THE LANCASTRIAN THEATRE ORGAN TRUST - THEATRE ROYAL, HYDE
Recognised as one of the world leaders in Theatre Organ Preservation
The Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust. was formed in 1968 for the purpose of saving the Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ installed in the Paramount/Odeon Theatre, Manchester.
The Wurlitzer Organ was purchased in 1973 and installed in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester and opened in 1977. During this time the organ was featured many times on BBC Radio 2, presented in concert by many of the Worlds greatest Theatre Organists and was used for 4 Manchester International Festivals. The organ was removed from the Free Trade Hall when the hall was demolished and developed into a 5 star hotel. This organ is now installed in the ballroom of Stockport Town Hall.
The Trust also rescued the Wurlitzer organ from the Gaumont Cinema, Manchester. This was installed in the Granada Studios Tour Complex in Manchester for nine years. The organ was removed when the tours closed and placed in storage. Unable to find a suitable for this instrument, it was sold to and installed in Folly Farm Entertainment Complex, near Tenby, Wales. This organ was also widely recorded and broadcast.
In 1997 the Trust purchased the Compton Organ from the Davenport Theatre, Stockport prior to its demolition. This organ is under discussion for the possible installation into the Theatre Royal, Hyde.
The Trust also installed the ex. Odeon Theatre, Sale organ into the assembly hall of the Blue Coat School, Oldham.
For a number of years the L.T.O.T. maintained the organ installed in the Tenants Hall, Tatton Park, on behalf of the National Trust and also presented bi annual concerts at that venue
Refurbishment and Re-installation (Stockport)
The installation of the Stockport Wurlitzer was a result of joint partnership funding. The total installation cost was over £200,000. This was as a result of donation from various benefactors and the National Lottery. It was estimated that the man-hours involved in this installations was £65,000. The Technical team of the L.T.O.T carried all the work regarding the installation. It is acknowledged by Stockport M.B.C. that since the installation of the Organ it has become an undisputed asset to the town hall and to the people of Stockport.
L.T.O.T./Theatre Royal Trust Partnership.
It has been agreed in principle that the Compton Organ will be placed on permanent loan to the Theatre Royal Onward Trust, subject to certain agreements for the use of the organ for L.T.O.T. concerts and fund raising, which would cover the cost of ongoing maintenance. The Organ would be installed in the Theatre Royal with all costs covered by L.T.O.T., Grants and Heritage Lottery Funding. It is estimated that the total estimated partnership funding would be £120,000. The Organ would be maintained free of charge by the L.T.O.T. The organ will be enlarged from its original tonal size; the better to suit a more varied and enhanced use in the Theatre.
The L.T.O.T. will work in partnership with the Theatre Royal Trust to promote the benefit of all forms of entertainment, including educating youngsters in the art of organ playing and also as an introduction to the technical aspect of the workings of the Compton organ. The organ would be made available for the benefit of the people of Tameside and surrounding areas.
Use of the Organ includes:
Solo Concerts. Orchestral Concerts. Male Voice Choir Concerts. Silent Movie Presentations. Use by local and National Operatic groups. Ethnic Groups. Theatre presentations. Use as a practice and familiarisation instrument for music students. Dance Groups. School Speech Days etc.
The Compton Organ is a multi functional instrument capable of being used for all Classical Organ and Orchestral Work, as well as Light Entertainment.
Full details of the Trusts activities can be found on the L.T.O.T. website www.ltot.org.uk
The Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust is thrilled to be associated with the Theatre Royal Onward Trust in this fine venture, which will ensure that the Craftsmanship and Traditions of Yesterday are preserved for the generations of Tomorrow. (LTOT Motto)
Secretary/Trustee, The Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust.