The cosole gave the operatore a single on or off switch to each stage lighting circuit, the name of the curcuit being clearly engraved on each switch operating lever or tablet. The dimmer levers, position indicatores, full on switches, blackout switches, master locking devices and colour filter switches instead of being repeated for each lighting circuit are repeated only a few times as group and colour masters. For every lighting change, great or small, the requiried lighting curcuits, be they one or many, are locked to the master controls - operated and then unlocked to remain as they are untill locked on for further change. The curcuit selectore switches are easy to put on or off- a sweep of the hand and all are on,for example. Devices are fitted to move preset combinations of these switches, cancel them, etc. As there is only one switch(simply on or off)per lighting curcuit, plus a set of masters used all the toime, the console desk is very compact and the state of the controls clearly shown to the operatore.With other systems be has to take in at a glance the state of affairs by looking at a hundred or more dimmer levers, circuit switches, etc, plus the master controls which are necessary for simultaneouse dimmer movement and to witch the individual controls may, or may now, be locked at that time.
Typical instilations include;
Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1950 Empress hall in 1950 London Palladium 1949 Palace Theatre,Manchester in 1949
Fred Bentham 1911 - 2001
Fred Bentham died peacefully in a nursing home in west London on Thursday, May 10th. To many people around the world Fred was the father of modern entertainment lighting and became well-known personality during his 42 years with strand. Born in Harlesden in north-west London on 23rd October 1911 Fred joined Strand Electrics and Engineering Company in 1932 and quickly made his mark by overhauling the product range, publishing a new case-bound catalogue in 1936 which included a host of innovative products including mirror spot, Acting Area and Pageant lanterns and of coarse, the Light Console. This revolutionary lighting control, and the ubiquitous Pattern 23 spotlight became synonymous with Fred Bentham and Strand. The Light Console's lasting legacy was to progress the technology of lighting control from a complex on-stage mechanical device to a remote control which could be located where the operator could actually see what was being lit. Fred's reputation grew after the second World War when he took over the editorship of Strand's popular journal Tabs, and this, combined with regular lectures and Colour Music demonstrations gained him a wide following as the focus of the industry's progressive developments. Strand's development team, under Fred's direction, was at the forefront of thyristor dimmer design, profile spotlight developments and ultimately, memory lighting systems. In addition to being a founding member of the ABTT, ALD a prominent member of the IES (later CIBSE) and editor of Sightline, Fred was especially proud of his election as a member of the Art Workers' Guild after his 1936 lecture on 'Stage Lighting as an Art" to members of the Guild (which included his father, the sculptor Percy Bentham, and on that occasion, George Bernard Shaw). Fred continued his connections with the industry into his 80s, publishing his autobiography Sixty Years of Light Work in 1992.
Co-ofounder Soundcraft Electronics Limited
Born 1948 Raised and educated, Epsom, Surrey, England Played piano since age 4 Junior music scholarship to Trinity college London Studied Piano and Organ Interest in electronics from taking apart electric organs. Went to Bristol University in 1966 to study electrical engineering. Graduated and got a job with Comptons Organs
Met Bill Kelsey together helped build Sound desk for Emerson, Lake and Palmer at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival
Suposedly Jimi Hendrix asked to use the desk when his sound equipment was delayed in traffic.
Got a job kelsey and morris Building desks that they had Designed.
Wanted to branch out and design his own but had no sound engineering experience. Met Phil Dudderidge of Rotary Speaker Development. together in 1973 they set up Soundcraft Electronics LTD.