Tuba Profunda
16' Diaphone
16' Tibia Clausa (TC)
16' Tibia Clausa
16' Clarinet (TC)
16' Saxophone (TC)
16' Solo String (TC)
16' Vox Humana (TC)
16' Vox Humana (TC)
8' Tuba Mirabilis
8' Trumpet
8' Tuba Horn
8' Diaphonic Diapason
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Orchestral Oboe
8' Kinura
8' Clarinet
8' Saxophone
8' Solo String I
8' Solo String II
8' Viol d'Orchestre
8' Viol Celeste
8' Flute
8' Vox Humana
8' Vox Humana
4' Piccolo
4' Piccolo
4' Viol
4' Viol Celeste
4' Flute
4' Vox Humana
4' Vox Humana
2 2/3 Twelfth (Tibia)

GREAT (Continued)
2 2/3 Twelfth
2' Piccolo (Tibia)
2' Fifteenth
2' Piccolo
1 3/5 Tierce
16' Piano
8' Piano
4' Piano
Marimba (re-it)
Harp
Cathedral Chimes
Master Xylophone
Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Orchestra Bells (re-it)
Sleigh Bells
Chrysoglott
Sub Octave
Solo Sub Octave to Great
Solo to Great

Great Second Touch
16' Tuba Profunda
8' Tibia Clausa
4' Piccolo
Solo to Great
Solo to Great - Pizzicato

10 Double Touch Adjustable Combination Pistons

BOMBARDE
16' Tuba Mirabilis
16' Tuba Horn
16' Diaphone
16' Tibia Clausa (TC)
16' Tibia Clausa
8' Tuba Mirabilis
8' Trumpet
8' Tuba Horn
8' Diaphonic Diapason
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Solo String I
8' Solo String II
8' Viol d'Orchestre
8' Viol Celeste
8' Flute
4' Clarion Mirabilis
4' Clarion Horn
4' Piccolo
4' Piccolo
Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Snare Drum
Great to Bombarde
Solo Sub Octave to Bombarde
Solo to Bombarde

Bombarde Second Touch
16' Tuba Profunda
8' Tuba Horn
8' Tibia Clausa

10 Adjustable Combination Pistons

SOLO
8' Tuba Mirabilis
8' Trumpet
8' Tuba Horn
8' Diaphonic Diapason
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Orchestral Oboe
8' Kinura
8' Clarinet
8' Saxophone
8' Solo String I
8' Solo String II
8' Oboe Horn
8' Quintadena
8' Vox Humana
8' Vox Humana
8' Dulciana
4' Piccolo
4' Piccolo
2 2/3 Twelfth (Tibia)
2' Piccolo
8' Piano
Marimba
Cathedral Chimes
Master Xylophone
Glockenspiel
Ochestral Bells (re-it)
Chrysoglott

10 Adjustable Combination Pistons

TREMULANTS (8)
Main
Diapason
Tibia Clausa
Vox Humana
Solo
Tuba
Tibia Clausa
Vox Humana

GENERAL
Three Expression Pedals - with Indicating Keys
One Balanced Crescendo Pedal
Two Shutter Couplers
- Main to General
- Solo to General
Vibraphone
Vibraphone Damper
Thunder Pedal (Diaphone) - Piano Pedal
Thunder Pedal (Reed) - Piano Pedal
One Double Touch Sforzando Pedal - Piano Pedal
- 1st Touch, Full Stops (wind)
- 2nd Touch, Everything
One Double Touch Sforzando Pedal - Piano Pedal
- 1st Touch, Snare Drum
- 2nd Touch, Bass Drum and Cymbal

Go back to the Featured Artists main page. Go back to the Featured Organ for June, 2005. Go to the Walnut Hill Graphical Website Map Go forward to the Featured Organ for August, 2005. Go forward to The MidiTzer Project main page.

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