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Everything posted by Benbow

  1. ... in the fullness of time ... :-) Webmaster, Mander Organs
  2. Dominic: are you really interested in pipe organs and organ music? I have been moderating on-line discussion boards for about 9 years, and something about your posts seemed to ring false and prompted me to make further enquiries about you. As a result of what I have discovered, I will be keeping a close eye on what you write here. In the meantime, may I ensure that you know that the moderators have the last word about what is advertised here. Mander Organs webmaster
  3. I have now had an opportunity to talk to John Mander, and we both feel that blogging software (eg "Blogger") would fulfill your requirements far better than posting here. You can start a blog with/on Google - free and extraordinarily easy to use - http://www.blogger.com/start?hl=en - and have your own comments section there. On this board, you could post a link to your blog. Mander Organs webmaster
  4. Could you give me time to consult John Mander on your request - I think that he is sur le continent at the moment, so I will have to e-mail him and await his answer - in the meantime, any chance instead of your putting your updates on another web site and then posting the URL of that web site here? Mander Organs webmaster
  5. In case anyone is wondering why John Mander himself has not yet commented on this thread: at the moment, he is in the antipodes, and the only available Internet access is dial-up, at 9600 bps... Rachel, for Mander Organs
  6. I can access this on-line - if you would like to give some detail about your set up (processor, browser, browser version, which edition of RealPlayer etc), I will try to help you fix this. Rachel, for Mander Organs
  7. It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Noel Mander, founder of Mander Organs, at the age of 93. After a full life he passed away peacefully on 18 September 2005. He will be much missed by his family, friends and colleagues. Noel Mander MBE FSA was born on 19 May 1912 in Crouch near Wrotham and brought up in Brockley in South London, moving to East Sheen. Having left school (which he hated) he went to work for A & C Black the publishers, the family having been involved in publishing. The office work did not suit him however and through his uncle, Frederick Pike, he met Ivor Davis who had worked for Hill Norman and Beard. He worked with him for a while before starting on his own account in 1936, the first organ being that at St Pater's Bethnal Green opposite St Peter's School which, years later, was to become the organ works. At that time he did not have a workshop, but was allowed to rent a part of Christ Church Jamaica Street, Stepney where he also worked on the organ. Unfortunately, the church together with the organ he was working on and all his equipment were lost in the first air raid on East London 1940. Shortly after that, having been a volunteer fireman in the Auxiliary Fire Service, he joined the Royal Artillery, seeing service in North Africa and Italy where during periods of relative inactivity, he worked on a number of instruments, managing to get the organ in Algiers Cathedral going which had been silent for years, for which he was awarded a fine bottle of cognac. Having been invalided out of active service in Italy, he joined the Army Welfare Service and during his convalescence he repaired a 17th century organ in Trani. After the war he thought about emigrating to South Africa to work with Cooper Gill & Thompkins, but was persuaded to stay in London where he assisted the London Diocese in getting organs working again in bomb damaged churches. He set up a workshop in an old butcher's shop in Collier Street before moving into the old buildings of St Peter's School in Bethnal Green, where the firm remains to this day, in 1946. In 1947 he married Enid Watson with whom he had five children, living over the works in Bethnal Green. Most of his early work revolved around the rebuilding of organs, many of which survive even now. But he had started to make a name for himself in organ building circles and quite a few of the employees of the established organ building firms still in London came to join him. He always had an affection for historic instruments and restored a number of antique chamber organs, setting new standards for the time with his sympathetic appreciation and restoration of them. Of particular note was the restoration of the 17th century organ at Adlington Hall in Cheshire in 1958/9 which was in a completely desolate state. Other organ builders who had been asked to restore the instrument said it could not be done. It had not been playable for perhaps a century, and somebody had fallen in to the pipework from a trap door above but with painstaking care the organ was restored and remains one of the most important survivors in England. In the 1960s he became aware that interest was growing in tracker action organs in the rest of Europe, and this encouraged him to investigate this form of action himself, initially in the restoration of instruments (which otherwise might have been electrified) and then in new organs. Ultimately a number of such instruments were built including the export of some to places such as Bermuda and the Sir Winston Churchill Memorial Foundation in Fulton Missouri. Having been involved with the rebuilding of a number of large organs, he was awarded the contract to rebuild the organ in St Paul's Cathedral in London during the 1970s. This project, lasting almost five years, was perhaps his greatest pride and was completed just in time for the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations at St Paul's. In 1978 HM Queen Elizabeth made him a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). He retired in 1983 to his home in Suffolk but retained an interest in what the firm was doing, right to the end. Noel Mander's interests were by no means restricted to organs. He was a keen historian and an avid bookworm. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and active in the Council of Christians and Jews for many years. He became a popular member of the Earl Soham community in Suffolk where he retired to in 1983. He was also the British representative for the Sir Winston Churchill Foundation in Missouri and secured a number of significant pieces of antique furniture for the Wren church re-built there, culminating in a fine 18th century pulpit which had once stood in a City church during the last year of his life. His passing is without doubt the end of an era. This notice has been posted also in the News section of the Mander Organs web site
  8. On behalf of John Mander, thank you. Moderator, Mander Organs
  9. Post script: having spent half an hour going through all Leathered-Lips' posts and deleting perhaps two dozen - dreadful, even a joke about the car crash in which HRH The Princess of Wales died - I am enforcing moderator preview of Leathered-Lips' contributions for two weeks, ie until the Mander family are well past Noel Mander's funeral. Moderator, Mander Organs
  10. Thank you for this. I have corrected these. Two (2, not 1 3/5) is what I have here on the "copy", so I will await John Mander's further instruction on this. Thanks again.
  11. Thanks for pointing that out. Now corrected. I will check the whole specification for typos.
  12. This and a couple of other comments on this thread have been edited to remove bad-tempered language. Moderator, Mander Organs
  13. This forum is moderated with the lightest of touches. No one said that any specific instrument could not be mentioned. No one is even thinking of censuring robust and interesting discussion by people who love and/or are knowledgeable about organs. However, it is not unreasonable to request that the intemperate and counterproductive language in parts of the Ally Pally thread does not migrate in comments to your post.
  14. This post of yours is fine but I would like to remind people not to graft the over-heated Ally Pally discussion onto this thread. Moderator, on behalf of Mander Organs
  15. No, I didn't single you out. Moderator, on behalf of Mander Organs.
  16. I have deleted it, on the grounds that it was off-topic. Moderator on behalf of Mander Organs.
  17. As moderator, I request that participants refrain from answering these questions on this forum - by all means, take this to e-mail. This dead horse has been, in my view, sufficiently flogged here. Moderator on behalf of Mander Organs
  18. As moderator (with about 9 years' experience of keeping order in on-line bulletin boards), I do not want anyone to answer your questions here. I do not want the discussion here to develop along the lines that you are indicating. This is not the place to do so. Further posts in the same vein are likely to be deleted without warning. I am not stopping you taking the discussion elsewhere: you could, for instance, start your own forum or web site devoted to this topic. Moderator on behalf of Mander Organs
  19. Moderator notice John Mander has been working overseas, without proper web access, for about two weeks. He is back in the UK this week, and this topic has been drawn to his attention. On-line discussion boards cannot be used to defame others. The message to which this is a comment is about to be removed, and another message will probably be edited. Rachel Technical Contact, Mander Organs
  20. There appears to be an MSIE-specific bug (or "conflict" between the code of the Discussion Board and that for the rest of the web site) that hides the scroll bars if you are viewing the discussion board within the righthand frame of the new Mander Organs web site. You can either select the special link from the Discussion Board introductory page (click on Discussion in the menu) which then opens a new browser window for the Discussion Board; or you can open the righthand frame in a new window from your browser. Please e-mail me, webmaster@mander-organs.com, if these suggestions do not work for you.
  21. Could I suggest also that, when writing to the Great and Good, keep it simple - 1 explain that the RAH organ has recently been beautifully refurbished (in case your addressee has been on another planet in recent months); 2 quote from some of people's highly positive reactions (on this discussion board and elsewhere) to the glorious sound of the refurbished organ; 3 add that, for some reason, the refurbishment did not include the organ pipes; 4 and that, incomprehensibly, the "reason" given by the RAH for this omission is that shiny pipes will distract people helplessly from the music (nothing about costing too much); 5 conclude by saying that here, as in many things, it would seem that if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well, and politely ask if they would support the attempt to persuade the RAH to change its mind about cleaning the pipes. The point about (5) is to show that you are not asking them to sign up to anything flaky that might embarrass them later rather than something that will bring them public kudos. I mean, "if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well" is a maxim that has stood the test of time; and nothing could be more reasonable than asking the RAH to finish the job. (I am sure that you would not ask the Great and Good for money, as that would be counterproductive.) Identify and capture the "moral high ground" at the outset, like this, I would suggest. If the web (as distinct from the Internet) had been available when I was last running a pressure group, we'd have won in six months. Hope this helps.
  22. Experience of running a pressure group (that did eventually attain its goal) suggests to me that, when trying to persuade institutions of the error of their ways, the most powerful lever is public embarrassment. May I respectfully suggest, therefore, that you (openly) copy the replies, together with the covering letter to the RAH that you will probably write to send with them, to HM The Queen (because it is the Royal Albert Hall, address the letter to her Private Secretary) The Secretary for Culture, Media & Sport (because the RAH belongs to the whole nation) and write personally-signed letters to the Great And Good in the organ world (composers, organists, etc), with a short clear explanation, asking for their support. If you receive any particularly well-worded replies from the Great and Good, contact the writer to ask for his/her permission to copy these to the responsible press. Newspapers love letters from celebrities. In our personality-obsessed world, letters of support from celebrities count with the media far more than a ton of petition signatures. It took our pressure group about a year to win - I feel sure that you can do it in much less time. Hope this helps.
  23. At the time of writing, I gather that it may yet be open to the RAH to opt for "the full way", without losing face or wasting money or doing something that looks like "mission creep". Would people here feel able to write to the organ press, magazines such as The Organists' Review , Choir and Organ and maybe The Organ as well? And, as this is topical, a letter to the Times of London maybe as well?
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