89-Key Marenghi No. 2456

This instrument was built in Paris c.1910; its early history is unknown, but by 1921 found its way to Derbyshire showman Harry Hall, who used it in his scenic whale switchback ride. The organ features one of only two known original examples of Marenghi’s Grelotophone– a set of tuned sleighbells. It was later sold to West Country showmen Anderton & Rowland’s, who used it in their four-abreast galloping horses roundabout. The ride and organ passed to Sam Smart and, finally, the Kursaal in Southend. By 1968 the organ had suffered considerable damage and was purchased by Ted Reed for preservation. Chiappa Ltd, London rebuilt the instrument and James Tiller of Long Sutton redecorated the organ as you see it today.

Played on open days between:
November, January & March: 11:00 – 11:20, 13:30 – 13:45 & 16:35 – 17:00
December, February & April: 12:15 – 12:30, 14:40 – 15:00 & 16:40 – 17:00

Marenghi Factory

Photographs: AFOM Collection (lower: postal card believed to be organ 2456 outside the Marenghi factory. This image was used to illustrate façade designs to potential clients).

89-key Marenghi 2456 playing: The Way You Look Tonight – Jerome Kern