Organ matters - Organs matter!

Restoring organs => Restoring pipe organs => Topic started by: NonPlayingAnorak on November 02, 2010, 11:36:23 PM

Title: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: NonPlayingAnorak on November 02, 2010, 11:36:23 PM
Partly thanks to the efforts of our host here, the church at Abertillery secured the future of a magnificent 1920s four-manual Walker. I have two questions:

What has become of the project? I'd heard it had stalled.
Secondly, what is to become of the existing organ, which looks (on paper) to be perfectly good, and restored not too long ago?
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: organforumadmin on June 16, 2011, 05:45:45 PM
Hi!


This thread was picked up recently in search engine statistics so there is clearly wider interest in it. It would be helpful to have an update if anyone knows anything.


Best wishes


Forum Admin
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: revtonynewnham on June 16, 2011, 07:05:33 PM
Hi

http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=K00892 indicates that the organ went in in 2009 - but no further details.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: Barry Williams on June 16, 2011, 08:10:00 PM
The matter is currently (as we used to say, when the use of Latin in court was permitted,) sub judice.

Barry Williams
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: organforumadmin on June 17, 2011, 09:06:48 AM
Hi!

Thanks for the updates. The instrument which went there was of interest. It was a 1920s Walker from one of the Christ Scientist churches in London:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlmlSgj_kdY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlmlSgj_kdY)
and its last concert is on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=last+concert+on+organ+to+be+scrapped (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=last+concert+on+organ+to+be+scrapped)

What is intriguing about the Christ Scientist organ is that typical of what the public experienced at cinemas at the time the genre of organ building where the instrument could be hidden unseen behind screens in organ chambers paved the way for the acceptability of electronic instruments where visible pipes were not necessary and all that was necessary was for an "organ sound" to emerge unseen from the depths of somewhere.

One can only speculate privately at all the issues which must be live on behind the scenes of what was a very valiantly intended rescue project for an instrument where the incoming purchaser's of expensive central London space were too intolerant and too impatient to allow the organ to remain in the building which was to be turned into a dance school. It was that occasion which demonstrated a total lack of public appreciation for the King of Instruments, as well as the demolition of the Staplehurst Convent organ by bulldozer which led to the inspiration behind this forum.

It would be appropriate to express best wishes to and for all concerned at Abertillery in what has clearly turned out to be a very difficult situation and one hopes that issues will be resolved with the least unhappiness.


Best wishes

Forum Admin
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: KB7DQH on June 17, 2011, 09:27:49 AM
The other discussion of this organ on this forum can be found here

http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,283.msg972.html#msg972 (http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,283.msg972.html#msg972)

Eric
KB7DQH
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: makemoreandmore on February 19, 2012, 11:50:39 PM
If I may be permitted to say something here...

It is very easy for someone to hide behind anonymity and cast aspersions at the efforts made to secure the safety of this magnificent instrument, but when the chips were down, where were they when help was needed?

I personally went up to London at my own expense to help in the effort to dismantle it, and I can assure everyone that passing down 16' Open Diapasons through a grill opening from a great height was jolly hard work. Not to mention having to carry each pipe the length of the very large building.

The Vowles organ at St Michael's Abertillery is in quite a bad state of repair. It sounds nothing like it used to in its heyday, and quite frankly if I had to choose between spending money on putting it right and installing the 1920's Walker, assuming the costs were roughly equal, I'd save the Walker and scrap the Vowles.

In fact, I scrapped our decrepit Blackett and Howden in favour of a Norman and Beard for the same reason.

OK, I'll wait to be pilloried by Non Playing Anorak!

Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: David Pinnegar on February 21, 2012, 06:59:03 PM
when the chips were down, where were they when help was needed?

I personally went up to London at my own expense to help in the effort to dismantle it, and I can assure everyone that passing down 16' Open Diapasons through a grill opening from a great height was jolly hard work. Not to mention having to carry each pipe the length of the very large building.


I apologise. I am sorry. Publicly I apologise: I was not there.

I had said that I would try to be there, and possibly that might have been misinterpreted as definite, but I have commitments and responsibilities in diverse and sometimes conflicting directions and cannot be in two places at once, or sometimes am simply exhausted and need time to put order into things in the midst of a whirlwind . . . and so on this occasion, I am sorry: I failed.

But what I had done was to draw the need for help to the attention of my circle of friends and of the Hammerwood Park Society and ensured that someone from my direction thereby did come. I had offered a winch and scaffolding for collection from not far out of London and afterwards was disappointed and saddened that more people had not been able to go out of their way as you and my friend had . . . without whom, the Walker in London would now be scrap.

Best wishes and with apologies,

David P
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: makemoreandmore on February 24, 2012, 07:47:43 PM

[/quote]

I apologise. I am sorry. Publicly I apologise: I was not there.

[/quote]

No need to apologise David. It was the likes of Non Playing Anorak who throw in snide comments from the comfort of their armchairs  :P
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: AnOrganCornucopia on February 25, 2012, 01:25:44 AM
 While it is always sad to see an old organ scrapped, I express my full support for the project to install the Walker. Meanwhile, I am in contact with a dealer in church furnishings about helping to rescue endangered organs which would otherwise be broken up and the casework turned into furniture... if anyone needs help in London or the South-East to remove an organ, do give me a buzz and I'd be only too pleased to help.
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: makemoreandmore on February 25, 2012, 01:17:29 PM
Do let me know if a Contra Fagotto becomes in danger of being scrapped. I'd settle for a Double Trumpet  ;D
Title: Re: St Michael's, Abertillery
Post by: flared_ophicleide on March 26, 2012, 11:39:02 PM
The Vowles organ at St Michael's Abertillery is in quite a bad state of repair. It sounds nothing like it used to in its heyday, and quite frankly if I had to choose between spending money on putting it right and installing the 1920's Walker, assuming the costs were roughly equal, I'd save the Walker and scrap the Vowles.


From the youtube footage of the Walker, I remember that there was no pipe facade in the London location.

I just had a look at a couple snaps of the Vowles facade.  Beautiful sweeping arrangement.  Can't help but wonder if this facade is, or will be, re-used in the Walker installation? 

As for the rest of the Vowles, by scrapped, could this mean parted out?