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Everything posted by RobH

  1. I too have been encountering problems with actions/cyphering key levels all over the place etc. These are on organs which I have looked after for many years and which have given little or no trouble in the past. However, one thing which appears to be common to them all is that they are in "well heated' buildings and that the problems seem to diminish when heating is off during the week. I'm certain that Henry Willis is right about climatic conditions being to blame. It is a real pain, hard to know the best course of action and I'm fed up with it!! My ancient Bechstein piano is also causing problems by not holding its pitch as it usually does. I suspect this is due to the same reason. RDH
  2. [ I've just been tuning an organ (large Hill rebuilt by Compton at Gt Yarmouth)) with a 32' polyphonic pipe today. Very effective, but certainly DOES repeat E for the 4 remaining lowest notes.
  3. Our priest was saying today that some Catholic Dioceses have been instructing parishes to empty holy water stoups and not to give the Host straight into the mouth or to offer the chalice. I was always told that it is not possible to catch an infection from a chalice as precious metals act as an antiseptic. Is this an old wives tale? Here in Norfolk we seem to be carrying on as usual, although there did seem to be quite a few people coughing and spluttering at Mass this morning.
  4. RobH

    Organ Wanted

    Thanks for this info. Roffensis. I don't know much about Nicholson and Lord's work, have only ever come across one of their jobs, a small one in Yorkshire. Will keep you posted. Rob.
  5. I hope our hosts won't mind me using this forum for shamelessly appealing for a decent redundant organ. Over the past year I have been searching for a high quality largish two manual for a fairly large church. It must be by a "good" builder and have around ten ranks on each manual, preferably with tracker action to manuals. Does anyone know of such an instrument? If so, I should be delighted to hear about it. Not one of the organs listed on the IBO redundant organ site is suitable; most of them either too small, too big or just not of the best quality.
  6. Shouldn't this topic be under "The organ and its music" rather than "Nuts and Bolts" as it appears to have become a discussion about the music of the organ rather than its construction, scaling, pipe scales etc. Forgive me for being a pedantic old B.
  7. I am very sorry that this organ has had to go to the Netherlands as it could so easily have been rehoused here. The firm for which I work has been looking for exactly such an instrument for over a year and for a glorious building in this area. Sadly, this instrument was never listed on the BIOS Redundant Organ list which is just about the only site of its kind. I am always surprised how few organs actually come up on this list. The building in question would be perfect for an instrument of this size and the funds are waiting for the right one. So if anyone reading this knows of a quality organ similar to this Harrison (Tracker action) for disposal please let it be known. I hope Mr Mander will forgive me if I appear to be "advertising", but it's really annoying to lose such a decent instrument.
  8. There is (or was) a wonderful "Bass Cornet 32" on the Compton/Wood rebuild at Wakefield Cathedral. Although it is over thirty years since I heard it, my recollection is of an impressive 'realistic' 32 foot reed. I presume this synthetic reed was quite a usual feature of larger Comptons of the period.
  9. I agree that it would be better if pipework was not touched. That is fine if you are happy for an instrument to be not finely in tune in the flue department. I recently read in an organ builder's web site that at the most he would only recommend a tuning visit to an organ every two or three years. It is hard to believe this and I can only think he must have some remarkable organs on his books, all of which must be in tip top condition. Possibly on very small jobs you could get away with it, but on large, comprehensive instruments this would not be acceptable (to many ears). Perhaps my customers and I expect perfection. Very few of the large number of organs in my care would be ok with just the reeds "touching up' on a visit even though many people may not notice. I have sometimes gone to organ recitals where the fluework is adrift and I find myself concentrating on this and not able to enjoy the music. For this reason I seldom go to recitals anymore.
  10. At the risk of showing my ignorance, I should like to know what "Willis" bearings are - I presume they are some form of 'unequal' temperament. With regard to CYNIC'S preference for hardly ever touching the fluework and his delight in having beating ranks between departments in imitation of an orchestra I must say he must be an easy customer to please. I always check the bearings and the tuning between departments on each visit and "correct" any erring pipework. Perhaps I have been wasting my time and the customers money for over the past thirty eight years? I hope not. I have always taken the view that the job of tuner on a visit (after sorting out problems) is to go through all the pipework and ensure it is as 'in tune' as possible. Obviously on some jobs much more attention is required due to temperature, humidity, dirt, general condition of soundboards and a host of other factors.
  11. To get back to the subject of tuning, the matter of wind loss between sliders, upperboard and table hasn't been mentioned. With badly fitting sliders, when the humidity changes there is slightly more or less wind loss which can (in my humble experience)result in 'out of tuneness' as the pipes receive a different amount of wind. In some instruments (old ones) where we have fitted slider seals or retrued sliders and table, the tuning stability has improved vastly. The combination of well fitting sliders, cone tuning and a stable temperature and humidity is the ideal. Also, a spotlessly clean environment. (!!!) without insects. Regarding the damage caused by cone tuning. On several newish jobs we I look after (under 30 years old) where the pipework has a high tin content I have noticed that due to heavy 'bashing' with the cone (not my doing!) some of the pipes have started to crease at the mouth. Although such heavy coning should never have happened I wonder if the metal is too thick around the top of the pipe. Strangely, I look after quite a number of old and historic instruments with coned tuned pipes, many of which are in lovely condition, partly due, I think to minimum and careful tuning over the years. It always pains me to see bashed and carelessly tuned pipes. Having said that, 'pinched' ones at least are usually ok at the mouth and foot and can usually be straightened out quite easily.
  12. I am also looking for an organ to replace a feeble and inadequate (though 'historic") instrument in this area. I have been checking the IBO redundant list and George Sixsmith's for the past year and cannot find anything suitable. In this case the requirements are a largish 2 manual of around eleven sp. stops on each with tracker (manual) action. It must be a decent quality instrument in fair condition. I did contact a redundant church in Bolton with the ideal organ (by Isaac Abbott), but they wish to leave in in situ. I shouldn't have thought that finding such an instrument would be too difficult, but it seems that those already listed for disposal are either too small, or nondescript largish jobs, usually with tp action. If anyone can help I should love to hear from you. I don't think my request will be in conflict with Hector's as his requirements are obviously for a much more comprehensive instrument.
  13. I was about to mention St. Agnes myself, being based in the Northwest myself, I can recommend their lots of good photos. The organ case on it's gallery look very striking, I presume they were both designed by JLP. Looking at the details of the R&D organ on the NPOR it doesn't look like it was particularly distinguished but it's still a shame that it is now silent. Rather a sweeping statement. I don't know whether or not you have come across Wordsworth & Maskell organs of this period, but they are, without exception, of great tonal quality - equal to Hill of this period. I can't speak for the Rushworth & Dreaper alterations. Hopefully, they didn't add too much tonally!
  14. The Thomas Trotter arrangement of Sleigh Ride is really fun, not difficult (as even I can manage it!) and is published by Banks, York YO41 1LB. I bought a copy last year, but sadly cannot play it in my church after Mass as it would not be considered suitable in a Catholic Church as it is purely secular. Never mind, it's very entertaining and enjoyable to play. Robert.
  15. I was told recently that the St Edmundsbury Cathedral are talking about having a Dykes-Bower style case made on the lines of the one in St Nicholas Parish Church, Great Yarmouth. Whether this is going to happen soon or not I'm not sure. Perhaps someone on this forum knows. Lots of colour and gold-leaf sounds good to me!!
  16. This organ is actually at Westbury on Trym, not Bristol. Westbury will find it on the NPOR site. It just lacks a Swell Contra Fagotto. (Sorry shouldn't have said this!) R.
  17. I have just had a look at the details of this organ and could, possibly find a home for it tomorrow as I have spent the last year looking for a suitable redundant instrument for a largish church in this area. It has to be tracker action, of good tonal quality and be a large two or smallish three manual. I was brought up with an Isaac Abbott organ in Halifax and they are always good tonally. Surprisingly, there seems to be very little in the way of largish tracker action organs in need of good homes. If this organ does need a home please let me know. Rob.
  18. It really must have changed then. The time I was working on the organ (hopefully, that hasn't altered too much!) we used to say how nice it was to find a pub with no music and not centred around food. (but that was in 1980 ish.) Another thing I remember from that time (off topic, sorry) was a wonderful old boy (verger?) in the church who used to state the obvious. For example he pointed out to some visitors a fantastic armorial panel with the date of 1680 painted on it and said "That's over 100 year old yer know". I heard this at least twenty times whilst working on the organ and had a job not to laugh. Also, whilst we were really struggling down a ladder out of the organ with a large scale 16ft open metal pipe he shouted out "Are yer doing a bit of carpentry?" I wont repeat our muttered replies! A new topic here could be "some funny remarks heard in churches - organ-related of course.
  19. Almost in the churchyard of Kendal Parish Church, Cumbria is the "Ring O' Bells" pub which was at one time church property. When I used go there in the early 80's on tuning visits I always went in for a pint (afterwards). The Landlord at that time was a really interesting old boy who had worked for the local organbuilding firm of Wilkinsons and I used to enjoy listening to his stories. The ale wasn't bad either. There wasn't a conventional bar, just a small hatch in the wall where you ordered and they brought it to the table. Very old-fashioned. Doubt if it's like that now.
  20. LANCASTER PRIORY - Excellent Hill casework (did contain superb Harrison prior to 1981) is now a screen for 27 year old Compton Makin speakers. I'm told this is about to be ditched for a decent pipe organ. (Full circle comes to mind!!) ST IVES CHURCH (Cambs) - Very fine Comper casework on screen now empty, but did contain Gern organ. St ANNES, SOUTHOWRAM, Halifax. - Still has the Isaac Abbott (1884) case which masks speakers for a b....y Bradford electrone. Not a good case, but did contain an extremely fine instrument ditched around 1989. RobH
  21. I have never come accross L.J.Snell, but Robin Winn (who moved to the Bath area) is still 'on the go'. I understand he originally started with S Taylor & Sons of Leicester in the early 1950's. If you search his name under 'Organbuilder' on the NPOR site there are several organs listed on which he has worked. I understand he has recently added several ranks of pipes to the organ in St Ives Parish Church, Huntingdon. I have experience of Mr Winn's work in this area, some of which is quite interesting.
  22. I notice that my post has been erased with out explanation. I assume that it must have contravened one of the rules of the forum. I apologise if this is the case,
  23. I should have thought it would be fairly easy to find a home for the Hunter. I am looking for a large two manual for a beautiful (and quite resonant) church in Norfolk, but sadly, this is not quite big enough. For the past three months I have been looking through lists of redundant organs on the internet, but haven't found a single one that is suitable. If anyone knows of a good quality large two or three manual for disposal with tracker action to manuals, I should be delighted to hear from them. It is often difficult to find a home for a redundant organ because it is either far too large for its new home or it has been spoilt by later unsuitable additions and alterations. Sometimes, of course, the organ may just be of inferior quality. I hope I am not in breach of the forum's rules by blatantly 'advertising' for an organ, but I feel as strongly as anyone about the preservation of decent pipe organs.
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