The Spencer Collection of Musical Instruments
‘I am very anxious to have them remain in the museum for all time where I am sure they will be well cared for … and admired by many people’
Albert Charles Spencer
Albert Charles Spencer (November 1880 – February 1969) came from a large musical family from Hackney, North London. In 1902 Albert and three of his brothers established a minstrel band called La Pimposh Band. After winning various prizes and medals the group was renamed La Pimposh Prize Band. They played at the Crystal Palace in 1908. After 1910 Spencer moved to British Columbia, Canada, where he continued to show his passion for music as a bandmaster with the Penticton Band. In 1914 he and his bandmates enlisted in the Army.
Albert Spencer in the Penticton band, Canada c.1912
On his return to the United Kingdom in 1923 Spencer stayed with his sister in Paignton, Devon, where he met a fellow musician, Gladys, who became his wife in 1931. The majority of Spencer’s collection of historic musical instruments was formed in the 1930s when the couple were living in Croydon. In 1940 their Croydon home was bombed and they moved to Worthing where Spencer remained until his death in February 1969.
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