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Important Forster and Andrews instrument in danger. 3 manual

Started by David Pinnegar, February 08, 2017, 04:51:08 PM

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David Pinnegar



Forster & Andrews, Hull (1877)
Re-built by Hill & Sons, London (1906)
Hailsham Parish Church (St Mary's)
East Sussex
BN27 1BL

NPOR N15407
Three manual and pedals
30 speaking stops
Action: Tubular pneumatic throughout

En-fenĂȘtre front: Width (overall) 14'7"
Height (top of pipes) 19'8"
The organ now has no side casework as it is built
into the base of the tower. It occupies a floor area
approximately 12'9" wide x 14'9" deep.

Originally with tracker action, it was built in 1877
for the concert hall at the Royal Normal College for
the Blind at Upper Norwood in South London. In
1906 it was completely rebuilt by Hill & Sons and
converted to tubular pneumatic action. At this time
the console was replaced. It was extensively
refurbished again by Hill & Sons in 1921.

The college was evacuated soon after the outbreak
of war, and sometime between 1939 and 1944 the
organ was placed into storage by Willis & Sons. It
was installed at Hailsham in 1955 by Hill, Norman
and Beard of Lewes. This installation necessitated
major alterations, and the side casework shown in
early photographs is no longer in existence.

The organ retains its original stencilled display
pipes, and some other original Forster & Andrews
ranks. Other ranks are by Hill & Sons.

The Swell and Great are in reasonable playing order
and the organ is regularly used. Some minor repairs
have been carried out recently, although the last
major overhaul took place in 1981.

Organ for Possible Relocation

Department and Stop List

Pedal Key action TP Stop action TP Compass-low C Compass-high f1 Keys 30
1 Open Diapason 16
2 Bourdon 16
3 Quint 12
4 Flute 8
5 Trombone 16

Great Key action TP Stop action TP Compass-low C Compass-high a3 Keys 58
6 Contra Geigen 16
7 Open Diapason 8
8 Hohl Flute 8
9 Gamba 8
10 Harmonic Flute 4
11 Principal 4
12 Fifteenth 2
13 Mixture
14 Harmonic Tromba 8

Swell Key action TP Stop action TP Compass-low C Compass-high a3 Keys 58
24 Violoncello 8
25 Dulciana 8
26 Lieblich Gedeckt 8
27 Flauto Traverso 4
28 Flautina 2
29 Orchestral Oboe 8
30 Harmonic Tromba (from Great) 8
31 Corno di Bassetto 8

Choir Key action TP Stop action TP Compass-low C Compass-high a3 Keys 58
15 Bourdon 16
16 Open Diapason 8
17 Rohr Flute 8
18 Salicional 8
19 Voix Celeste 8
20 Principal 4
21 Harmonic Piccolo 2
22 Horn 8
23 Oboe 8

Other details
Console type: En-fenĂȘtre
Stop type: Drawstop
Pedalboard: Concave Radiating

Swell to Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell to Choir
Swell octave
Choir to Great
Choir to Pedal
Choir suboctave
Great to Pedal
Balanced swell pedal for Swell
Balance swell pedal for Choir
4 thumb pistons to Great (also on toe studs)
4 thumb pistons to Swell (also on toe studs)
4 thumb pistons to Choir

Blowing: Electric (3-phase)

Location and access
The organ is located at ground level at the
base of the tower immediately behind the
west doors as shown in the photograph.

There is therefore good level access directly
from the outside of the building, although
the space within the tower is very cramped.

The alterations made to the organ when it
was installed included mounting some of
the ranks and some larger isolated pipes
directly onto the walls of the tower.

The blower is located within the bellringing
chamber directly above the organ,
and suitable lifting equipment will be
required to remove it.
Background and timescales

In its current location, in the base of the tower, the organ prevents the historic west doors and
foyer (prior to 1955, a main entrance to the church) from being used. Consequently, the south
door, which is accessed via steps and is therefore far from satisfactory, has to be used as the
main entrance. Furthermore, the west doors, which are on the main approach path and are visible
from the High Street, present a gaunt and unwelcoming prospect, giving the appearance that
church itself may be redundant.

The Parochial Church Council is in discussion with the Chichester Diocesan Advisory
Committee about reordering works that would bring the west doors back into use as the main
entrance, and which due to levels, can provide full access for disabled people. The relocation of
the organ to a new home will be a necessary consequence if approval is granted for these works.

Expressions of interest will therefore be welcome, although the organ's availability is subject to
faculty permission being obtained from the Chancellor of the Diocese. An application is
currently being prepared.

Please contact us for more information about the organ and its fascinating history, including its
early years at the Royal Normal College for the Blind. Proposals to re-use the remaining
substantial "en fenĂȘtre" casework may also be considered.

While no charge will be made for the organ, the recipient will be responsible for all costs
involved in dismantling and removal.

Enquiries please to:
Ken Thomas
Telephone: 01323 849699 / 07817 560077

Martin Renshaw

This organ now appears to have found a new home in Yorkshire, and faculty procedures to allow this are expected to be concluded in October.  It must be remembered that the organ was twice rebuilt since 1877, and will no doubt be altered again for its new location.   Martin