3/13 Wurlitzer - Winter Gardens Opera House

Organ

Specification: 
3/13
Manufacturer: 

Location

Winter Gardens Opera House
97 Church Street
Blackpool,
FY1 1HL

The Wurlitzer organ of the Opera House, Blackpool was installed in 1939 by the Wurlitzer Company. It was designed by Winter Gardens organist Horace Finch and is unique in it's specification, in the UK, to include a Tibia Plena. It is also the final new instrument installed by the Wurlitzer Company in the UK, and the second last new instrument installed by the Wurlitzer Company anywhere in the world. Therefore, it's unique specification coupled with it's place as the very last new Wurlitzer in the UK marks a significant place in our cultural and musical history and simultaneously, marking the end of an era.

The Wurlitzer was unveiled in July 1939 on the same night the Opera House Theatre opened, with Horace Finch and Reginald Dixon at the console. Throughout the years the organ was featured as an element of shows, cinema interludes, radio broadcasts and recordings by organists including Reginald Dixon, Horace Finch, Sidney Torch, Watson Holmes and Ernest Broadbent. During this time it received some maintanance work, however after lingering unused between 2001 and 2007 the organ had slipped into a state of disrepair and had become unsuitable for serious playing.

In late 2007, Cannock Chase Organ Club President, and Wolverhampton City Organist, Steve Tovey, came to learn that there was a possibility of the Opera House Wurlitzer being removed from the theatre to be utilized as spare parts for the Tower Ballroom Wurlitzer. Steve approached Blackpool Winter Gardens management and on hearing of it's state of disrepair, discussions began with regards to restoring the organ back to a playing condition deserving of public presentation.

In the winter of 2007/2008, in conjuction with Blackpool Winter Gardens, Cannock Chase Organ Club spent many weeks under the stage, where the pipe chambers and mechanisms for the organ are situated, undertaking restoration work, repairing wind leaks, completing repairs to wind lines, pipes, belows and tremulants. The organ continues to remain on its original 1939 starter motor, which was required to be meticulously examined, restored and greased by electrical engineers, in addition to the blower. Repair and service work was additionally carried out to the lift which brings the console up into view.

A concert programme has been in place since 2008, and the organ has been used for the Royal Variety Performance in 2009, the 70th Anniversary Show of the Opera House (and the organ), Silent films, film festivals and shows.

The Specification is as follows.

Pedal
32ft Resultant Bass
16ft Ophicleide
16ft Diaphone
16ft Tibia Clausa
16ft Bass String
16ft Bourdon
8ft Tuba Mirabillis
8ft English Horn
8ft Harmonic Tuba
8ft Diaphonic Diapason
8ft Tibia Clausa
8ft Tibia Plena
8ft Gamba
8ft Cello
8ft Flute
4ft Octave
16ft Piano
8ft Piano
Bass Drum
Kettle Drum
Crash Cymbal
Cymbal
Cymbal Dampers
Accomp to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Traps to 2nd Touch.

Accompinament
16ft Contra Gamba
16ft Bourdon
16ft Vox Humana tc
8ft Harmonic Tuba
8ft Diaphonic Diapason
8ft Tibia Clausa
8ft Tibia Plena
8ft Orchestral Oboe
8ft Saxaphone
8ft Gamba
8ft Gamba Celeste
8ft Krumet
8ft Flute
8ft Vox Humana
4ft Octave
4ft Piccolo (tibia clausa)
4ft Tibia Plena
4ft Gambette
4ft Gambette Celeste
4ft Flute
4ft Vox Humana
2ft Piccolo (flute)
16ft Piano
8ft Piano
4ft Piano
Mandolin
Chrysoglott
Snare Drum
Tambourine
Castanets
Chinese Block
Tom Tom
Sand Block
Cymbal Dampers
Octave
Solo to Accomp

Great
16ft Ophicleide
16ft Diaphone
16ft Tibia Clausa
16ft Tibia Plena tc
16ft Saxaphone tc
16ft Contra Gamba
16ft Bourdon
16ft Vox Humana tc
8ft Tuba Mirabillis
8ft English Horn
8ft Harmonic Tuba
8ft Diaphonic Diapason
8ft Tibia Clausa
8ft Tibia Plena
8ft Orchestral Oboe
8ft Saxaphone
8ft Gamba
8ft Gamba Celeste
8ft Krumet
8ft Flute
8ft Vox Humana
4ft Clarion (harmonic tuba)
4ft Octave
4ft Piccolo (tibia clausa)
4ft Tibia Plena
4ft Gambette
4ft Gambette Celeste
4ft Flute
2 2/3 Tibia Twelfth
2 2/3 Plena Twelfth
2 2/3 Twelfth (flute)
2ft Tibia Piccolo
2ft Plena Piccolo
1 3/5 Tierce (flute)
8ft piano
4ft piano
Cathedral Chimes
Sleigh Bells
Xylophone re-it
Xylophone tap
Glockenspiel
Bells re-it
Chrysoglott
Sub Octave
Unison Off
Octave
Solo to Great

Solo
16ft English Horn tc
16ft Ophicleide
16ft Diaphone
16ft Tibia Clausa
16ft Tibia Plena tc
16ft Saxophone tc
16ft Contra Gamba
8ft Tuba Mirabillis
8ft Harmonic Tuba
8ft Open Diapason
8ft Tibia Clausa
8ft Tibia Plena
8ft Orchestral Oboe
8ft Saxaphone
8ft Gamba
8ft Gamba Celeste
8ft Krumet
5 1/3 Quint Plena
4ft Clarion (Har Tuba)
4ft Octave
4ft Piccolo (tibia clausa)
4ft Tibia Plena
2 2/3 Tibia Twelfth
2 2/3 Plena Twelfth
2ft Tibia Piccolo
2ft Plena Piccolo
8ft Piano
4ft Piano
Cathedral Chimes
Sleigh Bells
Xylophone Re-it
Xylophone Tap
Glockenspiel
Bells Re-it
Chrysoglott
Sub Octave
Unison Off
Octave

Accomp 2nd Touch
8ft Harmonic Tuba
8ft Diaphonic Diapason
8ft Tibia Clausa
Cathedral Chimes
Xylophone Re-it
Sleigh Bells
Triangle
Solo to Accomp

Great 2nd Touch
16ft Ophicleide
16ft Tibia Plena tc
16ft Saxaphone tc
8ft Tuba Mirabillis
8ft English Horn
8ft Tibia Clausa
Solo to Great

Effects (Stop Keys)
Horse Hooves
Surf
Birds
Fire Gong

Vibraphone
Vibraphone Dampers

Grand Crash Pedal
Sfortzando Pedal

Key Cheek- Accomp Treble
Telephone Bell

Tremulants
Main
Tuba Harmonic
Tibia Plena
Solo
Tibia Clausa
Tuba Mirabillis
Vox Humana