The little tale of a Grand Fairground Organ
by Paul Bocuse

Unique in the whole wide world
Mechanical Pipe Organ - Gaudin - 1900

This organ is the equivalent of an orchestra of 110 musicians and is composed of :

 • 103 Keys
 • 20 Automatic registers
 • 23 Automatic figurines
 • 840 Pipes
 • 80 Trumpets
 • 2 Large drums
 • 2 Tambourines
 • 2 Cymbals
 • 2 Castanets
 • 1 Xylophone
 • 1 Metalophone

The Grolière family, local merchants who sold bread, wine and wood - the drugstore of our grandparents time - commissioned this mechanical organ in order to have the village out dancing on Saturday nights.

When the Great War came, the grocery store, wine shop and dancehall was requisitioned in 1915 to take in the wounded from the battlefield. The owners, fearing an invasion by the Germans, decided to wall up the instrument.

Years passed and the organ was forgotten. Until one day in 1966, upon learning what was behind the wall, I arranged to have it opened up.

The organ was of course damaged but imagine my joy discovering this musical marvel. It took four years for Marc Fournier to put it back into good working condition. Many parts had to be entirely rebuilt including new automatic figurines custom-made from plane tree wood in Germany.

Paul Eynard, the dedicated organist, with Arthur Prinsen edited a new set of perforated cards of prestigious tunes.

Finally in 1970, my fairground organ stood there brand new, a delight to all those young and old at business and family receptions, giving everyone for a moment that fleeting impression that we are still in the good old days.