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Mander Organs

Peter Morris

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About Peter Morris

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    Wolverhampton
  1. Not so, though getting a council to carry out expensive work on organs is incredibly difficult when they are so starved of funds for what even organists might acknowledge is both more immediate and politically expedient work. Our approach in Walsall has been to do things little by little - the result is that both instruments are in good fettle and are being well maintained.
  2. The organ in Walsall Town Hall - see 'The Organ' No 327 and 343 - is now in far better condition than it was when Paul came. Last year the Council put in a new humidifier system which has worked wonders and taken most of the anxieties (and sound of escaping wind) out of the instrument. They also allowed us to renew the three swell engines, which had failed. Monthly recitals on Wednesdays with big screen have survived council cuts - partly due to us absorbing costs, though from September 2011 onwards they will be on Thursday lunchtimes. For those who don't know it it is a large 4-manual in a very resonant acoustic which was installed in 1908 (as a plaque above the console proclaims) as 'A Memorial to a Beloved Queen'. Which international concert organist first found amusement in the wording of the plaque?
  3. West Bromwich doesn't have a 'Borough Organist' any more, but there is a regular monthly series of free recitals which attract very good and enthisiastic audiences. There were 3 organists - William Hartland 1878-1912; George Shephard 1912-37 and William T Good 1937-74. The 1878 Forster & Andrews is still in good order and makes the recitalist work hard - no playing aids other than a few unadjustable combination pedals, 3 manuals on different actions, and longish drawstops where a rapid change can take the skin off your knuckles. A good, hearty and authentic sound. Long may the recitals continue! Darlaston comes under the care of Walsall Council and again there are monthly recitals by Mervyn Jones.
  4. There have been no updates. Still splendidly original. We gave it a spectacular birthday party in 2003. Try applying for Heritage Lottery funding if you've altered an instrument in the last 100 years....
  5. Darlaston Town Hall organ comes under the town of Walsall. I agree that it is buried behind a proscenium arch and stage curtaining, but is in good working order and lovingly protected by Mervyn Jones, who gives a monthly concert with good sized audience. Binns III/35 and in original condition.
  6. I have been Borough Organist at Walsall Town Hall for 10 years or so. We have monthly recitals though local government cuts and the need to balance the books have threatened them on a number of occasions.
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