[ Hans provided this history to accompany a nice music cassette
[ of the street organ which I sent to Mr. Frank Hills. -- Robbie
Dear Robbie, Here is what I found on "De Stolwijker":
Street organ. Owners: Stichting Draaiorgelvrienden Assen
(Association of friends of the street organ, Assen, the Netherlands)
The Stolwijker is originally a Mortier dance hall organ. It must have
been of the early 80- or 84-key type. It was once owned by Mr. Van der
Wouden, a dance hall owner of Lekkerkerk (a village in South Holland
near Gouda) and it was located in one of his dance halls, in Stolwijk.
Stolwijk is a little town in Holland, between Gouda and Utrecht. The
organ is named after this town because it was in a dance hall there,
like the organ "de Lekkerkerker" is named after another place. Both
organs once had the same owner!
The original proscenium was completely different from the present one.
The instrument was reduced to perform as a street organ in the early
nineteen-thirties. In 1935 the organ was sent to Carl Frei in Breda,
who rebuilt it to a 72-key street organ of his own type.
It was then sold to Mr. Van Jaaren in Amsterdam, and it was rented out
to an organ grinder in The Hague, where it was playing until the Nazis
banned all street organs in 1942. It was then sold to a Mr. Vermolen
in the south of the Netherlands, who tried to use it as a fairground
organ after WW2, but its sound was too weak for the fairgrounds.
After changing hands a lot of times it was acquired by Mr. Veeningen,
an organ restorer in De Wijk in the north. He took out a complete
restoring job and then sold the organ to the present owner, the organ
museum in Assen.
It is a standard 72-key Carl Frei organ, with bourdon celeste and
violin celeste on melody, and Unda Maris on counter melody. I think
it is a very good example of Dutch street organs, both by its sound and
My best regards to Mr. Frank Hills!
Hans van Oost
Kring van Draaiorgelvrienden
[ The music cassette "De Stolwijker" is Number 6 in a series of
[ organ recordings which may be purchased from
[ Orgelhal Stichting Draaiorgelvrienden Assen
[ Rode Heklaan 3,
[ 9401 SB Assen
[ tel/fax: (0592)350076
[ Open 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, 13:00 to 17:30.
[ Collection of street-, fairground- and dance-organs.
[ -- Robbie