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Who would you want to share a one to one with? (3 replies)
I am sure many of us have contemplated which particular composer or performer would we most want to meet or hear playing. Bach and Widor would I am sure be at the top of many peoples list and of course at the top of mine.
But I have a far more personal number 1, a family member I never met, my grandfather Tom Jenkins who died when I was just months old and who was too ill even to see me in the cot.
He was organist at the Mill Street Tabernacle in Aberystwyth which had a fine 3 manual Harrison & Harrison organ. The Tabernacle was destroyed by fire in 2008 but luckily I did get to play the organ there before the fire and I believe the organ was moved out when the building closed in 2002 so I believe it is playing again somewhere else.
You can just see Tom sat at the console in the picture below. I don’t know the date but I guess it is shortly after the war. He is wearing a wing collar, a far cry from the playing dress of today even for formal Sunday services. He gained his FRCO so he must have been accomplished. By all accounts a very good accompanist apparently noted in press reports that he saved a choir’s Eisteddfod performance more than once transposing down with them as they got flatter.
So he is the man I would want today sit down with and have a chat and hear him play. Why not share with us who are on your list and why you have chosen them?
Like you, David, I would like to meet some of the great composers of music for our instrument, so long as I don’t have to make them suffer with my attempts at playing their wonderful compositions !!
One person I do wish I had met though, is my wife, Jackie’s grandfather Captain Harold Dring. Sadly he died long before I met Jackie.
Captain Dring was a well known cinema organist in the 1920s & 30s playing at many cinemas in the Hull and Sheffield area. One venue he played was the Albert Hall, Sheffield which was being used as a cinema at the time. This was unusual as it contained an organ built by the French organ builder - Cavaille Coll. How that sounded accompanying silent movies is anybody’s guess but by all accounts Harold did it to high acclaim. Sadly, the hall burnt down later and the organ was lost for ever. He was also involved in the wider musical life of the city including Sheffield Orpheus and Sheffield Phil.
Born in Hull in 1892, he was educated at Hymer’s College and studied music in Paris.
After his time in Sheffield where Jackie’s mother was born, the family moved to Sale, Cheshire where we now live. Here he had a music shop and a small recording studio as well as being active in the local music life.
I have heard many interesting stories about him from Jackie and her late mother, I only wish I could have met him – we could have had hours of fun together with my recently acquired Viscount Cadet 42 organ.
This is the only photo we have of him at the organ. We believe it is the Regent Cinema, Sheffield. Just for fun, I superimposed him playing my Viscount – if only !!
Thanks for your story above. Here is one of the photo's you sent.
And here is the other photo
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