James’ Brand New Blog

Chapman & Hewett: A London landmark

- July 13th, 2011

H-Chapman&HewettsMusicStore

Undated photo of Chapman & Hewett, courtesy of Stephen Harding

The London musical instrument emporium Chapman & Hewett was a big part of my life during the 1960s. But the store I remember was on Wellington St., downtown, & not the same as this one. We’re coming up to the 44th or 45th anniversary or so of me putting a down payment on a bass guitar there. Still can’t play bass at all. Sigh.

Good friend to JBNBlog and London history ace Stephen Harding sent this classic image along with these words:

Members of the public school orchestra went to Chapman and Hewetts in the 1960s for reeds. Joe George was our band master. He motivated London youngsters to win many competitions.

Thanks, as always, Stephen. Anyone else have Chapman & Hewett memories or more details about the store during this era?

Categories: Entertainment

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9 comments

  1. Stephen Harding says:

    Its the same location. This picture came to my attention via Glen Curnoe. He said there was an addition put on the front of the building sometime after this picture was taken. The tall brick building on the left side of the picture is the Wright Building. You could go down the alley beside Chapman & Hewitt and take a short cut to the Elsie Perrin Williams Library on Queens Ave. You could hear Frank Barret instructing his students at the back of the store sometimes.

  2. james.reaney says:

    Wow … I didn’t recognize the old place. Frank Barrett, if it’s the same person, was a great force in turning around the London Kiwanis fest. On rawk & 10q as always

  3. JOBBOOM_8396138 says:

    I visited C&H several times way back when, but always considered it more suited to the classical musician. For us rawk guys, Bellone’s was the place to go for all our musical instruments…..probably still is!

  4. james.reaney says:

    Maybe so — but C&H did have its own way to rawk.
    Just discovered the sheet music for Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever in our family collection are from C&H. Two favourites of my dad as the family pianist for singalongs. Cost 90 cents each from Chapman & Hewett back in the day.

  5. Jim Jackson says:

    I remember the Chapman and Hewett store from the 1950s. I was a trumpet student of Jim Ford in London and when it became very clear that my old Pan American student model trumpet was not sufficient to my needs, Mr. Ford took me to Chapman and Hewett and helped me select a new horn which was an Olds Recording model trumpet that C and H had on sale at a very good price. I kept that horn for the next 35 years, trading it in on a new Maynard Furgeson trumpet and a flugelhorn when I became involved with a large community based Jazz Ensemble in the town I now call home, Galesburg, Illinois. I’m still playing and am in several local bands, both concert bands and large jazz and swing bands that perform regularly. Thanks to Jim Ford and to Chapman and Hewett for a great early start. Jim Jackson

  6. james.reaney says:

    Thanks for the memories, Jim, & congrats on being part of the great jazz & swing tradition in Illinois. Wow.
    Back in the summer of 1979, among my first assignments as a truly rawk rookie summer intern reporter was a story on Jim Ford . . . visited him at his house on Colborne St. if memory serves. A fine Londoner & an influence on so many musicians.

  7. Old Rocker says:

    C&H’s was “the place” for Martin guitars in the day. Bellone’s was great,but as stated above,at that time specialized more in electric guitars and amplifiers.(I remember gazing through their windows many times, lusting for a new Fender amp,or looking at the beautiful Rickenbacker basses).When it finally came time to purchase a new 1973 Rickenbacker with the proceeds of my first post-high-school job,it was actually bought through Lewis Music on Dundas,another fine establishment. And of course,Belle Air Music,then at the corner of Horton and Wellington,was another good local music store in the seventies. Bellone’s is still in town, on York,but the first big chain music store,Long and McQuade,has taken over a few small local concerns.

  8. o how i remenber the 70 with jack glennie. ken wilson .bob chapman .his dad jack and his two kids jhon and nancy .i just turn 20 when i walk in ther store in 69 .i pretty well live ther till it close it was my second home .annything i bought .to play came from ther . they were my family wild i played a the the vic the buckette of blood fpr five years steady they supply me my tools .they were so good to me sometim no money they carry me .i met so many friends ther all of the dixie flyer . bottrell . paul french ther so many of us that were frien ther o how i miss home .chapman and hewette . rip jack and bob and dad ,love you all

  9. Gary Poulin says:

    I’d love to know more about the history of Chapman & Hewitt. I came across a small acoustic guitar built by them in the 50′s. It plays amazing and although it looks it’s years, it is in great shape and all original. Are any of the family members involved in the music retail and or repair business anymore.

    Still searching the web for info and stories.

    G Poulin

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