The Medway Organ Club was founded in 1969 by John Edwards and Jim Layzell of Medway Organs, together with a group of local organ enthusiasts. The Club was started at "The Ash Tree Public House" in Chatham and after a number of moves, both large and small, we are now based at the Parkwood Community Centre, Parkwood Green, Rainham, Kent ME8 9PN.
During 2010 the Community Centre underwent a massive renovation and is entirely different to how it used to be. We have an overhead video projector and drop down screen to focus on the artiste's keyboards, and a second screen to show the pedals. The main camera is raised on a bespoke high mast and boom to give an excellent viewpoint; the hall has permanent lighting specifically provided for our concerts. The stage has been designed for us with a system where a section of it can be swung over to form a ramp to enable easier access for heavy organs.
The seating area has been much enhanced with new comfortable seats, with most folk sitting theatre style and some at individual tables; we are hoping to be able to increase the capacity beyond our present 140. The hall has a kitchenette with an oven so that we can continue to provide our famed "hot sausage rolls" during the interval. Tea, coffee and cakes are also available. There is a "loop" system installed (currently awaiting commissioning), and a new bar area serving a variety of drinks.
Guests are made welcome at our meetings and members of other clubs often visit us.
As well as the excellent selection of professional musicians booked to play for us, a club member is invited to play a preamble for half an hour prior to the concert. Often this is on our club's Yamaha EL40 organ, or alternatively on an instrument brought for the occasion. A raffle usually takes place at the end of the interval.
In 2009 the club celebrated its 40th anniversary with our Vice President, Jim Layzell, playing for us. Jim took everyone back to 1969 when the club was formed with anecdotes about its formation, the trials and tribulations, and music from that time. Doug Morgan, one of the members who joined the club shortly after its formation, played the preamble. The evening was enjoyed by all who attended, both "old" members and those who have joined since. Please see the photos in our gallery.
There is a large, free public car park adjacent to the hall. The needs of wheelchair users are fully accommodated. Please note that some satellite navigation devices, and the map provided on this website, are a little inaccurate in locating the hall; the hall shares its car park with an easily visible church (St Paul's).
The club usually meets on the second Monday of each month at 7.00pm for 7.30pm, finishing soon after 10.00pm.
Subscription: £12.00 full members, £10.00 senior citizens.
Members admission: £4.00
Visitors admission: £5.00
Click on the map and drag around to get a better idea of where our venue is. You can also zoom in. Click on the marker to see address details.
|March 9th||Michael Wooldridge (more details)|
With special guest Gareth Thompson on Drums
|May 11th||Chris Powell (more details)|
|June 8th||Ian House (more details)|
|September 14th||Jon Smith|
|October 12th||David Thomas|
|November 9th||John Cooper|
|December 14th||Elizabeth Harrison|
|February 8th||Michael Wooldridge (more details)|
With top drummer Gareth Thompson
|April 12th||Lee Dewsnap|
|May 10th||Chris Powell|
|August 9th||Phil Brown CT FVCM HonVCM MCP MCDST|