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Nostalgia - The Pipe Organs Of Our Youth - How They Shaped Us

Started by Mike Manners, October 05, 2016, 01:33:46 PM

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Mike Manners

Greetings Folks,

I suspect that most organists over 50 will remember an instrument which inspired earlier. Whether they were, with hindsight, ordinary or not, there can be no doubt that our earlier influences can be strong.

Three instruments I played regularly in my teens were two by Joseph Walker: Erith Kent, and Holy Trinity Church KIngsway Holborn London; and a 1889 Willis at St Peter York Street, Brighton East Sussex.

The Erith Walker is playable but needs conservation; and the Brighton York Street Willis is, in my view, under threat since the church was made redundant and taken over by an charismatic evangelical plant of Holy Trinity Church Brompton.

As for the Walker instrument at Kingsway (Holborn) London, was lost in a fire in 1960s and a replacement was provided for the west gallery. This was a neoclassical hotchpotch based round the pipework and case of the Green and Gray instrument previously in the Ballroom, Buck House and installed at Kingsway by Hill Norman Beard in 1969.
I enjoyed playing this in the very big acoustic of Holy Trinity. Alas the church was closed and demolished save for its west facade and the HNB instrument was sold to a school, and was subsequently sold to a church in Germany where it is still cherished.

Two other instruments I enjoyed were the Lewis at Saint Alban, Teddiington;, destroyed by Vandals, and the large Willis at Saint Jude Thornton Heath now somewhere in Japan, I gather.

Please share your special memories of those important organs in your life.