The Gosport Organ Club was formed in 1977 under the leadership of local grocer Mr Harry Cook at the local Thorngate Halls Community Centre.
In 1981 the thriving Club built the organ chambers at the rear of the Ballroom stage for the purpose of installing the Compton Organ from the Regal Hammersmith, however before this could happen the larger 3/12 Compton from the Gaumont Wood Green was obtained and the Hammersmith Compton was sold on. The Compton was installed by club members under the direction of Mr Stuart Jameson of Eastleigh. The console is on castors and is wheeled out from its stowage between the two organ chambers.
The opening concert was performed by John Mann on 21st April 1981. A further Kinura and Trumpet rank were added in 1985. The Compton Pipe Organ is still in its original build state and is only one of two still surviving Comptons with electro-mechanical relay action still playing in the public domain; the other is now the chapel organ in Wormwood Scrubs Prison.
The Gosport and District Organ Club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 1pm. It meets in the Ballroom where Club Members play and listen to the Compton Pipe Organ. After two years repairs and restoration on the Compton, the organ is now back in a concert playable condition and it is hoped there will be more concerts in the future. This is one of the few locations that members can actually play a Compton Cinema Organ on a regular basis, a necessity to keep this magnificent instrument in playable condition. The Thorngate Halls is an excellent location with plenty of parking, bar and restaurant facilities.
Thorngate Halls, Bury Road, Gosport, Hants, PO12 3PX
Annual Subscription: £8
Members monthly subs: £4 (non-players)
£8 (play Compton)