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News > Foundation News > Student Stortfordian Stories - History of the Memorial Hall Organ

Student Stortfordian Stories - History of the Memorial Hall Organ

Student Stortfordian Stories - Foundation Intern, Madeleine F. (L6th, TH) chose and researched a subject of personal interest, she chose to write about the Memorial Hall Organ

History of the Memorial Hall Organ 

Since its installation in 1927, the Memorial Hall organ has been one of the College’s most impressive features. In the archived Storfordian article titled, ‘Opening of the organ’, the observer writes, ‘it is a magnificent piece of work which adds greatly to the dignity of the Hall’. Following completion by Cartwright & Son, the organ was described as having ‘been built high, so as if to show up the loftiness of the hall’, with oak panelling used to accentuate its impressive height.  

The organ was an instant success at the college; described as being in ‘daily use’ for recitals and choir practice, while also commemorating the Old Stortfordians who lost their lives during the first World War.  Also, the organ is a constant reminder of the generosity of the Old Stortfordians. Who, when the organ needed to be overhauled in 1955, ‘contributed so generously’ and ‘achieving the desired total’, as written in the 209th edition of the Stortfordian. It was this munificence that allowed students and teachers to continue to enjoy listening to and playing the organ through the difficult years following the war. 

More recently, in 2001, the organ was described as a ‘central part of the musical life of the College’, in a Stortfordian article titled, ‘Organ Rededication’. Exploring how the organ has remained an important aspect of school life, since its opening 74 years earlier, whereas other older elements of the college have been removed or altered, having to adapt to a changing environment.  

In this way, the organ has become a symbol of Bishop’s Stortford College's heritage and our connection with previous Stortfordians, who gathered in Memorial Hall to listen to recitals and concerts, much like we do. Gatherings such as these are a timeless way of helping the college community congregate and appreciate the musical talents of pupils and staff alike – the organ playing a fundamental role in these events. I am sure we are all looking to a return to Memorial Hall assemblies, when COVID-19 and social distancing measures aren’t so prevalent.  

Madeleine F.

L6th Tee House  



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School House,Maze Green Rd,
Bishop's Stortford,CM23 2PQ

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