Christie Cinema Organ opus 2956 was built by the firm of William Hill & Son, Norman & Beard in 1935 for the Century (later Essoldo) Cinema, Clacton-on-Sea, and opened with the cinema in July 1936 with Frank Matthew at the console.
It contained the following seven ranks of pipes. Diapason, Tuba Horn, Orchestral Trumpet, Tibia Clausa, Vox Humana, Concert Flute and Viole D’Orchestra, plus a synthetic Orchestral Oboe and Saxophone, all played from a unique 3 manual illuminated console.
It was purchased by ILOMS in 1967 with a view to installing it in Ipswich Town Hall however it was eventually installed above the stage in the sanctuary at Castle Hill United Reformed Church opening on 21 November 1971.
The huge illuminated surround was discarded and eventually replaced with wooden 'Granada-style' ends from the Adelphi cinema, Slough. These ends are removed after concerts and an oak surround fitted to give it the appearance of a church organ.
Since then much restoration work has been carried out and four more ranks of pipes have been added: Clarinet, Muted Strings II and Kinura, plus a 12 note Wurlitzer Diaphone extension. These together with four sets of tuned percussion and various non-tonal percussions provide a diverse tonal pallet capable of playing a wide range of music. A rare Christie Post Horn rank is in the process of being installed.
History of the Organ and Society.
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