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1
It’s not an organ which can be assigned to one builder in its current form, other than dating it’s 1964 HN&B. The pipework is a mixture... mainly Bishop choruses, ‘pick and mix’ reeds, even within ranks, eg the Bassoon has two octaves of the old Cremona resonators on 1964 boots, a Willis lieblich, some of the pedal upperwork is ex Great Diapason with the ears removed and the cut ups lowered. HN&B made it work against the odds in 1964, and added a new Stopped Diapason on the great, actually a gedact with big ears used to tune it and tenor G down is the bass of the Bishop Clarabella the top end of which resides in the swell! In 1964 the console and mechanical great action and electro pneumatic swell we’re all new. The soundboards are probably original and in a pretty poor state now. The overriding factor is that it sounds very good!
Interestingly, the HN&B plate says “remodelled” rather than rebuilt...
2
Being pedantic - NPOR records the builder as Conacher Sheffield, a different firm from either Peter or James Conacher of Huddersfield. Bernard Edmonds once referred to them as "Conacher Sheffield, upon whom be maledictions".

I hope the rebuilding of the congregation and worship proceeds successfully.
3
I don't know if this organ has been reported before.
St Paul's Hockley Birmingham  - A lovely Conacher two Manual rebuilt by Hill Norman and Beard played by Thomas Trotter during the Mander town halll organ rebuild.
See http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N07367 for specification.
The church has gone happy Clappy !
The organ is in reasonable condition but needs a rebuild.

Church website
https://www.stpaulsjq.church


Paul Carr, the ex Director of Music, has completely refuted that St. Paul's Birmingham has 'gone happy clappy'

Just for the record...

The church has not gone ‘happy clappy, it never did.

The organ is not at risk, certainly no more than the church itself, and that is fairly unlikely with it being grade 1 listed in a highly developed area of the city.

I left, after 13 years as DoM, in August 2016; my position became untenable but this was never to do with style of music or matters relating to music in worship. In fact after I left (followed by the entire choir) the traditional style, with use of the organ continued.

Following a very dark and complicated period for that place, which could be the subject of a very readable book one day, the church finally had a fresh start with a Priest in Charge appointed about a year ago.
He’s steadily rebuilding the congregation (which stood at 3) and the place is slowly healing.

The organ is used for the weekly service, played by a RBC Organ Student, and also for concerts such as the run of Carols by Candlelight concerts presented by Ex-Cathedra each Christmas.

The organ is in fairly good condition considering its age, there were of course plans developed for a new organ using the historic pipework alongside new, and extensive surveys and research had been done to ensure that nothing of artistic or historical value was disguarded in the scheme. This had to be put on hold about 6 years ago when it became apparent that the building needed work first and this should have been the priority for any funding.

The building has had some emergency repairs after ceiling collapses, etc. but is still in need of about £1m to restore it, so realistically any organ scheme is a long way off.

I hope that clarifies things.

4
I don't know if this organ has been reported before.
St Paul's Hockley Birmingham  - A lovely Conacher two Manual rebuilt by Hill Norman and Beard played by Thomas Trotter during the Mander town halll organ rebuild.
See http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N07367 for specification.
The church has gone happy Clappy !
The organ is in reasonable condition but needs a rebuild.

Church website
https://www.stpaulsjq.church


Paul Carr, the ex Director of Music, has completely refuted that St. Paul's Birmingham has 'gone happy clappy'


5
We are gutting out the church in order to do some repairs, the organ is going to be sold in order to generate some funds for elsewhere in the building.

Well good luck with that. Organs are like stray dogs. To be loved or given away. Getting anyone to pay much for one which needs rebuilding. . .  Well put it another way - who'd buy a stray dog knowing that it will need substantial vets' fees.

Best wishes

David P
6
I don't know if this organ has been reported before.
St Paul's Hockley Birmingham  - A lovely Conacher two Manual rebuilt by Hill Norman and Beard played by Thomas Trotter during the Mander town halll organ rebuild.
See http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N07367 for specification.
The church has gone happy Clappy !
The organ is in reasonable condition but needs a rebuild.

Church website
https://www.stpaulsjq.church

Hello Neil Crawford

What, exactly, are you saying?

I'm surprised the church has gone 'Happy Clappy', are you sure about that? It used to be a 'Book of Common Prayer' church!

As for the organ - it did need work doing to it!

The acoustics of St. Paul's are some of the finiest in the Midlands. I broadcast from there on a number of occasions.


7
Hi everybody New to this site/forum,  I would like to inform you, or anybody you may know who would be interested, that myself and Business partner have acquired a Church in Kelso, Scottish Borders which houses a JW Walker Pipe Organ from 1900/1901. One of the Carnegie Organs gifted to Churches in Scotland. A real piece of Scottish and world history.

National Organ Register ref: D08535
http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D08535

We are gutting out the church in order to do some repairs, the organ is going to be sold in order to generate some funds for elsewhere in the building.

Is this something you may be interested in or could you point us in the wrong direction toward someone who would re-home such an instrument.

thank you for your time, Robbie.e.swinton@gmail.com
8
Hi everybody New to this site/forum,  I would like to inform you, or anybody you may know who would be interested, that myself and Business partner have acquired a Church in Kelso, Scottish Borders which houses a JW Walker Pipe Organ from 1900/1901. One of the Carnegie Organs gifted to Churches in Scotland. A real piece of Scottish and world history.

National Organ Register ref: D08535
http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D08535

We are gutting out the church in order to do some repairs, the organ is going to be sold in order to generate some funds for elsewhere in the building.

Is this something you may be interested in or could you point us in the wrong direction toward someone who would re-home such an instrument.

thank you for your time, Robbie.e.swinton@gmail.com
9
Organ Builders / Re: The Stumm Organ Dynasty (I)
« Last post by JBR on March 11, 2019, 10:43:58 PM »
"We'd love to be able to do something, but we haven't any money"!
This might be all fair and well but......if only it was true!

The church contained a medieval stone pulpit, early 15th century I believe. At our last visit it had been hardly noticeable, just an old grey colour.
Now, however, it had been totally transformed into a picture of beauty. Lovingly restored, with all the medieval tracery and ornaments repainted in their original colours
"Isn't it just beautiful!" beamed the vicar. "We'd been meaning to get this wonderful piece of art restored for ages and now we've succeeded!" he cried.

I'm afraid that organs generally don't seem to be as highly regarded by the majority of people in this country, or that's how it sometimes seems.

Having said that, I know that there are a number of large cathedral organs in the UK which have recently been, or currently are being, restored at great expense.  To me, that is admirable foresight!

I can't believe that the many historical organs found in most of Europe are not all cared for properly.  Quite apart from their historical value, I get the impression that interest in the organ is stronger in most European countries than in the UK, although perhaps some countries, Spain and Portugal, for example, suffer from lack of money.  Even so, as long as those historical gems are not interfered with there is still the possibility of restoration if and when money becomes available.
10
Organ Builders / Re: The Stumm Organ Dynasty (I)
« Last post by Ian van Deurne on March 10, 2019, 05:28:27 PM »
Hi David,
The main reason why there are so many old organs that still remain in more or less their original condition seems to be due to one important issue: Lack of money.
This is true for most European countries, especially in Germany, the Netherlands, France and of course Great Britain.
It's a strange fact that recession favours the retention of so many old organs, although of course this does have its downside.
Many valuable old organs have simply been dismantled or sold for scrap because of total lack of any routine maintenance,
and I've sadly found this reason to be very prevalent in Britain.

I actually started my organ building apprenticeship in England with Hill, Norman & Beard after I left high school and worked with them for almost three years until I moved to Germany.
I spent a great deal of that time with one of their tuners covering the counties of Kent, East Sussex and south east London.
It was saddening to see so many old organs crying out for some tender love and care, but if we informed the church of this, the usual reply came back;
"We'd love to be able to do something, but we haven't any money"!
This might be all fair and well but......if only it was true!
One particular church in Kent (I'd better not say where) had an old two-manual and pedal organ, no magnificent masterpiece but more than adequate for the task that it had been built for
around 1875 it adequately fulfilled the role for which it was assigned: to accompany the choir and community in singing hymns plus performing the usual "Voluntary" before and after the services.
One day whilst rummaging around in an old box near the console that contained various old music scores and other bits and pieces I found the old tuner's book, the first entry was dated 12th May 1909.
There then followed the usual series of notes by the organist and the tuner of the time, saying what faults had been found during playing and the tuner's response, ticking the fault as being repaired,
then recording the temperature of the building and date of the visit. All the usual stuff.
Glancing through this book further, I actually found the date recorded when the organ had last received a proper clean and overhaul: 25th August 1928!
The book was in current use all through the war and long after before it was filled, the last entry date being 23rd May 1956.
The current tuner's book had started on 12th February 1958, but since the organ was tuned only once per year this would seem to be a direct continuation from the last one.
The date of our visit then was mid July 1972, which meant that this poor old organ had not had any proper attention given to it for 44 years. No wonder it was falling apart, with so many wind leaks,
various unmusical noises permanently contributing to the sound, plus a tremulant that, once you managed to get it to operate by banging the stop knob in and out a few times, virtually shook the whole instrument, building frame and all, with a chuffing noise like a steam train! And to top it all, the instrument was so incredibly dirty, its a wonder anything musical was able to emulate from it at all!

After my master had reported this to the organist, the usual reply came back: no money, no money at all, so PLEASE get it to play for a little longer!

Our next visit there was at the end of June 1973 and there we found the organ, just as we'd left it.
Except for one thing.
The church contained a medieval stone pulpit, early 15th century I believe. At our last visit it had been hardly noticeable, just an old grey colour.
Now, however, it had been totally transformed into a picture of beauty. Lovingly restored, with all the medieval tracery and ornaments repainted in their original colours
"Isn't it just beautiful!" beamed the vicar. "We'd been meaning to get this wonderful piece of art restored for ages and now we've succeeded!" he cried.
"Yes it sure is wonderful, but I thought the church had no money for any kind if restoration work." my master replied.
"Oh, we've been collecting for donations and last year's village fête raised quite a considerable amount as well" said the vicar
My master then looked seriously at him. "So how much did it actually cost?" he asked.
"It was very reasonable, considering what had to be done to get it all back in its original state. A little over £1400." came the reply.
I then looked up at the organ sitting on the south transept gallery. Still falling apart with it's sorry condition apparently of no interest whatsoever to the community.

After we'd left, back in the car my master exploded. "That's it, I'm done with the bloody lot of them. We've got no money, we've got no money they cry, then go and spend a
ridiculous amount of dosh on a stupid old pulpit, with the organ, a proper asset that they need to use every week at least still left to rot. They're f.....g out of their tiny minds!"
He was indeed very cross, and so was I as I've never forgotten it.

That's just one small example though, for there's countless others like it. However, I do try to think of the positive side.
Many valuable instruments have survived well with the main reason being due to the lack of money.

The great Van Hagerbeer/Schnitger organ in my home town of Alkmaar has come very close to either been completely destroyed/replaced, or altered beyond belief by people
who were so dumb, they hadn't a clue of what was standing in front of them. The last serious threat came in 1944 when the then organist, a Dr Bonner wanted to install
a new four-manual electric console and place it on the floor of the church. In the space occupied by the original console and mechanics he wanted to create a new swell
department on the fourth manual. Electrification of the entire instrument would also be undertaken. He actually went as to order new ranks of pipes for this department from pipemakers
Stinkens which were duly delivered. However, the organ builder Dirk Flentrop had intervened by this time and subsequently restored the organ as it was with some stops
renewed according to how Schnitger had left it but with other slides left vacant to be determined at a later date. The pipes ordered from Stinkens were never used and remain
in one of the rooms at the side of the organ. This wasn't fulfilled until the full restoration between 1982-87 when money didn't seem to be so much of a problem.
The entire restoration of this magnificent organ cost no less than 3.000.000 guilders!

So yes, we all live in hope.
With best wishws,
Ian.


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