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David West

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About David West

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  1. I agree. Leicester Cathedral's Tuba makes a huge impact. Shame about the acoustic.
  2. Check out the Gray and Davison organ of 1881 in the Parish Church in the village of Rock in Northumberland. The player is strapped into a harness connected to the back rest of the bench. Swelling is achieved by leaning back and forth. There is also a ratchet lever to the right of the player's feet as an alternative. Interesting spec. too. See NPOR.
  3. On my last visit to a recital I could tell that the pipe organ was in need of restoration. Is this a toaster for good, or a stop - gap? Their website talks of "development" and replacement of pews with chairs but no mention of the organ.
  4. Thanks Colin. I am in complete agreement!
  5. Yes the duplexing of manual stops onto the pedals needs to be treated with care and of course in the ideal world we would all have totally independent ranks on every division. Let me explain the stuation at my church:- When I raised the need to replace a worn - out and tonally inadequate organ with my parish priest I was simply told that there was no money and there were other pressing issues. With his blessing I went away to begin raising the money independently and we started a seperate musical education charity, whose first job was to tackle the organ problem. Eleven years on, the project is nearly complete and my parish priest is so proud of what we have achieved that he constantly shows visitors the instrument. However, because of the financial restraints we could not afford a new instrument and went for the best alternative, which was to rescue a good, redundant instrument and enlarge it to our requirements. The Swell Bourdon was not in the original rescued organ and had to be added on a seperate chest anyway, therefore duplexing it on the pedal only required the cost of a stop knob and having the micro - processor programmed to make it happen. The Swell Contra Fagotto, again a new stop on its own chest, was treated in the same way. I can use it on the Pedal without having to couple the rest of the Swell. Indeed it works well as a Pedal Stop against the Swell Cornopean and Clarion, or "Choir to Mixture" combination. Whilst I accept that both the Cornopean and Clarion have to become bright principals at the top of the treble end of the keyboard I find the Clarion an essential part of the full Swell effect in a larger instrument, especially when one considers the large amount of accompanying that does not stray out of the vocal range. In our instrument, the new Contra Fagotto was installed on a seperate chest because I did not want to lose the Oboe. Having heard it, I quickly put aside any thoughts of a "Contra Oboe conversion". I too have heard poor examples of this practice. There were some interesting remarks on this subject in John Norman's excellent column in "Organists' Review" (June 2012 issue). In our rebuild none of the original stops have been lost and the greatest of care has been taken in matching the added material.
  6. In the rebuild at my church I specified an extention of the Swell Bourdon as "Echo Bourdon" on the Pedals and have found it most useful. It is also available on the Pedal at 4' pitch labelled "Echo Flute" . It allows me to avoid use of Manual to Pedal couplers in quiet combinations and the soft 16' is used regularly to give just a hint of 16' tone when accompanying plainchant. This was thought out beforehand and not simply added to increase the number of stop knobs on the console. The combination of Echo Bourdon 16, Bass Flute 8 (extended from the larger Pedal Bourdon) and Echo Flute 4 works well as an independent pedal line in trios. In the ideal world we would all prefer independent ranks on the Pedal but in our case there was not the room for this. I have also had the Swell Contra Fagotto made available seperately on the Pedals as a quieter alternative to the Trombone and it too works well.
  7. I agree. Care in the Swell Box. In my case I knocked the Clarion back into tune only to find that my coat had brushed by and dislodged the top rank of the Mixture on the other side of the tuning walk. Now, even on the coldest day I remove my coat.
  8. A stop is only useless according to how it is positioned, voiced, regulated, what else is on the organ and of course the acoustic! I too used to think that the Dulciana was a waste of space but not any more! We have rescued a superb two - manual Rushworth & Dreaper and rebuilt it in the rear gallery of our church (St Wulsatan's RC, Wolstanton). In the process we have added new material and a Choir Organ. The Choir Organ is positioned on the left hand side of the gallery with the Great on the other. The pedal is divided either side. However, the Swell is tucked away in the original organ chamber behind the choir divsion. The softer sounds of the Swell make an excellent echo effect. To bring the sound "forward" I often play via the Choir Keyboard with the Choir Dulciana coupled. It is also possible to use the Dulciana as a solo stop, accompanied by the gentle Bourdon on the Swell (played at 8 foot pitch with Octave and Unison - off couplers drawn. I should add that the Swell makes itself heard when the full reed chorus is drawn! We also have a lovely Gamba on the Great. I would always specify a Gamba before a second Open Diapason. On our organ it is possible to synthesize a resonable second open using the Clarabella, Gamba and Harmonic Flute. Since our Choir organ is a four - foot division supported by a Stopped Diapason, it is also useful to couple the Choir four - foot Principal through to the Great at eight - foot pitch using the Choir to Great 16' coupler. Another useful addition to the instrument. As we sing alot of plainchant, together with polyphonic choral music at Mass this variety of eight - foot sound is most valuable in accompanying.
  9. St Wulstan's, Wolstanton is the Roman Catholic Church in the Archdiocease of Birmingham. St Margaret's is the Anglican church, part of a team ministry with St Andrew's Porthill and St Barnabas, Bradwell. They are in the Anglican Diocease of Lichfield. There is also St John's Methodist Church in Wolstanton. We at St Wulstan's (RC) are the only one of these churches with a pipe organ. We are lucky to have a lovely Stopped Diapsaon on the Choir Organ which came from the old Wolstanton Methodist Church before it was pulled down. The Methodists now worship in a building which used to be their Sunday School room (containing a toaster). The Stopped Diapsaon I mentioned has been in our organ builder's workshop for some years, waiting for a good home. He (the organ builder) belongs to the Methodist Church. He and his father run a business which is descended from the now defunct "Reeves & Merner", who not only built the 4 - manual console and new Choir / positive division for Tunstall RC in the 1960s, but also installed the old instrument at St Wulstan's. I hope this clarifies things a little. Before I became director of music at St Wulstan's (RC) 21 years ago I was organist and choir master at St Margaret's Anglican church. I am afraid I have no idea who passed the old and incorrect information to the NPOR.
  10. Further to my last post: I could not find the Tustall organ on the NPOR either. Please be aware also that the entry for St Wulstan's is incorrect. I told them about this many weeks ago and recieved an acknowledgement by email but nothing has been done about it. NPOR list St Wulstan's as the Anglican Church and it is the Roman Catholic Church. The Anglican Church in the Village is St Margaret's. The Abbreviated specification for the organ at St Wulstan's on NPOR is that of the old instrument (now removed) and also has the Great and Swell labelled back to front.
  11. As I rarely visit Tunstall so I'm not sure. Here is the official address: Sacred Heart. Parish Church. Address 13 Queen's Avenue. Tunstall. Town Stoke-on-Trent. Postcode ST6 6EE. Telephone 01782 838357. Parish Sacred Heart. I was told once that it was earmarked to be a Catholic Cathedral in Stoke - on - Trent but that the Archbishop of Birmingham at the time was against the idea. I am not sure if this is true. It is certainly a large building with what looks like copper domes on the roof from outside. I haven't been in for a while. My Parish, St Wulstan's, is properly titled "The Parish of the Sacred Heart and St Wulstan" but the Sacred Heart part of the title is generally not used so as not to confuse it with Tunstall! Thankfully, we DO have a working pipe organ. Its new console can be seen on the choir page of our website, together with a link to a PDF file with the sepecification. Our music list can be seen on the music for mass link. The st Wulstan's website is in the process of being remade. Our address is www.saintwulstans.org.uk/ I hope this is of interest.
  12. Nearly six years on here's some more information about the silent pipes of Sacred Heart Church Tunstall in Stoke - on - Trent. The original instrument came from Tipparary in Ireland and was installed at Tunstall shortly after the Church was opened. After some difficulties the work was finished by W.H.Laycock,organ builders of Tunstall. This is the specification of the original three manual as installed in the West gallery: GREAT Double open diapason 16 Diapason Phonon 8 Open Diapason 8 Clarabella 8 Principal 4 Harmonic Flute 4 Fifteenth 2 Mixture III Trumpet 8 SWELL Bourdon 16 Open Diapason 8 Stopped Diapason 8 Pierced Gamba 8 Voix Celeste T.C. 8 Principal 4 Suabe Flute 4 Mixture III Contra Fagotto 16 Cornopean 8 Oboe 8 CHOIR (enclosed) Double Dulciana 16 Dolce 8 Gamba 8 Rohr Gedact 8 Wald Flute 4 Piccolo 2 SOLO (played on great) Cor de Nuit 8 Tibia Clausa 8 Vox Humana 8 Clarinet 8 Tuba 8 (I think this was playable from the Choir manual) PEDAL Major Bass 16 Bourdon 16 Open Diapason 16 Flute 16 Dulciana 16 Violoncello 8 Trombone 16 COUPLERS Great organ off Swell to Great Solo to Great Solo to Great Sub - octave Swell Octave Choir Sub - octave Choir to Great Swell to Pedal Great to Pedal Choir to Pedal Balanced Swell Pedals to Swell and Choir In the 1960s this organ was re-built. A four manual console was installed in the Nave, a few metres from the Sanctuary and a modern choir (positive) division was installed in the Apse behind the high Alter. I don't have the excact stop - list but remember that it included a Nasard, Tierce and Trompette - ALL NEW PIPEWORK. Now comes the sad part of our tale. Around ten - fifteen years ago the church was sand - blasted and no one thought to cover up the organ! The £60K quoted at the time to clean out the organ was more the the church could afford. Then came the vandalism. The massive multi - cable connecting the four manual console to both West and East organs was cut through with a hacksaw, the console removed and a three manual toaster installed in its place. The four manual cosole for the pipe organ is still there, stored in the Apse with the Pedal Board propped up beside it. Unfortunately, the new 1960s Positive division has been removed. i think that the original West end organ is still intact and could be restored with the console if funds were to be found. I know that there is a new priest at the church who I know to be appreciative of good organs (his Father was Sub - chanter at one of our great Anglican Cathedrals) but there will obviously be a large demand on funds for other things. However, this is a sleeping giant waiting to speak again......... Now some better news - The rescued, restored and extended Rushworth at St Wulstan's in Wulstanton is now a reality and awaits final regulation and tuning to be completed. It has taken eleven years on the tightest of budgets but has been well worth it. My apologies. I have just realised that this has little to do with the original thread but hope that it is off interest to all.
  13. David West


    It would seem so. I am hoping now to find something second - hand perhaps. Presumably if you pay enough you can have anything. I am sure that a director in a TV gallery has instant feedback on monitors from the cameras on the studio floor!
  14. David West


    I wonder if anyone can help? I need cctv for the organ in my church but since the above postings all the models now available seem to have a delay - no use for following a conductor! I have drawn a blank at Maplins who say they don't have anything without a little delay. Also, many of the models have security facilities which we do not need.
  15. Thanks for your good wishes David. I forgot to mention that I tried out the Rushworth before it was dismantled from its old premises and found every stop to be beautiful. I even made a mini disc recording at the time describing from an extra microphone at the console each stop as I went through the organ. Although typical of its age (c.1920; there was no upper work save a 2' piccolo), the organ boasted 4 reeds (Gt Trumpet and Swell Cornopean with harmonic trebles) and was well above the standard of the average chapel 2 - manual. We have added upperwork in the re-build but have not changed or discarded any of the original stops. It will still be possible to play the organ using just the original pipework. Having said that, the new stops (including a Great fifteenth and 3 - rank mixture) have been made by Terry Shires of Leeds following research into the original instrument and other Rushworth work of that period. We have taken great care to ensure that a good instrument is not spoilt with the addition of inappropriate upperwork. I will try to obtain more details of the Sacred Heart Organ and post a further relpy as soon as I have checked my information. I am in touch with the successors of Reeves & Merner.
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