The electronic musical instrument industry peaked around 1979/80
when it was a dynamic and vibrant enterprise, but went into a steady
decline from then on.
During the preceding decade Bill Greenhill was working for the
Thomas Organ Corporation, a subsidiary of Whirlpool. The Board at
Whirlpool on advice from their financial advisers decided to
withdraw from the market, and Thomas was closed. This was the first
of a long list of closures of major manufacturers from this period
onwards, as other closures quickly followed, Lowrey, Hammond, Conn,
Kimball, Gulbransen - we all know this list to be almost total now.
On the closure of Thomas, and being unable to find and interest a
company to buy the stocks of Thomas parts, Bill Greenhill entered
into an agreement with Whirlpool to purchase all parts stocks and to
maintain customer warranty obligations to the full. Thomas had
customer warranty obligations which were valid for 5 years on many
‘Thomas Spares’ was started in 1980 and proved to be successful with
technicians and customers alike. Every known warranty repair was
fulfilled and no customers were ever disadvantaged.
As the industry declined, and both manufacturers and retailers alike
closed, several small companies were established, just as Thomas
Spares, usually by the resident Service Manager, with the stock of
parts. Lowrey and Wurlitzer were good examples.
These operations soon found that they could not cover their
overheads, and one by one they closed.
Thomas Spares did continue, probably the only one, and as others
closed, enquiries were being made on Thomas Spares to source and
provide parts for most brands. Often a parts stockist who was
closing contacted Thomas Spares and their stocks were purchased and
incorporated into existing stocks.
Parts stocks were also being expanded to meet the extra demand, as
was the library of manuals.
The name of Thomas Spares was changed to W D Greenhill Ltd, to
reflect the vastly expanded support being provided for all
manufacturers in this niche market, primarily (but not solely)
consisting of organs – keyboards – electronic pianos – accordions.
The current stock levels are large and very varied, and whilst we
would like to prepare catalogues and other literature, time and
costs preclude this. We have many parts for organs reaching back to
We are trying to expand and enlarge our Web site, which will be
dependant on the time available for this.
We are unable to identify a larger or more varied stock of parts for
this market, anywhere in Europe.
Our library, which comprises of over 4000 manuals, covers models
from over 100 manufacturers.
The name was changed from ‘Ltd’ to ‘& Co’ several years ago, as the
regulations and administration requirements demanded by the
Government on Limited Companies became too onerous and expensive for
a small company to justify or support.
We welcome all enquiries for parts or help, when we will do all we
can to supply the parts or advice.