Welcome to The Compton List
The original website to be dedicated to the
John Compton Organ Company and its products
The Compton List is a detailed record of the 261 theatre organs built by the John Compton Organ Company, and installed in theatres, town halls, and studios throughout the UK and overseas before and, in a few cases, just after the Second World War.
It is the result of continuous research and documentation begun early in 1990 by Ivor Buckingham. This work not only attempts to replicate the content of the Compton factory records - which were regrettably lost in a wartime fire - but it also continues to record movements of organs, both intact and, in all too many cases, the movements of components from organs continuing to be altered or broken up. Through the years, the desire to alter, add to, 'improve' - and even make money from disintegrating - the UK's theatre organ heritage has far outweighed the desires and opportunities to preserve. Consequently, very few theatre organs now remain in their original locations, although the hard work of a correspondingly few dedicated preservationists enables a few more to remain recognisable as the instruments they once were.
In response to an increasing amount of enquiries relating to Compton Theatrones and Electrones, this website also includes a brief outline of their development. There are also pages providing a glimpse of the church and concert side of Compton which continued until their pipe organ division closed in the mid-1960s. Both sections feature a selection of photographs, many by Camera Craft of London. Regrettably, their negative library no longer exists, and these now rare prints are reproduced here by courtesy of former Compton employee Derek Batten.
Please note that all images on this website are copyright. In the event of other parties wishing to reproduce any image(s) on other websites, or elsewhere, they are required to first seek permission. It is unlikely that any reasonable and courteous request will be refused — so long as permission is asked before, and not after, the deed.