Dixie Dean Fair Organ

General Information

The organ is a small 30 keyless organ. It is operated by punched card books which makes it suitable for events where continuous music is not required. It also allows people to see the music going through the key frame. The organ is operated by an electric blower which supplies air to the pipes and operating system. There is a small motor which operates the speed of the key frame. (Please remember that there is no volume control on mechanical organs).


The organ serial number is not yet known.
The organ is based on the standard 30 note scale.
This consists of a total of 46 pipes including :-
Three bass pipes.
18 stopped bourdons melody pipes which are not currently tuned Celeste, which would give the organ a mellow Dutch sound. They are currently tuned so that both pipes play the same note which has the effect of increasing the volume slightly.
To give more variety the organ also has a side drum, bass drum and cymbal.
This organ also has a glockenspiel fitted which gives it a different sound to Cinderella.


The “Dixey Dean” fairground organ was purchased around 1988-90. It was built by Deans of Bristol for Jim Dixey, and they supplied decoration as required but did not paint or fit anything. Jim then bought a box trailer specifically to transport the organ, and one side was opened up so that the front of the organ could be displayed. Jim built up the front of the organ and applied the decorative scrolls, the bandmaster and fitted lights. He made provision for access to the generator and provided the wiring for the lights and for the organ. He then decorated the front and added pictures of local Leicestershire scenes.

The trailer was towed with a motor home, and the organ was used entirely to raise money for charity. It travelled over Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and various venues in the East Midlands, wherever we were invited. After a few years, in a second-hand shop in Melton Mowbray, Jim found the mechanical monkey which raised its hats and took coins on its hand which were dropped into a collecting tin. This proved a great attraction for the children. All sorts of venues were visited, from small village fetes, town centres, shopping malls, to large country estates and steam fairs.

In 2003, Jim purchased a BT Sherpa van, which had been in the BT Museum for about 15 years. He opened up the side and decorated the front of the organ and fitted the organ inside. The van and the organ continued the same charity work as the trailer and organ until Jim’s health started to deteriorate in 2008. He was unable to drive or work the organ. Jim died in 2010, but he would be very happy to know that the organ will continue to entertain and give pleasure to many more people.

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