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The Ritz Cinema, Chatham, Kent, England, 1930s

Organist: Basil Cuthbert

Source: Medway Archives & Local Studies Centre (Photograph used with their kind permission 27/10/2014)


Hear how the Wurlitzer used to Sound at

The Ritz Cinema, Chatham, Kent, England

(Thank you to Edd Hordley for this YouTube Clip)

Early Drawings and Photographs of The Buttermarket - late 70s / mid-80s

Courtesy of: Arrol & Snell Ltd Architects, Shrewsbury

(Used with kind permission 15/03/2016)


* Click on picture below to launch Slide Show then use left / right arrows *



Committee Member and Vice-President

Geoff Cartwright who turned 90 on

26 April 2016

and had his party at

The Buttermarket on 24 April 2016

to celebrate

this special occasion.


Our president, Phil Kelsall MBE, made his

50th appearance, on the Wurlitzer, at

The Buttermarket on Sunday 15 May 2016 and we presented him with a "Star for a Star" gift.

Steve Tovey Obituary


We are sad to announce the passing of Steve Tovey from Cannock Chase, UK – one of the leading figures in the theatre organ world.  Steve was a theatre organist and organ builder, managing many installations across the West Midlands and UK.  He was brought up in Aston, learning to play piano at an early age and was inspired when he heard Reginald Dixon play, when Steve was 13.  One of his claims to fame was playing the Compton at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.  He played the last cinema organ at the Odeon in New Street, Birmingham, before moving to Wolverhampton and was borough organist at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall from 1991 before this changed to city organist from 2001.  Steve was president of the Cannock Chase Organ Club, which began in 1989 when he purchased the Ex Picture House Douglas (Isle of Man) Compton and installed it in a barn in Hazel Slade, near Cannock in South Staffordshire, UK.  He was responsible for the restoration of the Wurlitzer theatre organs in the Blackpool Winter Gardens complex in both the Opera House (last new Wurlitzer installation in the UK in 1939) and Empress Ballroom (getting dances back in the ballroom).  Steve has contributed to the Shropshire Theatre Organ Trust through his knowledge and was responsible for getting together the organists for our re-opening concert at The Buttermarket, Shrewsbury, in 2013.  Steve Tovey R.I.P.

Originally Posted: Monday 26 September 2016

​WURLITZER 80TH BIRTHDAY: 12 December 2016
On Sunday 11 December 2016, we celebrated that the next day it would be 80 years since our Wurlitzer was shipped over from America to The Ritz Cinema in Chatham, Kent, England and we now have installed at The Buttermarket in Shrewsbury.  Cameron Lloyd played for our special Christmas / Birthday concert.

Hunt for the artist!

This pen and ink sketch was drawn at a Robert Wolfe concert at The Buttermarket, Shrewsbury on the 9th November 1997.  Signed by the organist and framed locally by Lamplight Gallery in Abbey Foregate.  The sketch turned up recently on an auction site as the then owner was downsizing, but the mystery is: who drew the sketch?  If you have any information please let us know.  Email Darren at:



(1926 - 2017)


Photo: Derek celebrating

his 90th birthday.

We are sad to announce the passing of committee member, trustee, vice chairman and former chair of committee, Derek Williams, on Friday 18th August 2017 at the age of 90.  He was a keen theatre organ music enthusiast and Reginald Dixon fan.  He would record and have at his fingertips how many times a particular organist had played at The Buttermarket - a priceless record and legacy for the Trust.

Derek Williams R.I.P.

Tony Byrne becomes Honorary Chairman for his years of service to the Trust.


(1926 - 2018)

Sadly, on 22nd December 2018 at the age of 92, Geoff Cartwright, honorary vice president, passed away; a longstanding committee member, great supporter of the Shropshire Theatre Organ Trust, and a true gentleman. He was instrumental in the early days in delivering the Wurlitzer parts to The Buttermarket, and continued to remain totally dedicated in his support to the Trust.  He will be greatly missed as a valued member of the team and loyal friend.  R.I.P.

Geoff closeup.JPG


(1940 - 2018)


Sadly, on 29th December 2018, Tony Byrne, former chairman, passed away at the age of 78.  Tony's contribution to the Shropshire Theatre Organ Trust, together with his late wife Joan Byrne, was immeasurable. It was his dream to bring a theatre organ to Shropshire and he was instrumental in making this happen, and put in a lot of work on the technical side, leaving us a tremendous legacy with the Wurlitzer. We are proud to be able to continue his work. He will be sadly missed by us all. Our thoughts are with Debbie, Glenn and the family at this difficult time.  R.I.P.

STOT Flyer Aug 2019 Tribute Concert.jpg
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