Reginald New

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Reginald New
Reginald New cigarette card.JPG

Reginald New born Lewisham, Kent (April 1902) – died Beckenham, Kent (28 November 1958[1]) was a popular UK theatre organist whose career spanned the 1920s through to the 1950s.


New was first a chorister and then assistant organist at St George's, Catford[2] later organist at Christ's Church, Chislehurst [2] before he became a cinema organist.[2] When cinemas started using organists to accompany silent pictures, New was among the pioneers at various London cinemas in 1920.[2] On 28 November 1929 he made his first BBC radio broadcast from the Beaufort Cinema, Washwood Heath, Birmingham.[3] After broadcasting 468 times,[2] he transferred to the Regal Cinema at Kingston-on-Thames in 1933 making another 200 broadcasts[2] from there.[4] He was subsequently organist of the State Cinema, Dartford for four years from 1936. He often gave concerts on the Cheltenham Town Hall organ and broadcast from there on 8 December 1935.[2] In August 1940 he was appointed organist of the Regal Cinema, Beckenham.[2] New was unique in that he used two signature tunes - signing in with "Jolly Good Company" and signing out with "Old Father Thames".[2][5] During his time at Dartford, he composed the "Dartford March".[2] This became a soldiers' marching tune and was sung by many who came back from Dunkirk.[2] Reginald New made over 800 broadcasts in his career.[2] The Compton organ from Washwood Heath was subsequently removed in 1937 and placed in the Abbey Road studios where it was recorded by Fats Waller.


  1. ^ "Find a will | GOV.UK". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "BBC Genome". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  3. ^ [1], eBid Wills Cigarette Cards.
  4. ^ [2], Birmingham History Forum.
  5. ^ [3], cinema treasures.