Articles

St Mary’s Organ

We recently had a visit from Chris Lawton, an organ enthusiast from Manchester.  It was lovely to meet him and we enjoyed an hour of conversation and organ music. It was especially wonderful to hear it being played as a Wurlitzer – we never thought it could sound like that!

Chris told us that the organ was originally built in the 1950s and installed in Royston Methodist Church, Cambridgeshire by the John Compton Organ Company Ltd and is the ‘Miniatura A’ model consisting of 2 fully enclosed ranks of pipes – Diapason and Rohr Gedackt. In the late 1970s, the organ was moved here to St Mary’s where it replaced a single manual Walker instrument.

Chris has many videos on You Tube and has kindly allowed us to link up with him here, with the two he took while playing at St Mary’s:

Chris Lawton, Jesus, Sun and Shield art Thou

Chris Lawton, Thy Kingdom Come O God

This will take you to you tube and you will need to click the back arrow in Explorer (top left hand side) to return to the St Mary’s Web Site.

Our Own Olympian, Tom Hampson

Tom Hampson went to Bancroft’s School and then to St Catherine’s College, Oxford.  He showed little interest in athletics, although he did compete against Cambridge in his last year, managing to come only fourth in the half mile.  However, later in that 1929 season he so improved his performances that he went with the Oxford and Cambridge team to America where he was in the team which improved the British 4 by 440 yards relay record by 5 seconds.

After leaving Oxford in 1930 he became a medal prospect for the 1932 Olympic Games.  He won races in the AAA championships, the International match against France and at the British Empire Games, where he beat some of the best by 20 yards, which showed him to be one of the world’s best half milers.

In 1932 he won the AAA 880 yards followed the same day by second place in the 440 yards.

In Los Angeles he took the gold medal with a new world record of 1 minute 49.7 seconds, and later in the games he won silver medal in the 4 by 400 metres.

The last race of his career was as a member of the 4 by 880 yards relay team for the British Empire against the USA in San Francisco.

Tom died in 1965, aged only 57 years.  His grace is in St Mary’s graveyard.  As you enter by the Lych gate towards the South Porch Tom’s grave is to the right of the path.  His memorial stone bears the five Olympic rings.

For a more full description of Tom Hampson’s life, see Alan Cudmore’s article in St Mary’s Church magazine of June 2012.