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Artists Gillett and Johnston (manufacturer)
Gillett & Johnston Croydon MADE IN ENGLAND
Materials wood, oak
Personal Names Dominion Carillonneur
Dimensions (cm) 50.0 (Length)178.0 (Width)110.0 (Height)
Functions Furniture
Barcode 602321
This oak bench was made by Gillet and Johnston in Croydon, England, and was custom-designed for the Peace Tower Carillon. A carillon player sits at a bench in front of a keyboard, like a pianist. However, at 178 centimetres, this carillon bench is roughly twice as long as the average grand piano bench. It is in proportion to the larger scale of the carillon keyboard, which requires the player to move back and forth along the bench to reach the full span of keys. Canada’s Dominion Carillonneur performs from within the keyboard room, located between the Peace Tower’s upper and lower belfries.
Gillett and Johnston, Croydon
William Gillett started his small clock-making business in Hadlow, Kent. In 1844 he relocated to Croydon, Surrey, now an outer borough of London. Charles Bland became a partner in 1854 and their company, Gillett and Bland, began manufacturing larger-scale public clocks and carillon machinery. In 1877, Arthur Johnston joined the company and established its bell foundry. Bland died around 1884 and the company was renamed Gillett and Johnston. Johnston’s son Cyril became a partner in 1907. Driven by a special interest in making carillons, Cyril expanded the bell-founding side of the business and developed his own highly regarded system of bell tuning. During the 1920s and 1930s, Gillett and Johnston manufactured bells and supplied carillons to countries around the world, including Canada.