Handel House

My local town is, and has been for more than forty years, Devizes. I was delighted, recently, when sorting out some old gramophone records to find one with a Devizes sleeve around it.

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Before returning to that sleeve, let’s just comment on the record itself. It’s a mournful sounding song, performed by comedic singer Leslie Sarony and it’s called ‘Aint it grand to be blooming well dead’. This is 1930s depression time humour with the singer having a dream about his own funeral – an event on which much money was spent, money not available to help him as a living person.

Some of my own family escaped the worst aspects of the depression for they worked for the Crystalate company – the firm who actually manufactured this record.

Back to that sleeve and Handel House and E Price! And this item has really linked together a whole range of my interests with my realisation that E Price was Ezra who came from in or very close to my home village, baptised at our village non-conformist church in 1825.

By the time my record sleeve was produced (probably about 1930) old Ezra was long gone but as we can see, his name lingered on with several shops across the south, all in buildings called Handel House.

The Devizes building still exists and here it is.

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It is clearly called Handel House still although it now houses a very good book shop.

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And the musical past of the shop is recalled with the names of composers around the roofline.

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2 Responses to “Handel House”

  1. Phil Says:

    Many thanks for this (is this still Rog ?). Very Interesting as I am piecing together a lot of info about the Andover branch of E Price run by Ezra’s grandson A D Robbins up to 1926 and theron until 1933 under his own name. I have communicated with you on another link so have posted my interests on anything further that may turn up to do with any other details of Ezra Price’s music businesses. For it’s time this was a BIG chain of shops and one speculates how it all evolved so much.
    Phil

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