Ian started with Cousans Organs in 1976 as an apprentice. In 1982 he then became Midlands Area Manager for Rushworth and Dreaper Limited Liverpool which resulted in him relocating to Leicester. In 1996 the opportunity to purchase the business arose, and Ian was delighted to return to his roots. Since then, Cousans has grown and continued to give great customer service.
Image taken by Lincolnshire Echo 1977, during a powercut!
The first mention of Cousans was listed in the directory of Lincoln in 1877 as J R Cousans Pianoforte and Musical instrument sellers, 31 Croft Street, Lincoln. The original spelling of Cousins was changed by JR after a disagreement within the family, and wanting to be his own man changed the spelling to Cousans.
(Pictured: JR Cousans)
The blower was named the "Kinetic" and a company was formed to build these blowers from the organ works in Cathedral Street in Lincoln. Large numbers of blowers were produced, and in 1903 Hugh Swanton of Stepney joined L.B Cousans and the company was named The Kinetic Swanton Company.
This company grew rapidly and in 1906 larger premises were taken in waterside Lincoln, also around that time, the Kinetic Company of America was formed. Hugh Swanton severed his connections with the company in 1909 and started his own company, The Rotasphere Company of Belvedere Road, Lambeth London. The Kinetic Company continued to make blowers during the First World War together with other engineering work to help the war effort. Increasing competition meant that orders for blowers started to dwindle and Kinetic was eventually sold to Sturtevant Engineering Company of London. However R.A Cousans continued to develop blowers and the Cousans turbine was made using a circular metal case in much the same way as blowers look today.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Cousans factory was turned over completely for the war effort, with many different items being made including ambulance boxes, headlamp shades, many different small engineering items and even gun sights.
(Pictured: Cousans Organs pipemaking in the factory circa 1930s)
After the war it was decided to continue with the engineering side of the business and this was to prove very useful during lean periods on the organ building side.
In 1975 the company made a decision to move to a new factory on Moorland Way in Lincoln and at that time J.W Tye decided to retire leaving the running of the business to J.A Robinson. The firm continued to secure contracts employing around 10 men and at one point the order book was so full that customers were asked to wait around 2-3 years before a starting date could be given.
(Pictured staff in 1975: Michael Willey, Peter Townsend, Julian Paul, Brian Hill. Seated J.A Robinson & J.W Tye. Can you help identify any others?)
J A Robinson died suddenly in 1978 after which the company went through several hands including J.W Walker and Nicholson and Company.