Making music history - in Wareham!
In the 1970’s an electronics company in Wareham made a synthesiser which would go on to inspire a number of famous musicians to create a new innovative sound. Today a University Lecturer from New Zealand is appealing to anyone local who could help him discover more about this important piece of local history.
James Gardner, an adjunct senior fellow from the University of Canterbury is currently researching the synthesiser company EMS (Electronic Music Studios).
From Pink Floyd to Doctor Who
EMS manufactured the first European synthesiser, the VCS3, from 1969. The VCS3, along with its “suitcase version”, the Synthi A, introduced in 1971, proved very popular with bands of the time, such as Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, King Crimson, and Tangerine Dream and were also used extensively in the 1970s by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop for the music and sound effects for Doctor Who. The synthesisers also sold well to UK schools, colleges and universities, where they were used for the teaching of electronic music.
During the 1970s these synthesisers were made in Wareham by EMS (Bournemouth) Ltd, and later by Hilton Electronics (Wareham), in premises at 1 Westminster Road, then Johns Road.
James would love to hear from any local history buffs or local residents who perhaps know or remember any details about these factories. Or maybe someone remembers working for Hilton Electronics at these addresses in Wareham?
About James Gardner: James was born in Liverpool in 1962 and spent the 1980’s working in the music industry before moving to New Zealand in 1994 where he has continued to compose music as well as lecture on music at University. He is also a regular broadcaster on Radio New Zealand.
Do these photos jog any memories?
The photos on this page are believed to be taken at the Johns Road Factory, January 1973. Most of the assembly workers were women (they didn’t have to be paid as much as men in those days!) and were possibly school-leavers. Most of the people in the factory are constructing the EMS Synthesiser although the factory made quite a few different products.
If you think you can help James with his research please contact us.