Opening of the Jubilee Organ 1898
On Monday 11th July 1898, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, saw the official opening of the Diamond Jubilee organ in Ryde Town Hall. There was a good attendance at the proceedings. The organ had been erected by Messrs Abbott and Smith of Leeds.
It began with a procession of the Mayor (Ald. E. Marvin, J.P.) and Corporation, wearing their robes, they went from the small room, through the large hall and to the platform. As the procession moved up the hall the organist played, and the audience sang, the National Anthem.
Ald. Groves, secretary of the committee, gave an address to the Mayor and other members of the Corporation, to which the Mayor replied. He said that it was with great pleasure that he accepted on the behalf of the Corporation and the inhabitants of Ryde, that grand organ which had been placed in their municipal building in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of their beloved Queen’s glorious reign, which was unparalleled in the history of this country. He had the satisfaction and pride of witnessing the completion of a memorial contributed by himself and fellow townsmen to commemorate the 60 years’ reign.
There were addresses by other members of the Corporation, including Mr. Barrow, and the Vicar read several collects and gave a blessing.
After the singing of the Jubilee hymn, “O King of kings,” Mr. E. H. Lemare, F.R.C.O., organist and director of the choir at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, began his recital, playing a well-chosen programme. The performance gave evidence of Mr. Lemare as an organist and the good qualities of the new organ, which as to tone was excellent, and as to power capitally adapted to fill the hall. In the evening there was another recital. Mr. Lemare, organist of Holy Trinity, Ventnor, father of the organist, was present, and must have been greatly proud of his son.
Even as a piece of furniture the organ added to the handsome appearance of the hall. The front stretched right across the platform. It was expected that the appearance would be even more enhanced when the decoration was finished.
In June 1933 the organ was completely destroyed in a devastating fire at the Town Hall.
Sources: IW County Press & RSHG Archive
Image: Roy Brinton Collection
Article: Ann Barrett