Author Topic: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.  (Read 8698 times)

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flared_ophicleide

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Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« on: April 01, 2012, 08:07:48 PM »
At St. Mary the Virgin C of E, in Ambleside, there's a late-1890s Hope-Jones that, I believe, was recently restored. 

The Choir was added by HN&B later on, but I'm betting that this division was designed on H-J principles (HN&B had purchased H-J Organ Co. after Hope-Jones, himself, fled England).  I got my info from the NPOR.

Ambleside is very close to the northern tip of Lake Windermere.

MusingMuso

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2012, 09:27:34 PM »
The Ambleside organ is actually rather lovely tonally, but of course, the choice of repertoire is limited on such an instrument.

When I played it many years ago, it was in fine voice, and what struck me was the superb voicing of the various ranks; though the blend was perhaps typical of an orchestral organ rather than a symnphonic one, and at least as close to a theatre oirgan as it is to a church organ. The organ at Battersea Town Hall enjoys a similar sort of pedigree; being Hope Jones/HN&B of a similar period.

The one curiosity at Ambleside is the Choir Nazard at 2.2/3ft, which seems completely out of place, buit which actually is rather nice.

As a period piece and as a piece of organ heritage, I am very pleased that this organ has been retained and restored; if only to remind us of the tonal defects as well as the tonal possibilities.

MM

flared_ophicleide

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2012, 11:01:15 PM »

As a period piece and as a piece of organ heritage, I am very pleased that this organ has been retained and restored; if only to remind us of the tonal defects as well as the tonal possibilities.

MM

My thoughs exactly, MM.  In the case of saving rare instruments, yes, we should be reminded of, and perhaps appreciate, the pros and cons of a given instrument.

Having a 2 2/3' in the midst of an all-8' group does seem a mystery.  A 4' stop could close the gap. 

After failing to find my Hope-Jones book, I looked up stoplists on NPOR to see how common a Choir 8' Quintadena was in his jobs.  I found that most 8' Quintadenas were in the Swell.  Some 4' Qs were in the Choir.

The reason I bring this up is that my theory is that the organist wanted an 8' Q, but instead was in favor of the 2 2/3', which he/she could add to the 8' St. Diapason to get the same effect.  Another use for this, is coupling to the Great Diapason chorus.  It is interesting that Hill, Norman & Beard would come up with an anomaly like this.  More than likely an experiment.

skf

ps: ( a little off topic, sorry)  btw....  The Battersea instrument is being restored by members of a theatre organ society in London.  There's something I found on youtube which, for some reason, shows an oscilloscope.  You can hear the organ playing in the background.  When I find it, I'll post it.

flared_ophicleide

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2012, 11:10:24 PM »
On youtube, type "hope-jones type electric" in the search box, and the clip should be at the top of the list.  Mind the volume, the organ is pretty loud and abrupt.

MusingMuso

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 12:00:12 AM »

As a period piece and as a piece of organ heritage, I am very pleased that this organ has been retained and restored; if only to remind us of the tonal defects as well as the tonal possibilities.

MM


The reason I bring this up is that my theory is that the organist wanted an 8' Q, but instead was in favor of the 2 2/3', which he/she could add to the 8' St. Diapason to get the same effect.  Another use for this, is coupling to the Great Diapason chorus.  It is interesting that Hill, Norman & Beard would come up with an anomaly like this.  More than likely an experiment.

skf


==========================


I'm quite sure that the experimental played an important part with H,N & B; not least because they worked with Hope-Jones in the development of the wooden Tibias and the fact that Quintatons are quite common on the larger Wurlitzer organs. (They also supplied pipework to Compton!)
I think, however, if you read the NPOR entry, you'll find reference to "tonal additions" at a later date with the Ambleside organ, so I'm not entirely certain that everything which now is always existed. Hoiwever, most of it is original, including the diaphones.

MM


flared_ophicleide

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 12:27:47 AM »
According to another source, the organ was originally a 2-manual.  HN&B added the Choir, and maybe the 15th and one of the Diapasons in the Great, later on.
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Correction added later: not Hill, Norman & Beard, but Norman & Beard
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 02:14:38 AM by flared_ophicleide »

MusingMuso

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 09:06:20 AM »
Norman & Beard....of course....silly me!

Thanks for the additional details. I've often pondered what stops may have been added at Ambleside, and the information fills in the gap.

MM

AnOrganCornucopia

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2012, 09:30:56 PM »
Could it have been that the Choir mutation at Ambleside is a later modification?

Battersea sounds surprisingly bright in that video - I've never heard a Hope-Jones but wonder why you would need any more brightness in a Romantic organ.

Another very intact large Hope-Jones (sadly not playable for many years) is that in St Oswald, Hartlepool, which from the outside looks very much like a scaled-down version of the nave of York Minster, minus one of the two West towers. It's four manuals and about forty stops. I think one rank (the Diaphonic Ophicleide/Tuba) is missing but it's otherwise completely untouched.

flared_ophicleide

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2012, 09:52:05 PM »
@Musing Muso: This is only speculation on my part.

Also regarding the Choir Stopped Diapason, going by Hope-Jones apparent degree of standardization, as with a large number of other British organ builders of that era, the Choir's 8' stopped flute would usually be a Lieblich Gedeckt.

I'm planning a trip to the UK for next year, and the more I think of this organ, the more I want to try to visit it.  Problem is, I may not have the time to travel up that way unless I drive there (I don't like driving).
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 01:08:17 AM by flared_ophicleide »

flared_ophicleide

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 01:28:47 AM »
Could it have been that the Choir mutation at Ambleside is a later modification?

Battersea sounds surprisingly bright in that video - I've never heard a Hope-Jones but wonder why you would need any more brightness in a Romantic organ.

Another very intact large Hope-Jones (sadly not playable for many years) is that in St Oswald, Hartlepool, which from the outside looks very much like a scaled-down version of the nave of York Minster, minus one of the two West towers. It's four manuals and about forty stops. I think one rank (the Diaphonic Ophicleide/Tuba) is missing but it's otherwise completely untouched.

Not just the mutation, but the whole Choir supposedly was added later.

For the purpose of expressive dynamics, some of the stops of a Hope-Jones was deliberately voiced brightly.  For example, a brassy toned Tuba sounds brassy in an open swellbox.  As you close the shades, and because of the solid design of a H-J swellbox, the tuba's tone is reduced to that of a quiet French Horn.

At Hartlepool, the tower, as well, has some similarities to the ones at York.  Like Beverley Minster, perhaps this church was designed by the same architect who designed York M.

Looked up the Ingram, Hope-Jones & Co. in that church.  Beautiful case, all console hardware appears orig. .... yet another surviving H-J design! (fortunately, imo, Hartlepool looks like a nice place to spend holiday, so we're not necessarily off-topic)  Yes, it is sad that this organ is out of commission.

If I can shoe-horn this town into my itinerary for next year, this is another of York Minster's sisters I'd like to visit.

AnOrganCornucopia

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 02:31:41 AM »
I meant even more later  ;D

And no, SOH wasn't by the same architect(s) as York/Beverley, since it wasn't begun until 1897! And yep, I mentioned the tower too. I wonder what it would take to get the organ playing, however creakily... I'd give it a nice new drawstop console, though, the smaller HJ tab ones look rather ungainly and plain to me, though the big original Worcester one did look rather fine. Nice place to spend a holiday, though? Never been up that way but I only know it for the argy-bargy over scrapping of 'toxic' ships...

HJ 'boxes, solid? That's an understatement! I heard it took three weeks to demolish the Worcester ones...

KB7DQH

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 09:16:48 AM »
Sounds like the instrument in question may be a candidate for the following? http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,827.msg3969.html#msg3969

Eric
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ILP

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 10:13:37 PM »
The St Oswald's Hartlepool Hope-Jones has been out of use for many years. There is no blower, and the blower house was demolished some years ago, but apart from some pipes being removed because they were said to be sagging, I think it's all there. The wiring, I'm told, gave many problems even when the organ was in use.

As for visiting Hartlepool, you might want to visit St Hilda's, one of the most important churches in the north of England, and on the site where Hild had her first monastery (before founding Whitby Abbey). It pre-dates York Minster considerably, being built in the late 12th century. The organ is a 3 manual Conacher, augmented by Hauptwerk electronics. www.hartlepool-sthilda.org.uk Come and try it.

You might also visit the marina (good restaurants as well as boats!), the museum of Hartlepool, the Maritime Experience and the Heugh Battery. It's not far to Durham (world heritage site and Harrison & Harrison organ builders), the North Yorkshire moors, Whitby, and other attractions. The Lake District is about 90 minutes by car.

flared_ophicleide

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 11:08:16 PM »

And no, SOH wasn't by the same architect(s) as York/Beverley, since it wasn't begun until 1897! And yep, I mentioned the tower too. I wonder what it would take to get the organ playing, however creakily... I'd give it a nice new drawstop console, though, the smaller HJ tab ones look rather ungainly and plain to me, though the big original Worcester one did look rather fine. Nice place to spend a holiday, though? Never been up that way but I only know it for the argy-bargy over scrapping of 'toxic' ships...

HJ 'boxes, solid? That's an understatement! I heard it took three weeks to demolish the Worcester ones...

Concrete swell boxes are a bit difficult to brake up, esp. without disturbing surrounding furnishings and the building itself.

Since one of the best ways to keep an organ in good shape is to play it regularly, this one seems to need a complete restoration, since it's been silent for years.  Without regular use, deposits and corrosion result on electrical contacts.

Unless I'm losing track of my facts, I think I remembered reading that this organ has had at least one rebuild, which possibly included re-leathering. 

I've heard of leather over 50 yrs old still doing its job. One of things that causes the leather to depreciate is the expansion & contraction inside a chest when the blower is turned on & off respectively.  Leather on wind regulators can get a good workout anytime the organ is on.  Now, if the organ has been silent for this long, depending on how long ago a re-leathering took place and how humid it gets in Hartlepool, the leather may still be okay.   Water is one of the biggest enemies of the pipe organ.

And a new blower would help, too. *Cheshire cat grin*

Re. the 1897 beginning of const. St. O's:  I kinda saw that coming.  Looking at it on street view in googlemaps, I had a feeling that this is a much later bldg.
The town, itself, looks pretty laid back and not far from the Lake Dist. (still in topic?)

AnOrganCornucopia

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 01:50:30 AM »
I understood that the W. boxes were brick, but I may be wrong. I did point out that the Hartlepool organ had "sadly not [been] playable for many years". NPOR says some pipes of the West end Diaphonic Horn 16'/Tuba 8' rank were removed but that it was otherwise intact. No record of any rebuild or alterations. I'm sure that it would not be difficult to rewire the thing - I'm pretty sure that's what Peter Hammond et al have been doing at Battersea and he says that what has been restored works beautifully and is lightning fast. It's no more intimidating than anything the theatre organ crowd do/have done. Bringing the blowing indoors would also be a good thing for tuning stability and the health of the soundboards. Apparently the West end rank was fed by the main blower, with trunking running under the floor - is this still in place and intact? If not, I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to rig up a suitable blower at the West end.

This restoration really needs to happen - it is, to my knowledge, one of now only four Hope-Jones organs surviving intact and recognisable from their maker's intentions and must, therefore, form a crucial part of Hope-Jones scholarship. It is imperative that the classical and theatre organ communities put aside their differences to collaborate on this.

ILP neglected to mention Durham Cathedral, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the famous Beamish Open Air Museum and another famous organ needing bringing out of silence, Newcastle City Hall's famous 4/66 1929 Harrison, now unplayable through the most reprehensible and scarcely believable Philistinism. Also worth a visit is Saint Andrew's, Roker, near Sunderland - a superb Arts & Crafts church with what I am told is a magnificent Norman & Beard, 3m/40something stops. I'm sure that a look at NPOR could be the basis of a good organ crawl in that area - Newcastle RC Cathedral has a new 3m Tickell going in this year, the Anglican has its Lewis, there's a fabulous Father Willis in the Dominican Priory (the brother of the famous one in Hampstead) and there may be more of which ILP can inform you.

ILP

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 09:51:06 AM »
OK, I didn't give a full tourist guide; but Durham Cathedral is part of the world heritage site that I did mention, and the railway is an additional feature to the actual NY moors. And, believe it or not, there are many other places in the NE well worth a visit on your way (?) to the Lake District. Then you could overshoot a bit and go on to Carlisle Cathedral.
Returning to organs, though - yes, Newcastle City Hall organ is in a sad state, and well worth restoring. I played it a few times many years ago. Middlesbrough Town Hall (1898 Hill) is another fine instrument that's in a poor state. Several good instruments in good order as well, including St Hilda South Shields (Lewis, rebuilt by Harrisons), St George Gateshead (Willis), Sunderland Minster (Lewis / Harrison), St George Hartlepool (Binns), Church of the Ascension Middlesbrough (Principal Pipe Organs 1998). How many do you want?

AnOrganCornucopia

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Re: Hope-Jones/Hill, Norman, & Beard in the Lakes Dist.
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2012, 10:43:21 AM »
It's OK, I was being tongue-in-cheek, knowing how many organists/organ buffs are also steam locomotive anoraks =)

And, in my experience, many is the organist who'll gladly take on a dozen or more organs while on holiday!

 


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