George Organ

George Organ was born in Huntingford, a small village near Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire in 1856.
His mother Rachael was widowed and living in London in 1871, and around that time George started learning the scalemaking trade, working for William Alfred Herbert Snr at Kings Cross.
In 1877 he married Clara Lansdown in Shoreditch, and their first and only child Henry James Organ was born in 1879 at their house in 25 Albion Street, Islington.
By 1891 they had moved to 174 Pentonville Road, nearer to our premises in Grays Inn Road, and George was our highest paid scalemaker, earning 38 shillings a week.  Clara was working as a dressmaker.
Around the turn of the century his uncle died and left him a valuable Purbeck limestone quarry in Okus, Swindon, so George left the business after 30 years service and moved to Wiltshire.  The quarry can be seen in this photograph from the Swindon Collection of the Swindon Central Library.
In 1911 George, Clara and Henry were all living at "North View", 1 Okus Road, Swindon.
George died aged 72 in 1928. 
In a series of conversations with his son John recorded in the 1960s, Tom Herbert recalled George's time with us thus:  ‘The highest paid man got thirty eight shillings a week, a skilled man, he'd been apprenticed to the trade, to my grandfather I think, and he was getting on in years and his uncle left him a chalk-pit.  George Organ his name was.  He had to leave to look after this chalk pit, they used to burn the chalk for lime.  He was a good workman.‘
The Victoria County History on Wiltshire has this piece in 'Swindon:  Agriculture, trade, mills and markets':  In the first decade of the 20th century 3 quarriers are known to have been working this last important Swindon site: they were Edwin Bradley, George Organ, and a Mr. Wiltshire.  Between 1904 and 1922 Bradley entered upon a number of quarrying leases.  In 1913 he, along with Organ, entered into an agreement with Fitzroy Pleydell Goddard to fix the price of stone at 2s. 6d. a yard for building stone.  In 1933 the firm of Edwin H. Bradley purchased from the Goddard estate 2 acres of the Okus site, which became the headquarters of their building construction business.  Quarrying on the Okus site continued until the late 1950s.

George Organ
Picture of George Organ
Image of George Organ
Herbert History - George Organ