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Swell pedals


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#41 David Drinkell

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 06:47 AM

Yes, I've played at Shrewsbury and I remember those swell pedals.  I would bet that they replaced trigger pedals somewhere along the line.  But Norwood is the only one I can recall which still has two trigger pedals.



#42 handsoff

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 07:59 AM


 

As handsoff surmises, his right-hand balanced swell must be a conversion from a trigger type.  There are a lot around.  I hope that, unlike some, his actually balances.

 

 

It actually works quite well with good balance and closes tightly with good graduation when opened. It's just the location that renders it difficult in practice. I think that the original kick-stick would have been more usuable as it would have been closer to the organist's right leg and foot. A couple of extra notches in the stick would have been easy to arrange.

 

The pedal organ was restored in 1993 when electric action was added but the manual to pedal coupler is still tracker which obviates a move to a central position.

 

In any event, the organ is on its last legs with sagging pipework: the metal pipes are becoming very fragile and therefore difficult to tune. There is, of course, no cash for a replacement and no prospect of any becoming available. We are a church with an average congregation numbering 14 souls and with an annual contribution to the diocese in excess of £4000 taking virtually everything coming in there isn't a lot left. Good job I don't take a salary...


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#43 caskie

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 01:30 PM

St. Bees Priory has an odd type of swell pedal, but I can't remember how it works!

 

 

St Bees ('Father' Willis) has what might best be described as pneumatic ratchet expression pedals for both Swell and Solo boxes. They are off to the RH side.  Like a ratchet swell they are weighted to return to the top (closed) position, and one depresses the pedal to open the box.  To get it to remain at any position other than closed, you have to remove your foot from the pedal very quickly: the idea is that a pneumatic 'ratchet' then 'catches' the pedal and holds it at that position.  To release it, you depress v slightly and then control its inherent return upwards, just like with a mechanical ratchet.  They, and the whole St Bees organ, are in a poor state of repair at present, so they sometimes fall a good bit closed before catching!

 

Rothwell used the same devices: you can see a picture of these pedals on the NPOR survey for the organ formerly in Craigiebank Church, Dundee, at http://www.npor.org.....html?RI=E00085.



#44 wolsey

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 08:13 PM

 

The only example I can think of with two trigger swell pedals off to the right is the Lewis at St. John's, Upper Norwood.  I imagine there are others.

 

That doesn't accord with my recollection of playing for a recording session there in January. That organ has one balanced swell pedal.



#45 David Drinkell

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 11:02 PM

I've just checked NPOR, which says that the balanced pedal for the Swell was added in 2000, i.e. the year after Harrisons' restored the organ, but I see it in the leaflet to which you kindly provided a link.  Harrisons' also restored the specification back to something more like Lewis left it, so they may have unenclosed the Choir.  Oddly, the pre-Harrison NPOR entry mentions a trigger Swell pedal but makes no mention of that for the Choir, although it records that the department was enclosed. 

 

I first played the Norwood organ c.1970 while on a course for young organists at Addington.  The oddity of two trigger swells was enough to make me make a special note of it, and I remember them on subsequent occasions.  It's many years now since I last played there, certainly long before the Harrison restoration, so thanks for bringing me up to date.






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