Kew Musical Museum

Fri 13 Jan 2023

Kew Musical Museum

Wurlitzer 2

RSTC Visit to the Kew Musical Museum

Kew Musical Museum

Thursday 12th Jan 2023

51 members had a thoroughly enjoyable visit to the Musical Museum at Kew – as evidenced by the many complimentary remarks made afterwards. The Musical Museum contains one of the world’s foremost collections of automatic musical instruments, from tiny musical boxes to a mighty self-playing Wurlitzer organ.
 These were produced from the 1850’s to the 1930’s.

Almost all of the instruments have been restored to working order and were enthusiastically demonstrated to us by our expert guides.
The most impressive exhibit was the Orchestrion, which was designed to mimic the sound of a small orchestra and comes complete with a full set of percussion instruments – all played automatically, of course.


The highlight of the visit was an organ concert given by Chris and Joanne Powell – who are recognised internationally for their expertise on all sorts of theatre organ.

<i>                               Joanne and Chris Powell on stage</i>
                               Joanne and Chris Powell on stage

After a glass (or two) of Prosecco, the event started with the Museum’s Wurlitzer organ rising up through the stage, played by Joanne, with Jessica – their Cocker Spaniel – at her feet! Chris and Joanne played all sorts of popular music, duetting on their own instruments as well as the Wurlitzer. With afternoon tea served in the interval, a fascinating day was had by all, especially by those singing along to the many well-known tunes played. A vote of thanks was given by Judy Jones, on behalf of RSTC, and our coach driver Simon – a big Wurlitzer fan – was presented with some mementoes by the Chairman of the Musical Museum. The Kew Musical Museum – a charity which totally relies on visitors and donations  -  is a very well-kept secret and was well worth our visit.