Organs in danger > Organs in danger

Harrison and Harrison at Charterhouse Chapel

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diapason:
Yes, Barrie,

Both of these are recorded on NPOR.  I informed them about Wellington School when the organ was destroyed (except for the facade which has been retained to hide the loudspeakers of the Rodgers).  The other, at Taunton School, is also recorded.  The Copeman-Hart now in the chapel has been the subject of some of C-H's advertising in recent months.

Nigel

Barrie Davis:
Hi Nigel

I do wish they would not hide speakers behind the original facade in a hope to disguise what is being used.
Have you heard the Rodgers at Worcester, at least the speakers there are not hidden?

I just hope they have the organ restored and possibly updated with better and more modern playing aids,

Barrie

diapason:
No, I've not heard the Worcester Rodgers - the only one I've played is a very small two-manual in a local church which replaced a harmonium.  Unfortunately, the speakers are so poor that they cannot handle the power.  Another local church have just installed a Rodgers - I must try to get to try it out.

The facade at Wellington was built by some of the students. It has been moved back from it's original position to make more space available for seating - anyone sitting there will get the full force of the Rodgers!  I've yet to hear it, but I still regret the loss of the 3-manual Osmond which it has replaced.

Nigel

leaf:
I would like to back up David's post on Charterhouse organ. It was installed about 80 years ago and is excellent for supporting a lively chapel congregation; not ideal I agree as a recital instrument. It was last renovated 30 years ago by Harrison and probably needs a fair bit of rebuilding with updated electronics; some extra ranks could be added without changing its character. But to say this instrument has outlived its life is just wrong. St Marys Redcliffe is 100 years old and has just been rebuilt and the Royal Festival Hall is belatedly in the middle of a complete rebuild. Is anyone suggesting that organs once played by Bach should be stripped out and dumped?

David Pinnegar:

--- Quote from: leaf on June 28, 2011, 08:10:40 PM ---I would like to back up David's post on Charterhouse organ. It was installed about 80 years ago and is excellent for supporting a lively chapel congregation; not ideal I agree as a recital instrument. It was last renovated 30 years ago by Harrison and probably needs a fair bit of rebuilding with updated electronics; some extra ranks could be added without changing its character. But to say this instrument has outlived its life is just wrong. St Marys Redcliffe is 100 years old and has just been rebuilt and the Royal Festival Hall is belatedly in the middle of a complete rebuild. Is anyone suggesting that organs once played by Bach should be stripped out and dumped?

--- End quote ---

Hi!

You raise a number of very valid points which I hope others might take further. Suffice to say at the moment, however, were it to be a choice between St Mary's Redcliffe and Charterhouse that should be saved of an instrument in this style, it should be Charterhouse on account of the very special and spectacular acoustic, absence from which St Mary's suffers.

There are perhaps areas of Listed Building considerations and the emotional attachment that this organ has as being part of its place and of the unique conception of that place as a War Memorial for those who died in the first World War, thereafter incorporating memory of those falling in the second. Other OCs might expand more eloquently on this than can I . . .

Perhaps in the vein of the influence that this organ has had upon those who have experienced it, especially accompanying over 700 hearty singers and being able to compete, a feat of which instruments of what some would argue as greater musical worth would find it hard to beat, its influence on one John Pilling who was an OC is clear. He went on from Comptons to found Makin Organs and the Harrison and Harrison of this vintage was the sound that John Pilling through Makin wanted to perpetuate. The success of the Makin electronic organ is demonstrable proof of the popularity in the psyche of the public of the sort of sound that this instrument is capable. Are we only going to be left with electronic organs to preserve the sound of such tonality in the force of relentless fashion for doing away with such pipe instruments?

On the basis not only of being one of the last surviving Harrisons of this vintage substantially unaltered, but its direct influence on arguably some of the most successful electronic imitations, let alone its function within the war memorial being an intrinsic part of the sound of the time of the memorial, the instrument might be argued to be worthy of an Historic Organ Certificate.

Best wishes

David P

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