Christie on Stage

The Mighty Christie, No. 2842 was built by Hill, Norman and Beard Ltd. of London and installed in the Regent Cinema, Poole, Dorset for its opening in June 1931. The organist for the opening ceremony was Jack Taylor. It remained in the Regent, being first broadcast in 1946, until 1968 when the cinema was turned into a Bingo hall.

After extensive maintenance and some rebuilding it was installed in the ballroom of the Antelope Hotel in Poole and was in regular use entertaining holiday makers. This lasted until 1979 when it was no longer required in its second venue. It was bought by Leslie Hartley and installed in the Woodlands Court Ballroom at the Sandford Park Holiday Centre, now owned by Weststar Holidays, where it remains to entertain holiday makers, concert audiences and those attending various special functions. The specification is now extended to include 14 ranks of pipes with dedicated ranks on the Solo manual replacing the original coupler. The resident organist is Brian Sharp.

Present pipe ranks
Main Chamber: violin diapason (diaphonic), cello, celeste (two ranks), flute, clarinet, violin, celeste (tuned as Under Maris).
Solo Chamber: vox humana, tuba, trumpet, saxophone, English horn, tibia clausa (Christie), tibia clausa (Wurlitzer).

The solo manual has electronic capture and the organ is equipped with MIDI.

Jack Taylor
Jack Taylor at the opening of the Regent in 1931
Brian Sharp
Resident Organist, Brian Sharp
Christie Console
Close-up of the Christie console
Organ Effects
Tuned bird whistle and xylophone
Some pipes
Oboe chest, clarinet, tibia, viole and celeste pipes
View in pipe chambers
More pipes and bass drum with work on switch stack

Thanks to Brian Sharp, Stuart Jameson and the owners and management of Sandford Park. Acknowledgement is also made to the booklet, "My Life", for background information.

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Main picture and console close-up 1998 Chas Girdwood. All other pictures Sandford Park. Page design and text 1999 Chas Girdwood.