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Robert Bowles

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About Robert Bowles

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  • Birthday 24/07/1949

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    Clapham, London

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  1. I found this quotation easier to understand when taken in its full context. Below the main body of the advert are two sentences : "Applications are particularly encouraged from female, UKME and disabled candidates who are under-represented in the Cathedral and Chapter". followed by "Previous Cathedral experience is not essential".
  2. Thank you Owen. What a fascinating idea. And it offers the prospect of an entirely new and fully auditable basis for calculating organists' fees - by the note....?
  3. Thanks, Contrabombarde. I reckon all that can be worked around, given that the pedal board itself, and everything else, has 32 notes.
  4. Thank you, Owen. Because it was incomplete, the instrument is not widely known about, and we haven't tried to "market" it, but that may change soon. The current organist/ DoM is an ex-Oxbridge Organ scholar, there is a competent choir, and the congregation appreciate the music which those resources can provide, along with the contribution from the 3-second reverberation period provided by the building. We were fortunate to persuade the late John Scott to give a re-opening recital when the re-leathering was complete (but not the instrument) 20 years ago. His programme was fairly straightfo
  5. Thank you, Classic car man. The chest is indeed by Hunter, and the organ it came from is contemporary with the one I'm dealing with. I think I'll go with your suggestion, though I do have part of a Hunter Cornopean with the relevant pipes, which could be modified to match the scale of the trombone, and a Hunter mini - chest from somewhere which was originally designed to extend a 56 note manual to 61 notes that could be adapted.... "Integrity" has been a key principle behind all the work. That's not just because I appreciate the need for it (my day job is in the engineering aspects of cons
  6. Thank you DHM. I think we'd be ok for the Durufle and the Thalben-Ball because the pedal board and all the other pedal ranks go up to g, and to get anything other than 16 or 8 ft one would have to couple a manual.
  7. An interesting suggestion, but the action is pressure pneumatic, so it would be quite a simple job to add a two-note chest with two new pipes. Hunter's "preparation" was complete at the console, but he didn't supply chest - that came with the trombone that I've found. I'm just fascinated to know whether those pipes would ever get used!
  8. I'm on the last lap of a 30-year project to first restore, and then complete, a 1921 Hunter, using redundant material which is known to have been produced by Hunter. Having finally hunted down and acquired the most elusive missing ranks - a Swell Contra Fagotto and a pedal Trombone (arguably Hunter's most prepared-for stop!) - I noticed that the excellent trombone I've got has 30 pipes, and the organ it's going into has 32. I was considering getting two additional pipes made but then I thought - would they ever be used? I can't think of any pieces that require them. My knowledge is lim
  9. In one episode of Dad's Army, there's a scene in the church vestry. On a shelf in the background is a copy of Ancient and Modern Revised - the cherry coloured edition published 1952( approx - it doesn't actually have a date in it). When I pointed this out whilst watching with my family, they replied that it didn't matter, and that most people (I think they said everyone in the world except me!) wouldn't notice. That's probably almost true. But I found it distracting. On reflection I realised that the eye for detail and precision, that is essential for musicians and is normally a va
  10. I think the norm is for honours to be awarded when the recipient stands down from the relevant post - e.g. Dykes Bower, Dearnley, Scott, and there has been a move away from knights bachelor to the Royal Victorian Order, which is for personal service to the Sovereign, and presumably immune from Political influence and cronyism. Wm McKie got his early, in the Coronation Honours List. Harry Gabb became a MVO in 1961, whilst still active as Organist etc., of HM Chapel Royal and Sub-organist of St Paul's. I remember that we thought congratulations were in order, but nobody knew what MVO stood f
  11. Aluminium is easy to cut, but it also conducts electricity, so be careful that you can't be accidentally connect it to the mains as you change a bulb - or you should earth it. I suspect that you could use a piece of plywood to shade the bulb from the player's eyes. These led replacement bulbs are so low-energy ( 5w??) that they don't generate enough heat to be a problem for shades - even if the shade is timber. Tungsten filament bulbs were another matter, and I used to play at a Church where the plywood timber shade over the music desk was black at one end - due to a predecessor putting
  12. Here's another alternative, assuming the fitting is serviceable and doesn't need replacing anyway. It will avoid the need for periodic recharging, and the need for a qualified electrician to change the fitting. Just fit a replacement bulb which is the same shape and has the same terminals, but has leds, not a tungsten filament. They are available, but only from specialist lighting shops or online. Not to be found in the hardware section of your local Sainsburys. e.g. Here Good luck!!
  13. I can shed some light on this - I was there!! The "extra" evensong was instigated c 1870, with a voluntary adult choir (the"Special Service Choir") directed by John Stainer, with ladies singing the treble part. Not long afterwards, the ladies were replaced by the cathedral choristers, but only 2/3 of them. The rule was 2 weeks "on" one week "off". Fair enough, given that we had already sung Matins, Eucharist and (3.15) Evensong already. So we were allowed to bunk off before the sermon. The service was more of a Parish than a Cathedral affair - canticles to Anglican chant and a simple
  14. Aha! Very interesting, Martin. I didn't know about the controversy, but I can shed some light on the Dean and Chapter's preferred location for the Willis on Wheels. It would not have been in the North Transept (which was still boarded off and being restored after WWII bomb damage). The alternative location would have been its normal roosting place, the first window bay in the north quire aisle. Prior to Mander's re-build, the WoW (aka Stainer organ) had no case, and pneumatic action, and it was small enough to pass (only just) through the gates at the entrance to the quire aisle. Leaving
  15. You are correct, Martin - fortnightly 'rehearsals'.
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