MY BYGONE article of two weeks ago featured Handel House music shop in Fisherton Street.

Our photograph this week shows Mr Ron Smith (who I believe was the last proprietor) standing inside the shop and I was delighted to receive this message from Nigel Rowe.

“I remember Handel House so well. I used to go in there in the late 50s/early 60s to buy needles for my wind-up gramophone.

“At this time, Ron Smith owned the shop.

“My father, who was organist and choirmaster at St Francis Church and conductor of The New Sarum Singers, used to buy scores and sheet music from the shop.

“Ron was a very quiet man - I seem to remember that his wife worked in the shop as well, but it was a long time ago, so I might be remembering incorrectly there.

“Ron lived at Old Blandford Road, next door to an aunt of mine, so I saw quite a lot of him at this time!”

Nigel’s brother, Bryan, has also sent the following memory: “I remember the shop and Ron well. He was friendly with Horace Adams, chief projectionist at The Odeon.

“We used to buy all our new records that we played in the intervals from him.”

Handel House in Fisherton Street also featured in an 2008 edition of the Daily Mail when eight phonograph cylinders, made of beeswax and soap, were found by a Mr Russell Barnes.

The label showed that the cylinders originated from Handel House and Mr Barnes managed to transfer the sounds onto a CD using a machine called an Archéophone.

Expecting to hear music, Mr Barnes was amazed to hear early recordings made between 1913 and 1917 which feature the Handel House Smith family singing carols, discussing ‘daddy being away at war’ and singing songs such as Keep the Home Fires Burning in 1917.

 

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