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RIP John Smallwood

Posted: Monday 3rd June

RIP John Smallwood

Very sad news from the Cinema Organ Society (COS)

I’m very sorry to announce that COS Vice President, John Smallwood, passed away peacefully this afternoon, aged 82.

John had been involved with the COS for over half a century and, among many activities with the Society, spearheaded the 1980s refurbishment of the ex-Trocadero, Elephant & Castle Wurlitzer, then installed at the London South Bank University and now at the Troxy in East London.

He was largely responsible for bringing the historic New Gallery Theatre (Regent Street, London) Wurlitzer back into the public eye in the 1970s, and was heavily involved in that instrument’s most recent rebuild.

He was the owner of the ex-Granada, Woolwich Wurlitzer installed at Neuadd Pendre in Tywyn, Mid-Wales, where he promoted many concerts featuring organists from around the world.

In addition to his organ-related activities, he had a long and deep involvement with the Talyllyn Railway.

We will remember him fondly as a quietly spoken gentleman and a force for good in the theatre organ world, who did much to preserve and promote the instrument and to encourage young players. Sincere sympathies to his many friends and colleagues in the UK and overseas.

Simon Gledhill

COS Chairman

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