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Barry Oakley

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About Barry Oakley

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    The work of John Compton and the art of scaling and voicing.

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  1. Visibility of pipe organs on the internet

    I think there is also a conservative element amongst the pipe organ builder fraternity who are not sales orientated. They rather adopt the attitude that if owners of a pipe organ have a publicised problem then they must seek out a suitable organ builder to rectify the problem. It does no harm to knock on a door and express a genuine interest.
  2. Hollins' Autobiography

    Me too. I don't think he is a member of this forum but David Liddle did not appear to have any difficulties when he played the organ in Hull City Hall in the days when the Compton console had a full compliment of luminous stopheads, nearly 150 of them. I believe he also gave a recital on the organ of Derby Cathedral which still has its luminous Compton stopheads.
  3. Hull Minster Organ Appeal

    It was during the tenure of the late Peter Goodman as Organist and Master of Choristers, that the console was moved to its present position as you describe. Prior to that, Compton had sited it immediately adjacent to the north case and with a line of sight that encompassed the quire and nave. It remains to be seen when the organ is fully restored if the console will stay in its present position, returned to its original position or placed on a moveable platform for recitals or other musical events.
  4. Hull Minster Organ Appeal

    I thought St Mary's, Lowgate, was a Brindley & Foster?
  5. Hull Minster Organ Appeal

    The late Peter Goodman, former City Organist and Custodian of the organ in Hull City Hall, was a friend and someone I had known since 1951 when he arrived in the city to take up the post of Organist and Master of Choristers at Holy Trinity, now Hull Minster. Whilst he greatly admired the tonal qualities of John Compton’s work, he was not particularly a fan of the company’s illuminated stops, something I learned during a conversation with him. The demise of the John Compton Organ Company and its acquisition by Rushworth & Dreaper (R&D) led to R&D having care of the Hull City Hall organ. When later it became necessary for some major work to be undertaken on the organ and the console also renovated and placed in a fixed position, it gave Peter the opportunity to specify drawstops. Apart from one of the original Compton stop jambs complete with luminous stop heads, it’s something of a mystery as to what happened to the rest of them. I guess they were simply discarded like all of the original Compton company records.
  6. Hull Minster Organ Appeal

    I’m banging the drum again (if that’s an apt metaphor) for the wonderful untouched Forster & Andrews/John Compton 4-manual, 104-speaking stop organ in Hull Minster. There’s now a question mark about whether it’s still playable following major building work to lay a new stone floor. Virtually untouched since Compton rebuilt and enlarged it in 1939, the ravages of time and the recent building work have left it cyphering, leaking wind and with other detrimental ailments. A committee has recently been established to help raise funds for a complete restoration with at least an estimated seven-figure sum being the goal. With the city of Hull now seeing out the last few days of its UK City of Culture status, it will be nothing short of a tragedy if the necessary sum is not raised.
  7. Pershore Abbey

    Must say that I'm more than a touch mystified as to why the new Ruffatti at Buckfast contains a stop listed as "Bagpipes." I can't see or imagine its use in a liturgical sense other than during the feasts of St Andrew or another Scottish saint.
  8. Buckfast Abbey

    Ruffatti announced earlier this week that the final stages of voicing their new organ at Buckfast is now in hand. Looks as though everything will be completed well before schedule and probably be ready for Christmas.
  9. Bridlington Priory - Solo Clarinet

    I can remember the Bridlington Priory organ in its 3-manual days from shortly after Compton had rebuilt it and it was being played by the late Norman Strafford, consultant for the Compton rebuild of the Hull City Hall organ that was happening around that time. It sounded really fine then.
  10. Bridlington Priory - Solo Clarinet

    This stoplist shows the Anneessens preserved pipework. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E01122
  11. Buckfast Abbey

    Earlier this morning I received news that the nave division of Buckfast's new Ruffatti organ has been completed. It looks most impressive.
  12. Holy Trinity Coventry

    Thanks for this Dafydd, the £1.4 million is an eye-watering figure for a 50-stop organ. The restoration of aged pipe organs, a great many of them built thanks to generous benefactors, is of particular interest. Digressing, I have a particular interest and concern for the 80-year-old Forster & Andrews/John Compton rebuild organ in Hull Minster - four manuals and 104 speaking stops that has had no major restoration in all those years. It's now crying out for compassion and a generous purse.
  13. Holy Trinity Coventry

    Quite agree about your entombment comments. There were some murmurings just a few years back (or so it would seem) that the Stafford H&H was the serious subject of restoration but I've not heard anything more.
  14. Holy Trinity Coventry

    Not far from my home is another fine H&H that has stood redundant for several years. Another whopper, built in 1909 with 50-plus stops and four manuals it's in St Mary's, Stafford, and is a victim of the ever-increasing problem, MONEY!
  15. Unusual audience member

    Much agreed, John. I wonder how many will turn up at Hull City Hall this coming Friday and Saturday where there's "OrganFest" compered by BBC news reader Huw Edwards. It features some first-class recitalists - John Scott Whiteley, Darius Battiwalla, Gordon Stewart, Kevin Bowyer etc., etc. The occasion is part of Hull's UK City of Culture celebrations.