My Hammond model BC organs

The BC model dates from the 1940s and was made in two versions in the UK. One version had the "B3" style case with legs whilst the other had the church style of cabinet. Otherwise both models were identical. These organs were assembled by the UK distributor Boosey & Hawkes using trays of components and assemblies from the Chicago factory assembled into UK manufactured cabinets.

This particular BC came out of a small village church in Norfolk where it had been since it was new. It was originally a polished oak finish but by the time I saw it the cabinet had been almost bleached of colour by sunlight and any traces of lacquer or varnish were long gone. But the cabinet was really nice, being made from solid wood planks and with the carving shown. It cleaned up very nicely. The wiring was very perished having suffered the joint ravages of age & mice so quite a lot of internal renovation was needed. Collecting this organ was a drama in itself. The weather was terrible; it had been raining all week. I loaded the organ into a Transit van with the help of the church warden who was in his 80s and then we found that the van had sunk into the muddy path under the weight of the organ. I then had a two mile trudge through the rain to find a farmer with a tractor to pull us out. When I got home I unloaded the BC on my own and discovered that the centre of gravity is in the wrong place. The organ toppled over and pinned me to the ground. Fortunately my body cushioned the BC from any damage; the organ was fine. The same couldn't be said of me!

This model BC came from a junk shop in South London where I just happened to see the J-20 tone cabinet on the pavement as I drove past. The proprietor drove a hard bargain, £50 for the pair, but as can be seen the cabinet was quite battered. But amazingly enough it still worked and the interior was in good condition for the age. The interior of the BC model is pretty crowded because there are two tone generators; the normal one and a second one which is slightly "out-of-tune" combining the two sounds gives the chorus or tremolo sound.

This model BC came from yet another chapel where the walnut finish had been regularly polished so although the hidden areas were very dusty it was in good condition. Again some new wiring was needed but to my surprise both tone generators ran smoothly with barely a sound. The classic Singer sewing machine sound

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Stan Curtis the hi-fi guru - Hammond BC organ -