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Philip J Wells

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    Twixt Gloucester & Bristol

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  1. There are pictures of the polyphones at Bridlington and Christchurch Priory on the NPOR.
  2. I wonder why people always think of compromising the top note. We did very well for years without a bottom C sharp!
  3. Martin Renshaw in his 2018 book the 'ABC of a medieval church' has a paragraph on 'Acoustic jars' in his section on chancel acoustics. Apparently in some places large acoustic clay jars were placed either under the choir stalls or in side walls high above the singers. Examples cited include Lyddington in Rutland, St Clement's in Sandwich and Leeds in Kent near a priory and a royal castle. Their purpose has been much discussed but they are found in buildings 'where there would have been proficient , sophisticated and sensitive musician-singers'.
  4. The 'picture' of the French Romantic positive organ above reminds me of an article in 'Organ Building' Volume Fourteen (2014) published by the IBO. Titled 'Monsieur Debierre's Polyphone Organ' , John Rowntree introduces the 1922 Le Mintier and Gloton organ (1919 successors to L Debierre) now in the Catholic Church of SS Peter and Paul Yeadon, Leeds, while Geoffrey Griffiths (organ builder from Portsmouth) explores the rejuvenation of this wonder of a bygone age. There are several colour pictures including two of the polyphones (and two weighted fly pallets built into the bottom of a wooden pipe fed from two pipe feet).
  5. I think you will find that the author of that Bracebridge text on a facebook thread has since admitted that he made the whole thing up.
  6. This is not the only Christmas tree organ as I recall pictures on the internet of two either side of the chancel of a church at the front of the nave. Unfortunately, I can not remember the name of the church!
  7. The sloping top to the 6 manual console should stop the flower arrangers in their tracks. However, I note the seating arrangements provide for two nice pot plants / palms on either side of the organist so all is not lost!
  8. I am sorry to hear of this. I first saw her play at Reading Town Hall (possibly in the early 1970's?). Earnest Davey of HN&B had tuned the organ before her recital but called in on the day she was trying things out and asked whether any notes needed to be adjusted. She came out with a request that Earnest had never heard before or since in his long tuning career. Would you polish the pedals for me, which he did! When later on we saw her footwork we understood why. A wonderful recital.
  9. Not sure the text will be readable as I have had to reduce the size for it to load.
  10. In addition to the LP of many excerpts from the event (which I still have) some time later there was an EP issued of just The Storm (which I think I still have).
  11. I am reminded of the 1966 'organ In Sanity and Madness' in the RAH and the Miniconcerto by John McCabe for 485 penny whistles, percussion and organ. Plastic recorders were sold beforehand to members of the audience but under David Willcock's training we were told there was not much melodic interest! Maybe your young audience could all participate in a rhythmic way on percussion instruments. [NB We ended with Humpty Dumpty and his False Relations (12 variations) but that required a lot more resources than would be readily available to you. ]
  12. The Great Bromley Walker organ of 1867 pictured above with pipes alternately blue and gold is not the only one they produced around this time. Near me in Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire there is a Walker of 1866 with the same basic colouring but enhanced with stencilling over the top. Maybe this was a Walker design option (or maybe Great Bromley was repainted?) http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N05709
  13. Those readers interested in finding out more about Holdich are referred to Rodney Matthews 'A Reluctant Convert - The Life and Times of G M Holdich: Organ Builder' published in 2013 by 'At the Sign of the Pipe'.
  14. The Bates chamber organ at Inworth, Essex is interesting in having stops at right angles to the keys. There is another example of this on a chamber organ by an unknown hand in Pendock, Worcs only this time they are split three on either side. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03356
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