Yorkshire nostalgia: Organ plays again in Gomersal

Gomersal.  29th October 1975

AN ORGAN which once entertained audiences at the Gaumont Palace Cinema, Doncaster, now delights patrons of the West View Leisure Centre, Gomersal, near Bradford - thanks to the hard work of a man who played it as a boy.

Mr. Ben Willis, 54, resident organist and general manager of the centre, plans to make the 12-rank Compton  organ into the largest in Europe.

Organ enthusiasts travel from all over Britain to the weekly recitals by top organists at the centre - a former chapel - which was bought by Mr. Alfred Padgett, a retired business-man, four years ago.

He asked Mr. Willis, then resident entertainer at a Doncaster hotel, to open the building as an entertainment centre and rebuild the organ which had been installed over a garage at Thurnscoe, near Doncaster.

Working almost single-handed, Mr. Willis rebuilt the organ and erected a stage to accommodate the chambers, which measure 34ft. by 10ft. by 11ft.

"I have achieved a life-times's ambition by rebuilding a splendid organ
Gomersal. 29th October 1975 AN ORGAN which once entertained audiences at the Gaumont Palace Cinema, Doncaster, now delights patrons of the West View Leisure Centre, Gomersal, near Bradford - thanks to the hard work of a man who played it as a boy. Mr. Ben Willis, 54, resident organist and general manager of the centre, plans to make the 12-rank Compton organ into the largest in Europe. Organ enthusiasts travel from all over Britain to the weekly recitals by top organists at the centre - a former chapel - which was bought by Mr. Alfred Padgett, a retired business-man, four years ago. He asked Mr. Willis, then resident entertainer at a Doncaster hotel, to open the building as an entertainment centre and rebuild the organ which had been installed over a garage at Thurnscoe, near Doncaster. Working almost single-handed, Mr. Willis rebuilt the organ and erected a stage to accommodate the chambers, which measure 34ft. by 10ft. by 11ft. "I have achieved a life-times's ambition by rebuilding a splendid organ
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October 1975: Gomersal man restores organ

Gomersal. October 29, 1975: a 12-rank Crompton organ which once entertained audiences at the Gaumont Palace Cinema, Doncaster, delights patrons of the West View Leisure Centre, Gomersal, thanks to the hard work of Ben Willis, 54, who played it as a boy. He rebuilt the organ and erected a stage to accommodate it.

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