Author Topic: What would you do with £25M?  (Read 28307 times)

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organforumadmin

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Re: What would you do with £25M?
« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2012, 08:53:22 PM »
you only need to talk to a city banker (and I've known a few) to realise what a cavalier attitude they take. If we removed or heavily reduced taxation, there would be no money to run our schools, libraries, public parks, civic concert halls(!), National Health Service (and let's not argue about that, saying the NHS shouldn't exist as some do ought to remove your right to a British passport).


This thread is not a soapbox upon which to spout about what is wrong, but to put oneself in the position of the responsibility of the possession of a tidy sum with which one can do quite a lot but not so much as to be able to do much more than . . . inspire.


By doing this, then others might contemplate doing likewise with their resources and those with even more resources can apply those to the bigger picture . . .


So can you do it? This is a mental exercise more widely appropriate to more than organists, but all organists usually have an organ to include in such ideas . . .


Best wishes


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David Pinnegar

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Re: What would you do with £25M?
« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2012, 11:26:45 PM »
I wouldn't buy big cars and a noble pile, (apologies for that to Mr P),
 . . . .
If I survived the Caterham 7 experience, I think I would buy a redundant mill or factory, and turn it into a multiple craft workshop, where vital skills could be kept alive, where young people could take pride in learning the skills, and where things of beauty and quality could be made for posterity.

Enthusiasm and acquired skills are the building blocks of lives and societies, and we need more, not less.

Dear MM

Perhaps your vision and mine differ not far . . . For people who merely observe casually rather than know me, it's easy to mistake "the pile" for merely that, rather than something greatly more and in part fulfilling your vision for a redundant mill or factory. I often say that restoring the house is not about restoring stones but building people and there are many young people and older ones too who have learned skills here and do what they do now because they trained here . . . With better access arrangements, the house could do more in this way, but there are solid engineering skills to which you are probably pointing which are being lost and which desperately need sponsorship as you suggest.

A friend with enthusiasms in the vintage car area remarked to me the other day that skills necessary for maintaining vintage and veteran cars which relied upon traditional workshop practices which are now the domain of grey and white haired knowledge on the brink of disappearing. There is a particular need for apprenticeships in this area and the market is significant.

With health and safety having caused the closure of carpentry workshops in schools, and metal working workshops too, perhaps this is an area that needs reintroduction. Perhaps one might also set up a political party abolishing Health and Safety: if walking under a scaffold and a spanner should fall upon one's head, my grandmother would say how stupid it was to have been walking underneath. Campaigning for the reintroduction of the rules against champerty to eliminate the fear of unreasonable and unwarranted litigation and the associated cycle requiring and fed by insurance, would give an enormous boost to the self confidence of people and the economic health of the country.

Young people are given a false sense of the importance of the superficial attractiveness of the iPhone and associated transient rubbish as such things are merely a substitute for real life and, together with the activities you mention, are the only things left unprohibited by health and safety. The enthusiasm of young people for practical things can lead to expanding outlets of their inspirations: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Airline-Scams-Scandals-Edward-Pinnegar/dp/0752466259 (AOC - perhaps you might follow such an example and start to write a book about organs . . . ? )

The wealth of Britain in the past started off at the bottom rung with backyard businesses in garden sheds. World famous Gandolfi cameras were just such an industry, and for their lack of active promotion certainly in the UK one might be forgiven for thinking that Lowther loudspeakers started off that way. Certainly there was a derivative speaker manufacturer by the name of Worden using Lowther units

which would certainly have been made on such a small scale basis.

Certainly in India a major plank of the economic success is an ingenuity and practical ability that leads to a "can do" approach:

without fear or inhibition.

Operating at the Palace of Dhrangadhra have been for decades craft workshops where beaten silverwork furniture is turned out together with sculptors who can copy in marble precise replicas of the Parthenon Frieze merely from illustrations in a book.

As you say, it is these practical skills that are at the foundation both of a healthy economy and also a happy life. A very good suggestion. . .

Best wishes

David P
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 11:44:27 PM by David Pinnegar »

Janner

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Re: What would you do with £25M?
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2012, 07:34:37 AM »

.....................................
A friend with enthusiasms in the vintage car area remarked to me the other day that skills necessary for maintaining vintage and veteran cars which relied upon traditional workshop practices which are now the domain of grey and white haired knowledge on the brink of disappearing. There is a particular need for apprenticeships in this area and the market is significant.

..........


Don't forget also steam locomotive and traction engine preservation, or indeed the vintage diesel railway locomotives kept running by bands of enthusiastic volunteers. Both are excellent examples of keeping alive engineering skills which are rapidly being lost elsewhere.

When you see the enormous effort involved in these tasks now, it illustrates just how skilled the workforce was in the days when places like Swindon, Eastleigh, Doncaster and Crewe, to name but a few, could turn out, from start to finish, drawing board to paint shop, large sophisticated locomotives as a matter of routine.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 07:39:18 AM by Janner »

AnOrganCornucopia

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Re: What would you do with £25M?
« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2012, 07:49:06 AM »
A friend with enthusiasms in the vintage car area remarked to me the other day that skills necessary for maintaining vintage and veteran cars which relied upon traditional workshop practices which are now the domain of grey and white haired knowledge on the brink of disappearing. There is a particular need for apprenticeships in this area and the market is significant.

Indeed. The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs recently highlighted this as an important matter in a big survey they had undertaken. Nevertheless, I have written to scores of classic car businesses in this area, seeking such an apprenticeship, and only received one reply, which was nicely worded but still one of rejection.

MusingMuso

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Re: What would you do with £25M?
« Reply #44 on: March 09, 2012, 10:46:50 AM »

I hate talking about myself, but for once, I feel the need to do so as a way of illustrating a point.

At school, I had enormous learning problems, possibly beacuse I was extremely bored most of the time, and concentration was virtually impossible as a consequence. Things just didn't move fast enough for me. Naturally, the teachers tied to bully me, (it was  fairly brutal Grammmar School of the old kind), and when I fled at 15, it was with a crushing sense of relief.

I soon found employment in various things over the span of a few years, which included organ-building and engineering, as well as teaching myself how to mend cars and work on engines.

This is the background, and even though I did eventualy go back to study and complete a music degree, as well as teach myself to play the organ, I suppose that what emerged was someone with a fairly multi-faceted array of experience and abilities.

My brother, who is a retired university research officer/senior lecturer in engineering, told me something the other week which rocked me on my heels.

"Do you know," he said, "you probably know more about engineering than the graduates of to-day."

What a scary thought!!

It demonstrates, I think, the importance of "having a go" at things at the practical level, because you soon run up against the limitations, and then feel the need to improve upon one's knowledge at the theoretical level.

Diverging slightly, I vivdly recall sitting around a dinner table with three senior designers/aeronautical engineers who had worked on "Concorde" especially. Although the conversation flew a bit above my head a lot of the time, it was fun to listen and learn, but I did pose the question about how they got started as youngsters.

One replied, "Oh! Airfix models."

Another said, "Meccano!"

The third said, "We had a good engineering department at my grammar school."

The fact is David, we never know where things are going or to where they may lead when we start to take an interest in something, and the ability to just "play around" with things in almost a schoolboy way is, I feel sure, at the root of so many successful people.

As for health & safety, I recall being 15 and working in organ-building.

As I climbed 30ft up a ladder at Huddersfield Town Hall, a head popped out from the Great windchest, and spoke the immortal words, "Don't fall lad; I'm too old to catch you."

Writing books, you say?

Well, I've written one about very advanced driving, I'm revising a very serious but equally hilarious novel about a boy who died of a drugs overdose at the age of 16, and THEN I may get around to writing something about organs.

Best, MM


KB7DQH

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Re: What would you do with £25M?
« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2012, 07:02:42 AM »



Quote

Certainly in India a major plank of the economic success is an ingenuity and practical ability that leads to a "can do" approach:

Quote
CHENNAI: Music lovers, including the 3,500-odd congregation of the Lutheran Adaikalanathar Church at Thana Street in Purasawalkam, will get to hear the sonorous music of the 132-year-old pipe organ after a six-year lull. The church authorities have embarked on a Rs 6-lakh project to restore the organ, which moved into a state of disrepair after 62 years of use.

"We didn't want its grand music silenced for ever. Hence, we decided to revive it," says Prabhu GJ Dorairaj, the choirmaster of the church.

The double-manual tracker organ has 26 stops and close to 500 pipes vaulting 18 feet into the air, and is 14 feet long and 10 feet wide and roughly occupies about 170 square feet. It took six people to bring down the air chest, located on top of the organ, to the ground for the repair work. "The air chests and the bellows were damaged after rain water seeped in through the roof last year. This has taken a heavy toll on the organ," says Prabhu.

The organ was manufactured by Messrs W E Richardson and Sons of Manchester, Preston, London, in 1880.

While no information is available about its journey from the UK to India, it is learnt through church sources that the instrument was purchased from the Egmore Wesley Church in 1944.

Additional pipes were imported from Sweden and the organ was fine-tuned and continued to be in use till 2006, after which it developed repairs. The church authorities then decided to purchase an electronic keyboard for the Sunday worships.

But Prabhu adds, "Electronic keyboards, no matter how pricey or sophisticated they are, cannot match the acoustics of the pipe organ. Whether you are seated in the first or the last pew, you can enjoy the harmonics of the pipe organ, which will never be jarring."

Echoing his view, Augustine Paul, director of the Madras Musical Association (MMA) choir, says that a well-tuned pipe organ could even be a replacement for an orchestra. "Music pieces composed specifically for the pipe organ can't be performed on a keyboard," he asserts.

But, repairing the pipe organ is not an easy task, particularly when there is no specialist known to be available locally. The few churches in the city that have pipe organs had got them overhauled by a foreigner, a few years ago. However, for the Lutheran Church, Samuel Devasudar, was a godsend.

Prabhu got introduced to Devasudar in 1982 through fellow musicians and his work on an obsolete reed organ had been very impressive. Exactly after 30 years, Devasudar, now the director of the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) in Coimbatore, readily agreed to undertake the work. "The Rs 6-lakh estimate might increase by 10 per cent depending on the cost of materials required for the overhauling. We have somehow managed a portion of the funds through donations from the congregation as well as outsiders and visitors to the church," says Prabhu.

I think this is an appropriate example?

But if an organ is found in need of specialized servicing in a  "faraway place" are there individuals with the necessary skills willing to travel that distance to do the work?  It points out the need for something like "Organbuilders Without Borders" ;) ;D    and a means to fund the expenses  beyond what could be afforded by a church congregation in such a region... 

Eric
KB7DQH

The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

Contrabombarde

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Re: What would you do with £25M?
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2012, 11:49:59 AM »
It's very easy to imagine how you could start splashing out here and there with a new organ, a restoration of a valuable but neglected organ (viz Manchester Town Hall's Cavaillé-Coll). But beyond Lottery winnings of a certain amount (I mean, if I won £10,000 I'd be less worried about this), you have to build in some maintenance contingencies too. After all, there are town halls up and down the country who had huge organs installed in the 19th century as gifts from wealthy benefactors such as we are imagining ourselves to be. And what of those organs now - where are those benefactors' descendants to ask money from to keep the organs going now when the town halls are faced with massive budget cuts in social spending (not to mention legal costs brought by the people whose services are being cut). In short, is it any wonder that the councils don't see the preservation of municipal organs as a priority in the current climate? And why if you are going to be generous enough to buy and donate a huge organ, you need to consider whether the recipient is going to be in a position to keep maintaining it, not just for the first twenty years but for the next century or two. If they aren't, you need to commit additional money to a trust fund that will keep it going well into the next century or two or risk gifting a timebomb and a millstone around your recipient's neck.

David Pinnegar

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Re: What would you do with £25M?
« Reply #47 on: July 10, 2012, 09:00:10 PM »
Hi!

I'm looking forward to seeing the result of MM's lottery win but hoping he does not succeed with his ambitions for a Caterham 7!

Perhaps are any of the course of actions outlined above changed in the thought not of doing something with one's own £25M but someone elses but for whom one is given absolute agency?

So perhaps what might one do when in charge of someone else's £25M?

I met today a young man with an ambition to buy a ship (avoids planning permission problems) and turn it into craft workshops and a training centre particularly for carpentry and pottery for released convicts and retraining for long-term unemployed with championing the British Design School in mind as an art movement and as such rebuilding the reputation of Britain in terms of Art, inventiveness and an engine of the economy.

Can we explore and find other such inspirational ideas?

Best wishes

David P

 


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