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CANTERBURY HALL DESTROYED.

A SEETHING- INFERNO,

THE BRIGADE'S' PART.

OUTBREAK IS BUILDINGS OPPOSITE

the building.

THE CITY ORGAN

DISASTROUS FIRE IN THE CITY. BIG BLOCK GUTTED. THE CITY ORGAN BURNED. One of the biggest and most destructive fires experienced in tho city in lecent years took place last night, when tho big block of buildings known as the Canterbury Hall, comprising His Majesty's Theatre, tho Alexandra and Victoria Halls, tho offices of tho Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral As- | sociation, tho offices of tho Canterbury Industrial Association, and suites of i offices used for other purposes, were practically totally destroyed by fire. It ■ was a little after half-past eight when fair-sized clouds of smoke were noticed ■ by passers-by rolling from apparently | near the middle of tho roof of His L Majesty's Theatre, and within a few minutes the Central Firo Brigado Station had been notified, the Brigado appearing on tho scene in full force , about 8.45. FLAMES GET A HOLD. By this time there was a suspicion of flame appearing through the roof of the theatre, and it was clear that the fire had a fairly good hold on tho upper part of the roof, apparently above the dress circle. Leads of hose were taken in through the front of the building, anA another lead was played upon the flames from tho extension ladder which had been set up at the front entrance, but judging from what could bo seen through tho front doors of tho building tho flames were above the steel ceiling, and could not be reached from inside, while tho fact that the *re was almost in the centre of the ouilding made it hard to tackle from the extension ladder. MAIN ROOF FALLS. At this time no signs of flame could be seen through the side windows oi tho building, and it was evident that, so far, tho fire was more or less confined to tho roof, but within a quarter of an hour a large portion of the roof, which was now blazing very fiercr-'y in the strong north-east wind, ft in, and at 9.20 p.m. the red glow of flame could be noticed from the street through the windows of the foyer, proving that tho fire had broken through at this point. The fire by this time had also worked back into the and the roof almost as far tack as the stage (where the building jutted up higher) had become wrapped in flamo. The amount of water that could be directed on to the fire seemed to have little or no retarding effect, and when tho side windows splintered the rush of air through them caused a great sheet of flame to roar upwards. It was no-w- that great sections of the roof began to fall in with resounding crashes, and through the windows tho big pipes of the city organ could be scon burning fiercely, while flaming rafters and white-hot sheets of roofing iron thudded and clattered downwards. Tho tremendous draught caused by tho fire was shown by the way wholo sheets of corrugated iron were now and again whirled up into the air like dry autumn leaves, and, falling into tho open spaco round tho building, were a decided menace to the firemen working near, and also to the crowd, who were to leeward of the conflagration. A. AND P. ROOMS ALIGHT. • At twenty minutes to ten the flames burst through tho right front of tho building, and could bo seen creeping down tho walls of the big room where tho meetings of tho committee of the Canterbury A. and P. Association are held. Mr O. B. Pemberton, the secretary of the Association, who had been notified of tho outbreak of the fire, was hard at work trying to save what he could of the books and papers, and by dint of strenuous effort practically all tho books from tho safo were brought out, but all tho old portraits of presidents of the Association, tho English herd and flock books, and the valuable library of agricultural publications, many irreplaceable, were utterly destroyed. THE BUILDING DOOMED. From this time on it looked as though nothing could save the whole block from destruction, as the interior of the theatre proper was absolutely incandescent. The flames were steadily mounting upwards, towards the higher part of the building over the stage, and at a few minutes past ten the stage roof was well alight. It burnt very fiercely and quickly, falling in in seven or eight minutes, and when it did so the whole interior seemed almost instantaneously to becomo like a furnace under forced draught. Sheets of flamo roared through the windows, beams and rafters crashed down, and the outer gable of the back wall started to get a dangerous lean outwards, but it did not actually fall, though it appeared to almost totter at the top. On ono corner of the roof a big square water tank was erected, and this suddenly sprang a leak, through the intense heat. The deluge of water which poured on the corner of tho building quite checked the flames for a little space of time, but they soon got a hold again, and were roaring- away as fiercely as ever. SAVING ADJOINING PREMISES.

The efforts of the Brigade at this period were confined chiefly to playing on the two sides and front of the burning building. A lead of hose was pouring water from the windows of Messrs Briscoe's premises, and on the opposite side another lead was cooling off the bricks in the wall of tho Crown Iron Works, and incidentally keeping the flames in check on that side. Still another lead was being directed on to the back part of the Alexandra Hall. and the Victoria Hall, but the fire crept along under the roof, and in spite of all t&at could be don© the major portion of the interior caught, and very soon was burning fairly strongly. The ono portion of the building that lasted the longest was tho rooms where the Socialists were wont to hold their meetings. This seemed fireproof for quite a while, and though badly damaged, could not be described as absolutely gutted, as was the rest of the block. '

ISOLATION SAVES GREATER DISASTER.

Tho fact that the Canterbury Hall building was actually isolated certainly saved a much more serious ajsaater. It

is divided from tho premises north and south by a right of way, and at tho back thero is a fair-sized yard._ tho wliolo block been joined it is highly probable that tho Crown lion Works, Messrs Briscoe's block, and the promises that run eastwards i.p Worcester street, would all have gone, for tho tremendous heat of tho big fire, fanned by the strong nor'-east wind, would have defied the efforts of a very inuch larger Brigade than tho Christchurch one.

At> 11.30 what was left of tho firo was practically under control. The back portion had burnt itself out, and the incipient fires that broke out now and again in the front were not of such a. sizo that thoy could not be eas:ly controlled by tho firemen. The crowd that watched the firo ro-. minded the onlooker of election night. The people were massed in "Worcester and Gloucester streets, and slso in Manchester street in front of the flaming buildings. Tho police were quickly on tho spot, under Suo-Inspoctor Mullaney, and good order was kept.

THE START OF THE FIRE

THE CARETAKER'S STATEMENT.

' Mr Hugh Crawford, the caretaker c? His Majesty's, lived on the premises, j in rooms at the north-western end of the Manchester street front. His wife and daughter lived with him. Yesterday evening Mr Crawford retired ' early. During tho week he hurt his leg, and was resting it. Mrs and Miss ' Crawford, who had been out visiting Mr Crawford's son, got home shortly J after eight o'clock, and whilo chatting with her husband, Mrs Crawford sud--7 denly remarked:—"What's thatcrack--5 ing?" Upon opening a door leading into the Theatre she saw that tho placo 3 was on firo. Mr Crawford at onco got 5 up, and tho first look ho got was of » flames lapping over tbo curtain at tho northern end of tho stage. Without further ado, Mr Crawford rushed off and gavo tho alarm from tho street ' alarm box, not far from the building, s Mr Crawford, in pursuance of his or--5 dinary duties, was cleaning out tho r theatre yesterday afternoon. At 2.15 p.m. ho went over the theatre, and J found everything all right. He did c not, however, go behind the stage,. THE MANAGER'S STATEMENT. 5 Mr W. C. Helsdon, tho manager of i His Majesty's Theatre, was informed of , the outbreak as soon as possible, and i reached tho building without delay. Mr Helsdon, with Mr Les Flowers, 6tago. . manager, went over tho theatre half an hour after mid-day yesterday, and ' found everything safe, and no indica- ! tions of fire. By tho time Mrs Helsr don reached tho building last evening | tho flames had v eachod tho vicinity of the office, which is situated at the western ond of the wide corridor leading to tho [ orchestral stalls and stalls entrances. i It was, of course, impossible to get into the office. About eleven o'clock, 1 however, the fire in that portion of tho I building had been so far got under i control, that Mr Helsdon and others [ were able to reach the office and save , a considerable quantity of records. Air | Helsdon informed a roporter that so far as he had been able to ascertain, the fire had broken out in one corner i of the dress circle. , The artists who were appearing r.t His Majesty's were fortunate in being able to save their appliances and most of their goods. . Several orchestral instruments and two pianos were de- , stroyed by the flames. THE A. AND P. ASSOCIATION, i Mr 0. B. Pemberton, secretary of , the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, was out in the country yesterday, and had only justreached homo when he got news by telephone of the fire. Mr Thomas Witnell, a member of the General Committee of the Association, was at Mr Pembcrton's house, and took Mr Pemberton in his car to tho building. Here, with the assistance of Mr Withell. Mr A. Cameron, a visitor from the North Island, and four or five others, Mr Pemberton was able to rescue most of the Association's records and its trophies, and cleared the tafo of its contents. The largo committee room was in flames, and could not be entered. It contained tho Association's valuable librarv of works on agricultural and pastoral subjects, and round its walls were hung portraits of tho past presidents of tho Association. The library and the portraits were completely destroved. The Association is insured in tho New Zealand office, but Mr Pemberton was unable to state definitely what tho • amount of cover is. INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION. Tho Canterbury Industrial Association had a room behind tho large committee room of the A. and P. Association, where it kept its records, and had on tho walls of tho room portraits of tho presidents of the Association. Tho records and portraits and tho contents of the room wero all destroyed.

The fire, viewed from the roar of His Majesty's Theatre, between 9.30 p.m. and 10 p.m., gavo glimpses of a seething inferno of flame. The portion behind the stage was a mass of hungry, devouring firoj largo beams could bo seen burning with great intensity, and every now and then a part of a beam would go hurtling down to "the ground. Sheets of corrugated iron from the roof were every now and then lifted by tho wind and dropped to tho ground, and the crowds of onlookers had to be kept some distance back from the walla in order to be out of danger. Workmen from the Municipal Electricity Department were kept busy disconnecting the electric light wires. About 10 p.m. a lead of hoso was got up on the rooPof Briscoe's building, which is on tho southern side of tho hall block, and water was played on the roof of the Victoria Hall. The fire had got a strong hold on that part of the building, and the most that could be done was to prevent the flames spreading to Briscoe's. A little later," as a precautionary measure, another lead was taken to the roar of the Trades Hall, and water was played on that building.

Superintendent Warner informed a reporter that the alarm was received shortly before nine o'clock, and tho whole of the Brigade, numbering 31 men all told, and tho whole of tho appliances, were rushed to tho building with all possible speed. The difficulties connected with an outbreak in a building such as Canterbury Hall, with buildings practically surrounding it, 1 were considerable, but with the men and appliances at his disposal, all that was possible was done. Tho great handicap was that tho numerical strength of tho Brigade was not great enough to fully and effectively utilise the plant. ( In all ten leads of hoso wero got on to s the flames on different parts of tho 1 building. The water supply kept up, and in addition tho Brigade's two motor a pumps kept four leads working. c The Brigade, added Superintendent a .Warner, missed an electric turnable u

telescopic fire oscape. With suoh » appuancc, it would havo been easy to got right out over tho roof. « Dunedin, thcro was a dearth of men. with tho long experience of firo-fight. ing, but tho men worked very well tnd h* was well pleasod with them. He had also to thank those civilians who rent dercd valuablo help at tho start of tha firo. YOUTHFUL HELPERS. At tho rear of tho hall tho brigade*, men were assisted by a number of youths, -who helped *m holding the nozzle of a lead that, was playing on the supper-room—a building situated hetween His Majesty's Thoatro and tho Alexandra Hall. The youngsters show, ed considerable pluck. Tliev vrero standing on tho platform of tho fireexit from tho dro«s circle, and the part of the building directly beneath them M as ablaze, though tho flames had not burst through. Once or twice it looked as if the youths would bo caught bv the flames, but thoy stuck manfully to their job, and got so enthusiastic orw it that some of them took off their coats and worked in their 6hirt sleeves. Evea whon one of these youthful fire-fighters got an inadvertent dousing from the nozzle, his ardour was by n 0 means dampened. The youths continued their assistance for a considerable period and appeared to thoroughly enjoy their experiences.

VIEWED FROM " THE PRESS" BUILDINGS.

PRECAUTIONS AGAINST FLYING SPARKS.

MANY ANXIOUS MOMENTS

t One of the best vantage points fof f viewing the fno was from tho roof of ® "Tho Press" office, though at times tho _ showers of sparks which foil thereon t made it a somewhat hazardous position. It might bo said hero that the alarm - was sont in to the Firo Brigade from J "The Press," the impression of tho | sender of tho message being that it was j the Christchurch Press Company's own building which was ou fire. Tho office was filled with tho acrid smell of smoke, f and a crowd in front of tho building, f and proffered offers of holp, heightened 1 tho illusion. If tho watchers expected to see an exodus from tho premises, p they wore disappointed, for whilo one 1 member of tho staff got into communi- - ration with tho Central Firo Station, - others on duty searched tho building ' high and low for signs of fire, while * others ran out tho company's own firef fighting applinnces in readiness for any 3 emergency. Fortunately, tho search . revealed the building free of fire, and c thoso searching tho roof discovered! ' where the firo really was, nnd inci-' dontally how tho impression got abroad 5 that it was "The Press" office which 3 was on fire. Tho big volumo of smoko r bio wine across "Tho Press" building > was illuminated by the olcctrio sign , near the top of the tower, making it * appear for all tho world as vif smoko wore issuing from tho roof. Uiider tho t circumstances tho mistake was quito a ! natural ono. i THE SPARK MENACE. When it was first observed by th< watchers from tho roof of "The Press" building, only denso volumes of smokt . wero issuing from the Canterbury Hall r Company's building. In a few minutes, however, tongues of flamo appeared horo and there, denoting that the fire ; was making progress. Tho Firo Brigade then began to direct streams of water on to tho flames, and for a llttld' ; while it appeared as if the fire would' [ "bo speedily got under. Such, unfortunately proved not to bo tho case. The ; flames issued forth in over-increasing volume, and in a briof space part of the , roof fell in. and the glaro from tc; ' inferno lighted up the surrounding most brillinntly. Myrinds of spark« | wore borne upwards nnd floated by tho _ breeze over into Cathedral squaro. I Against the background of wnitisii ( smoko tho wind-borno sparks made a , very beautiful scene, which was repeated on numerous occasions, tho couso being the falling in of tho roof and beams. In addition to being a beautiful sight, tho flying sparks constituted a grave dancer to the buildings in their course. They were by no means small, and they fell in such showers, and .with, such persistency that, to ensure the safety of "Tho Press" office it wps imperative to pla.v tho hose on the roc', which was literally rod with sparks. A. NAB ROW ESCAPE. Tho premises of H. E. Stevens, wholesale druggist, adjoin those of tho Press Company, and in tho yard is stackj ! many cases of goods. Tho sparks lodging on and among these, so li'" Stevens was communicated with, an J with members of his staff, attended l» the safety of his premises and Rto?k. A hose was kept playing and any likelihood of a fire starting in the jm:" effectively prevented. When it was seen that the Fire J3iigado had tho firo at tho Uall under control, tho majority of thoso on tlii roof of "The Press" departed. The manager, Mr P. Solig, was taking a final look round when, glancing ovor tho parapet, ho noticed that flames wero issuing from Mr Stevens's premises immediately adjoining tho Press Company's building. With the combined assistance of employees of the respective establishments with firo-fight-ing appliances —a hose from "Tho Press and patent fire extinguishers from Stevens's—tho outbreak was got under, thus averting another serious outbreak, and adding to the troubles of the Brigade. A little earlier, Smith's garage appeared to catchy but it must have been the dying splutter of a collection of sparks, for after a merry little blaze, tho firo fizzled out.

A ROOF ON FIRE. About 1.4 a, when tho. Brigade had practically dono all they could do at Canterbury Hall, some passers-by camo along with an alarm for an outbreak in the buildings opposite tho hall. These are occupied, amongst otherSj by Mr Wallich. dentist, tho P.T.C. Tailoring Company, and Darby and Puree, printers. Flames were shooting up from the roof of tho lower portion or the building behind Wallich's rooms. The Brigade promptly transferred » lead from the hall, and attacked van fresh outbreak from tho vacant section, between tho Rod Cross Depot and the block in which the fire occurred. A fow minutes sufficed to get the outbreak" under. It was caused, there is little doubt, by sparks from the fire at tho hall. NOTES. Tho insurances on tho building and furniture wero not available last night-. It is understood that the insurance on the building is not large, and consoquently tho loss to the Canterbury Hall Company will bo a hoavy one. Tho fire could be seen for many miles around the city, and the flames at their height could be easily observed at places like New Brighton, leaping up into th&rfcky above qz_£xbd* '

which shut off the lower yiow. In the northern part of His Majesty's Theatre was situated the Atlas printing office, access to which was gamed by the narrow lane v. hicli separates the hall buildings from the Crown Ironworks building, at tho corner of Manchester and Gloucester streets. The proprietor of this jirintery suffered a total loss. The theatre Uoyai *Ui{r, under Mr John Fafrell. was in complete readiness to combat any stray sparks which fell on the theatre. In the way loading to tni- ritnye door there was a huge pi!e of scenery and properties, in readiness for removal to-day, and should sparks have fallen among this without somebody at hnnd to deal with them, there would probably have been ano»!er outbreak ol considerable magnitude. Part of the ceiling of the fovcr of His Maje sty's, on which two men with scaling ladders were working;, collapsed, , and precipitated them to the floor. They were partly burned in the debris, but were quickly extricated, though it was necessary to s.-ml Fireman Arrowsmith to the Hospital tor treatment, where be was detained. It is understood, how- , ©ver, that his injuries tire not serious.

AN INTERESTING HI.STOKY

The Canterbury Hall has hud r.u interesting history, and has boon the geeno of many memorable functions. Built of brick and stone, it was divided intothrco halls. The main hall, better known as Hi<s Majesty's Tbeatro, had a seating capacity of MOO, and was designed on modern lines, the dress circle being so constructed that a view of the stage was obtainable from any angle. The stagf> was spacious, and equipped with several largo dressing-rooms and a capacious scenery dock. The foyer was designed on the. principle of that of most Continental theatres, a wide corridor extended the lengtn of the stall. Tho whole theatre wc* comfortably and luxuriously appointed. The Alexandra Hall, on the ground floor, and the Victoria Hall, on the top flpor, had a seating capacity of 400 each. They, with the offices of the.A. and P. Association, and the Industrial Association, had a separate entrance from tho main thcatro. Tho entire building was flunked by wide lanes, on to which the emergency exits opened. Tho hall was crected by the Canterbury A. and i'. Association, in conjunction with tho Canterbury Industrial Association in 1900, the year of Canterbury's Jubilee, and the Jubiloe Exhibition was opened in it on November Ist of that year. Tho property up to that time consisted of un area of 2} acres, covored mostly with weeds and other plants. THE BIRTH OF THE BUILDING. A meeting was hold m November, 181)6, when it wus decided to form u company for the purpose of erecting tho building, those present being Messrs W. Recce, Jri. P. Murray-Aynsity, John Anderson, E. G. Btaveiey, Ueo. Gould and It. M. Macdonald, representing tho Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and J. A. Frostick, 11. W. England, eon., A. H. Hancock, T. N. Horsley,H. B. Kirk and J. L. Scott, ropresontiing the Industrial Association. It was decided at the mooting that an Agricultural, Pastoral, and Industrial Hall bo built, and that a company bo formed for tho purpose. Messrs J. Anderson, H. P. Murray-Aynsley, It. W. England, son., Z. A. Frostick, Geo. Gould, A. H. Hancock, T. N. Horsley, , H. B. Kirk, R. M. Macdonald, A. E. G. Rhodes, and W. Recce wore appointed provisional directors, and tho lastjncntioned gcntloman olected to the post of chairman, while Mr H. H. Seo retan was nppctntcd provisional secretary. In addition, a special committee was appointed to make enquiries regarding tho securing of a site, and othor matters connected with the project. An announcement was mado at a subsequent mooting that the committeo had secured an option over tho sito of Dr. Prins's rcsidonco in Manchester street, and tho selection was endorsed by* the directors. The purchaso price was £6.500. In (September, 1899, a mooting was held, at which tho design of Messrs Clnrkson and Ballantyno, architects, of Christohnrcli, wa? accepted, and in November of the enmo year the tender of Messrs Rcnnio and Pearco was accepted for tho erection of tho building, at n contract price of £16,378. A deputation from tho Industrial Association, consisting of Mossrs W. W. Charters, J. Triggs, R. C. Bishop, andJ ; Kinaey,. lator waited on the board of directors, and made an application to lease the building then being erected, for the purpose of holding an exhibition. Tho necessary permission was Riven, and tho exhibition formed the first large function which took placo in tho building. SOME BRILLIANT FUNCTIONS. ' Since tho closing of that exhibition, many memorable scones havo been witnessed in the hall, chief amoiigst them being the Mayoral reception to tho present King and Ql n, thon Duke and Duchess of York, o n June 22nd, 1901. Such a gorgeous and .brilliant spectacle has never been seen in Christchurch before or since. Tho reception to tho Imperial troops, a few months earlior, tho presentation of the modals won by the ■New Zealand troops in tho South African war, in fact almost every function of importance in Christchurch since the beginning of 1901 was held in tho Canterbury Hall. Somo time after the closing of tho exhibition, the Canterbury Hall was converted into the three halls previously referred to, and all havo been in constant demand ever sincc. Various concerts have been held in His Majesty s Theatre, and various theatrical companies have used it, but as such it was not a huge success, and ultimately it became the permanent home of moving pictures, which it remained Witil quite recently. The popularity of tho hall was greatenhanced by the fact that it oonwuned the cify's fine organ, and few v-nnstchurch residents can say that at Some time or other they have not enJoyed in ono jjj. Bradshaw's recitals. THE OFFER TO TH"R CITY. In December last, the City Council *®s offered tho hall for a town hall site lor the very reasonable price of £20,000, offer which was a notable exception to tho general rule 01 Bargains. The company which the hall consists of a number of gentlemen who in the first place enon the investment not for moneymaking purposes, but with a patriotio oeore of supplying tho city with what j* "gently needed, a public hall, and order to supply that want and i enable the City Council to adequate office accommodation "ey offered tho Council the property > . a Price much below its market or .iginal contract for the £lfiooi? „ anc * ceiling, with extras, was im»!' 10d, and various additions, ♦l>ii vemen * s » an< i extra fees brought U P £24,445 10s 3d. On Me 30th, 1910, tho sum of £2444 in 10 Was written off, and in February, a further £1480 10s 2d, thus reducing the value to £20,520 3s Id. The iW to valued at £10,800, and if free jj® buildings would undoubtedly reaTn? nyre to-day; yet the property was .■•ftp* tho Council for £20,000. cil f e °® or "'as considered by the Coun- . «.committee on January 4th, last,

and it dccided to accept the offer, tho company to bo given ijlo,ooo worth of ' debentures, bearing interest at 5 per cent, per annum, and £10,000 cash to satisfy tho mortgagee, this offer to be subject to the approval of tho ratepayers. As the time of the poll approached, there were vigorous campaigns throughout the city, conducted by the supporters and opponents of the scheme, and it was confidently anticipated that tho citizens would not let such an offer go by. However, on tho daj' of tho poll, March Ist, only •iiTG out of oVcr 11,000 on the roll registered their votes, and the proposal was defeated by a majority of 1108, (Shortly afterwards Messrs Fuller, who had for some time been contemplating a new and more fitting homo for local vaudeville, secured a 10 years' lease of the buildings at an annual rental of £1500. Various improvements w-ere effected, particularly in the acoustic properties of the hall., and ■when it was opened on July 21st last, it was one of the finest vaudeville houses in New Zealand. PREVIOUS OFFERS. The building had previously been offered to the city. Three years after it was erected the company offered to sell it, and two and a quarter acres of ground, to the Council for £27,000, but tJio offer was not entertained. Again in'lUOd, when Mr C. M. Gray, who had on the previous occasion, when a councillor, strongly opposed tho proposal, was Mayor, it was again offered to the Council for £25,030, which was later reduced to £'21,000. It was proposed to raise a loan of £23,000 at 4i per cent, for the purpose, but the ratepayers turned the proposal down by L'ol4 votes to 809.

A movement by several citizens was mado in 1900 to obtain an electric organ for tho Canterbury Hall, and a specification was obtained from Messrs Ingram and Company, Hereford, England, amounting to £3235 10s. Tho project, however, fell through, and when the Exhibition was projected tho chairman of the Ceremonial and Entertainment Committee, .Mr J. A. Frostick, suggested to the lato Mr Seddon that the organ should be obtained for the Concert Hall. The late Premier fell in with this suggestion, and further stated that the organ would be presented to tho city at the close of the Exhibition. It- was at first proposed that the citizens should pay a portion of the? cost, but this was ultimately waived, tho Government undertaking to pay the whole of tho cost of the organ. When the Government consented to hand tile instrument over to tho City Council, tho Mayor then in office, the late Mr George took charge of it on behalf of the city, and the City Council appointed an Organ Committee, comprising the Mayor, Crs. Allison, Horsley, and Parsons, Messrs J. A Frostick, A. Kayo., G. R. Hart, and Dr. Bradshaw. Tho committeo on its appointment entered into negotiations with the Canterbury Hall Company, which body met them in a very generous spirit, for the housing of the organ in His Majesty's Theatre, until the city providod a suitable place for it. Messrs Ingram and Company having declined to take over tho work of removal to His Majesty's, the committee entered into a contract with Messrs Jenkins and Brett, organ buildors, in 1907, for the removal and ro-erection of tho organ, and it was decided to instal the two parts at the end of tho dress circle of tho tbeatro, on the northern and southern sides. An arrangement was also made by which the console, or keyboard, could, by means of a small tramway, bo removed under tho stage when not in use, to a small chamber specially built for it, so as to leave tho orchestra well free for any performances that might take place in tho building. Several new stops wore ordered from England on tho suggestion of Dr. Bradshaw, and other im-

provemeuts were introduced, also under nis advice, which had the effect of making the organ- one of the finest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and a most valuable asset to the city. Dr. Bradsliaw was appointed city organist, and under his skilful manipulation > the fine rich tone of the organ has delighted thousands upon thousands since It was officially opened on July 27th, 1908.

The organ t was insured for_ £4000, somt) of it in the City Council's own fund, and the rest split up amongst three or four offices. It may be remarked. that when the theatre was taken over for vaudeville purposes, the premium rose by. 50 per cent., on (account of the presumably greater risk.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

CANTERBURY HALL DESTROYED., Press, Volume LIII, Issue 16056, 12 November 1917

Word Count
5,296

CANTERBURY HALL DESTROYED. Press, Volume LIII, Issue 16056, 12 November 1917

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