Notes for: George Champion Bedwell
Bedwell and Sons (1890-1946)
G.C. Bedwell Ltd., as the firm was also known, were established by George Champion Bedwell in 1874 at Cecilia House, Hills Road, Cambridge as pianoforte and musical instrument sellers. George was born in London c.1845 (or possibly 1848) and died in 1934 near Bath. With his wife Louisa (b.1843), he had several sons and daughters: Lilly (b.1866), George (b.1872), Harry (b.1874-d.1936), Frank (b.1877), May (b.1875), Bertie (b.1879), Nellie (b.1881) and Douglas (b.1884). The household also included their aunt, Fanny Last, and two servants.
They occupied various premises: 15 Hills Road (1874-91), 35 Hills Road (1892-96). They had a works in Tenison Road c.1896-1933 and showrooms in St. Mary's Passage c.1912-1928 and 130 East Road c.1933-36. There was also a branch at 104 Poole Road, Bournemouth from 1909-16 and High Street, Clacton-on-Sea, 1934-46, 41 Exchange Street, Norwich and 9 Magdalen Street, Colchester at the same period. There was a warehouse at 24 West Row, Ladbrooke Grove, London in 1934 and another branch at London Road South, Lowestoft until 1946. They were known successively as George Bedwell, George C. Bedwell, Bedwell and Son, Bedwell's Organ Works, G.C. Bedwell and Sons Ltd. In the period 1874-90 Bedwell was a musical instrument seller.
The Bedwells became builders of small pipe organs c.1891, they also made harmoniums and continued until 1946. The original firm of G.C. Bedwell was sold at public auction in July 1931 and the family estate in Cambridge was sold in 1934. George's sons carried on as organ builders: Harry H. Bedwell (b.1874-d.1934) at 74 Walsworth Road, Hitchin from 1906 until his death; and George E. Bedwell (b.1872-d.1953) at 173 Knighton Lane, Leicester from c.1881 until 1946.
G.C. Bedwell wrote a book - The Evolution of the Organ .
The only instrument currently known with the Bedwell label is actually a suction reed organ, so see Chapter 18.