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  1. The 1992 Walker Organ, formerly installed in the Royal Northern College of Music's 'Organ Room' (http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D07597) has been purchased by and installed in St James' Church, Didsbury by Wood of Huddersfield. The organ became available following the demise of the RNCM's Organ Department. Whilst this latter occasion is a sad one for me as a former RNCM postgraduate organ student (1999-2001), the outcome is happy as I grew up in the Parish of St James' & Emmanuel Didsbury, and initiated an organ project just under 20 years ago to replace the then ageing Jardine/Warrington/Cyril Wood workhorse. It is very satisfying to see this responsive, mechanical action organ in place of the former flabby, albeit much-loved instrument. (Emmanuel Church on Barlow Moor Road has been home to the BBC Daily Service for the past quarter century, and houses a Young/Conacher/Wood of Huddesfield 2M instrument). I have heard and played the organ. Whilst it is, inevitably, settling into its new location, it will be a fine asset to the parish, complementing the more romantic organ in Emmanuel. I understand that St James' may become a regional centre of organ education. The instrument is installed to the west of the 'vestries', in front of the former organ's west-facing pipe display. I attach a couple of poor-quality photos which are the best I can offer for your interest. The remains of the Jardine/... organ can be seen in the background. Whilst there are no immediate plans for the former organ chamber, apart from stripping out the organ, the long-term plan has been to construct some badly-needed multi-purpose rooms, especially for Children's Ministry during Sunday Services. The 'vestries' space is the size of a decent semi-detached house, so there is plenty of scope for its meaningful deployment. The specification remains: Great: Open Diapason 8; Chimney Flute 8; Principal 4; Fifteenth 2; Mixture III; Hautboy 8. (Brustwerk) Positive: Stopped Flute 8; Flute 4; Nazard 2 2/3; Gemshorn 2; Tierce 1 3/5; Larigot 1 1/3. Pedal: Subbass 16; Flute 8; Choral Bass 4; Fagot 16. Couplers: Pos/Gt; Pos/Pd; Gt/Pd (draw stops and pedal levers). Tremulant (to the whole organ). Balanced swell pedal to positive, although the swell shutters are not currently installed, and I don't know if there are plans to install them or not. If I recall rightly, this instrument was built by Walkers for another client, who then commissioned another instrument, rendering this instrument surplus to requirements. This led to its acquisition by the RNCM, who installed swell shutters to the Positive in place of the original folding doors (see photo below), in order that the instrument might be more versatile, especially for examinations. Well done to all involved - a fine outcome for this instrument, for the church, and - potentially - for regional organ education.
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