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Peter Dixon

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  1. Sad news. I recall hearing her at Reading Town Hill in the 1970s. She played the whole of the Liszt 'Ad nos' - no mean feat on the heavy action Willis. And it was a free lunchtime recital if I remember correctly!
  2. The removal of the Castle House, Calne Conacher in the 1950s makes sense. Henry George Harris died in 1932 but his widow Amy stayed on in the house until her death at the age of 88 in September 1949. Castle House then passed out of the Harris family and presumably the new owners saw no need of the organ. I recall hearing the St Mary's Conacher in its 5 manual form: the Bentley Grammar School choir and orchestra gave a performance of Faure's Requiem there in 1961 - to raise funds for the restoration of the organ! This was to be the 1963 work.
  3. There's a Euphonium on the Great organ of Rowde Parish Church in Wiltshire. This organ has a Sweetland connection. It's a good 'fat' reed, but not overpowering. I found the whole organ a delight play, and quite versatile given its modest specification.
  4. I'm not sure 'off-load' is quite the politest way of expressing it. But who can bame Ernest - 51 years of a working life is surely enough for anyone! I hope he finds his (semi) retirement enjoyable.
  5. There may be some uncertainty concerning the date of the Castle House instrument. NPOR has it as 1896. However, my Grandparents, both Calne people and married in 1909, related that Henry Harris's wife 'requested' an organ in Castle House after hearing the St Mary's installation. The irony was that neither Henry Harris nor his wife could play a keyboard instrument. Census returns show that Harris was not living in Castle House in 1891 but was by 1901, so 1896 could be feasible.
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