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MMD > Archives > November 1998 > 1998.11.10 > 01Prev  Next

Carters' Steam Fair & Animated Band Organ
By Jeremy Brice

Beatrice Robertson's description of her animated Wurlitzer 125 made me
laugh, as it reminded me of a of a similar situation with an organ I saw
a few years ago.

In England, there is a travelling fair called 'Carters' Royal
Berkshire Steam Fair', which travels the London and Thames Valley area
with vintage amusements and supporting attractions owned by the Carter
family and tenants.

Apparently, Michael Jackson visited the fair while he was on tour over
here a few years ago and rumour has it that he offered to buy the lot.
John Carter (the head of the firm) told him in no uncertain terms what
he could do with his offer!  Further information and pictures can be
found at :-

For a couple of years they had tenants travelling a Cakewalk ride with
a 46-key Chiappa organ.  One May Day holiday, we were standing in front
of the ride listening to the organ when something caught my eye.  A
closer look showed that the front rank of melody violins had worked
loose from their mountings on the primary chest and were wobbling
backwards and forwards with the motion of the ride!  Amazingly, the
organ still sounded pretty good, even though it must have been losing
a lot of air.

Getting back to the problem of loose pipework:  How to tackle this
depends on whether the affected pipes are wood or metal.  (Sorry if
this seems a daft question, but Wurlitzers are about as common over
here as rocking horse droppings.)

If they are wooden pipes then I would suggest they are glued in with
something like Copydex.  This holds the pipe firm enough for normal use
but the bond can easily be broken if necessary.  I have no idea about
how to fix metal pipes; is there an organ builder / restorer in the
house please?

Jeremy Brice
Watford, Hertfordshire, U.K.

(Message sent Wed 11 Nov 1998, 00:25:09 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Animated, Band, Carters, Fair, Organ, Steam

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