Profile of Theo Fox

People of Burgh

Theo Fox – Fairground Organ

Theo’s happiest childhood memories are of being brought up on his parents’ farm on the Burgh Common; riding tractors and having his own cow to milk after school.
 His family attended the Baptist Churches in Burgh and Skegness and this, along with his mothers teaching was to have a profound effect on his own personal Christian faith.
As a boy he worked in Burgh Garage on the High Street, owned by his half uncle Charlie Farmer. This is now the Co-op supermarket.  During WW 11 explosives were buried under the petrol storage tanks in order to blow up the Burgh High Street to delay any potential German invasion.

 

01a. theo pics

 photograph courtesy of Theo Fox

He worked for a local Radio & TV shop on leaving school and later studied at Lincoln College while working in engineering. At 21 years old he started his own Radio & TV shop in small premises on Roman Bank in Skegness, later moving to larger premises nearer the town centre.
 It was here that after his marriage to Miriam in 1970, he worked and lived in the accommodation above the shop and raised his family of three boys.
 A massive impact on their lives was when the eldest son, Christopher, died from cancer at age 10 years.

However, having a strong Christian faith and the love and support of many churches was an enormous help at this difficult time.
He always felt driven to share his great joy of the Christian message of love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
To enable this, he built a number of trailers and other equipment for a platform for himself and others to carry out open air evangelism on Sundays on the beach .

theo picsphotographs courtesy of Theo Fox

On retirement, it was a great joy to return to live in Burgh Le Marsh, which he had always felt was his home.
He had always dreamed of building a fairground organ to be able to bring him into contact with people, and share his Christian faith.
 This was his retirement project which he started in the year 2000. He still uses this on Sundays through the summer, outside of the Hildreds centre, representing the Skegness Fellowship of Christian Churches.


He plays a mixture of happy music, and gives out Christian literature, along with the support of his wife and another love in his life, his golden retriever.
He is grateful for the help and support of The Hildreds Centre over many years.

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  photograph courtesy of Theo Fox06a Theo4

  photograph courtesy of Theo Fox

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 photograph courtesy of Theo Fox

08a theo pics photograph courtesy of Theo Fox

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 photograph courtesy of Theo Fox

010a. Theo pics

photograph courtesy of Theo Fox

The ‘Band Mistress’ has quite a wardrobe of clothes including a Christmas outfit and a dress for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

There is a notice in front of the organ, and it reads....
Organ Information
This organ was designed and built by Theo Fox, most of the parts being hand crafted.
It has 162 pipes and has a fully chromatic scale, enabling it to play almost any music.  Some of the pipes and the blower were rescued from a redundant church organ built by the Positive Organ Company, London, in 1898.
It contains both traditional and modern organ techniques.  The Midi system used enables music written on a modern computer to send air to the appropriate pipes to create the sound.  
The organ was built for work in Christian evangelism.  The Bible clearly teaches that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun, and that the only way to eternal joy is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to talk to the organ grinder.
We hope you have enjoyed the music.
God bless, Theo & Miriam.

Theo is convinced that the Christian Gospel is the best news in the entire universe!
The organ is also played at various other events including Burgh Gala days on Tinkers Green and in the distribution of presents to children by Father Christmas
in Burgh market place. It is also played in the run up to Christmas, including Victorian Markets and Late Night shopping.

011a. theo Collages59

 012a theo Collages58

Theo also enjoys playing the accordion and has, along with others, especially John Panton, played for the church Christmas fairs in the village hall.

 

Text kindly supplied by Theo and Miriam Fox

UPDATE

Theo Fox has now completed building a  glockenspiel it has a  2.5 octave, fully chromatic and can be played either as a solo instrument or as part of another organ or band. It is intended to go on the next fairground organ that he is planning to build and  is also compatible and works on his existing fair organ.

2. glokenspiel