Sunday, 26 August 2012

Fairground Organ

I’d been looking for a small Fairground Organ for years. Not an actual working one that takes paper rolls, but one of the replica ones (although many still have an age to them) that would have taken tapes but that I could get converted to play MP3’s. I’d wanted one just to have one really, but my thought was it would be a great way of playing music for the marionette shows. As many of the marionettes are circus themed, and I love anything circus related, I had the idea that if I ever found one I would have it restored, or redesigned, in a circus theme.

How it looked when I bought it
A couple of years ago I spotted one on eBay that was being sold down in Bournmouth. It was in good condition, sold looking and had the sort of intricacy in the front that I was looking for. It wasn't painted at all well and had an awful figure in the centre, but it had potential so I decided to put in a bid and I got it!

Totally renovated!
Once I had got it back home I approached my good friend and excellent wood carver, puppet maker, ingenious creator and all over amazing individual Ted Beresford. I went over my ideas with Ted and explained the sort of thing I was after. I explained I needed some speakers added and the ability to hook up and MP3 to them, I would like a new figure in the front with a circus theme (a Ringmaster conductor perhaps?) and if possible some lights around the inside edge. Yes I know I wasn't asking for much, but this is Ted and I am always so confident with him and what he does that I wanted to make sure I covered everything! A few weeks passed and I got the call from Ted to pop over and have a look at what I thought so far. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed but I never dreamt how good it would look.

Ted and Charlotte in front of the renovated Fairground Organ
Ted had given it a total overhaul repainting it, carving a wonderful ringmaster conductor for the front complete with working arm, added fairy lights all the way around, speakers and an amp and even hooked up a microphone! It was superb. I brought it home and couldn't stop looking at it! Hooked up my MP3 and got it going with some fairground Organ tunes and it looked and sounded superb.
Now on top of renovating the fairground organ so perfectly Ted also offered to make a cart for it to be pushed along on, so that week I went to a reclamation yard and bought some old cart wheels, gave Ted an idea of the sort of cart I was after, though as always with Ted he added his own suggestions and improved on my ideas immensely. Adding a handle for pulling or pushing that can be pulled out from the cart and then stored away again when in use, and storage space within the cart if required. Ted and his son created a special spindle for the wheels and fixed it all up so that it works perfectly. It looks superb and I couldn't have hoped for anything better. I can’t thank Ted enough! But Thank you Ted – you’re amazing!

It went from this to this.....thank you Ted!

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