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If travelling to Worcester, I normally drive to Droitwich Spa railway station where there is a large car park costing about £3.00 per day. Trains to Worcester Foregate Street are frequent and cheap (it's only about a 10 minute journey). It is then a walk of about another 10 minutes to the Cathedral.

 

That's what I shall do next month...

 

HTH somebody.

 

P

Its a very easy walk, straight along the High Street, from Foregate Street to the Cathedral, 10 minutes would be more than enough. Those (north-south) mainline trains that stop at Worcester, and most dont stop between Cheltenham and Birmingham, only stop at Shrub Hill, which is a little more out of the way. Its not that long a walk into the centre but its not such an easy route if you don't know where you're going, so a bus or taxi from Shrub Hill is probably a better option if you've no local knowledge.

 

Worcester is by any standards a small city, suggestions of 1 hour traffic delays seem unlikely to me, although I would agree that its not the easiest city for parking. Signposting is no better or worse than most places, I would suggest that finding your way into and out of a car park for Birmingham Cathedral is somewhat more of a challenge. Beware of the small car public park near to the Edgar Tower (at the perimeter of the cathedral green). Its about £8 for a full day, but the ticket machine requires you to put in your registration number first. If you get this wrong it takes (and keeps) your money but issues no ticket.

 

My offer of a lift from Cheltenham station for anyone travelling up from further south still stands

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I am also prepared to offer lifts from Bristol. Please send a PM if you think you might want one. First come first served.

 

I will be hiring a car for this trip so I will, in return for a lift, ask for a contribution towards the fuel as I will have to return the car with a full tank so would therefore fuel it on return to Bristol.

 

Dave

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Greetings to one and all. We would like now to finalise all the arrangements for the Mander Board visit to Worcester on January 31st, including numbers of those attending. With this in mind, would all members wishing to join the visit send me an e-mail at the Cathedral (adrianlucas@worcestercathedral.org.uk) with the following information...

 

Name of each person attending

Name used on the board

The name of the town in which you live

List the pieces you would like to try on the organ

 

...so that we can do name badges for all concerned and arrange a schedule for people to play

 

Please send a cheque to me at

 

The Chapter Office

8, College Yard

Worcester

WR1 2LA

 

for an amount for the total number of people in your group (@ £10 per head - feel free to donate more if you wish) made payable to "Worcester Cathedral" and we will pass on the proceeds to the Music Appeal.

 

Schedule on the day will be:

 

10.30 am - Coffee

11.00 am - Introduction and Demonstration

12.15 pm - Tours and opportunities to play

1.15 pm - Lunch break

2.15 pm - Opportunities to play the organ and visit organ/music artefacts in the Cathedral Library

4.30 pm - Choir rehearsal and tea

5.30 pm Evensong

 

Responses: Smith

Ps.72, 76

Pärt - Magnificat

Plainsong tone II.1 - Nunc dimittis

Dove - Seek him that maketh the seven stars

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After 36 pages of this continuing story I was not in the end able to attend today - too much on! If those who attended could see themselves able to post a few impressions then this avid follower for one would be extremely glad!

 

Thanks

A

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Well I set out, but somewhere on the M42 a rather troublesome tyre pressure warning light came on (a long story, but 4 new tyres in 8,000 miles mean I'll be jumping up and down getting my dealer to replace the whole wheel under warranty) and I had to limp through Bromsgrove, Droitwich and Worcester in search of repair :( I found a Kwikfit near RGS Worcester and had a healthy brisk walk to the cathedral arriving mid-demo at 11.30am (somewhere about the mutations, I think.) and sitting up on the chairs east of the stalls.

I had planned to make my apologies and join the group after Adrian's excellent talk and demonstration- I missed the start so wasn't sure who was playing the illustrations but they were all most carefully chosen- but then had to take a call from Kwikfit and in fact walk all the way back up to 'inspect the damage' :P . By the time I had sorted out the tyre issue, it was nearly 2.30pm and as I wasn't planning to play and unable to stay for evensong in any case, decided to cut my losses and the day short. (Just as well as the warning light came on again on the M42 and I had a detour via Kwikfit Solihull!)

 

My apologies for not being able to join the group properly but thanks to Adrian for organising the day and inviting/hosting everyone; the little I heard was most enjoyable.

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Well, I'm sure there will be a loft (?) of organists after me on this topic, but I'd just say what an enormous pleasure it was to hear, firstly a fascinating summary of the cathedral's former woes, visibly but thankfully not audibly demonstrated by the hideous case in the south transept with wooden diaphone pipes that looked big and strong enough to be capable of supporting the cathedral walls and roof if necessary (maybe that's why they are still in situ???) and following demonstration, we were kindly allowed to try the instrument for ourselves. Having last seen it in many pieces in Kenneth Tickell's workship two summers ago I was thrilled to finally hear it for myself.

 

Doubtless someone will disagree with me (!) but my abiding impressions were of an instrument capably voiced to be able to approach most of the repertoire convincingly, with a wider than expected range of luscious strings and a very impressive variety of reeds. In the choir it sounded magnificent, though with its location and some relatively buried pipework, it would be unfair to expect the sound to carry all the way down the nave. Yet it still managed to sound impressive in the libary at first-floor level at the west end. The direct electric action with its unique (?) double magnets per pallett as a space-saving alternative to electropneumatic action might have seemed something of a risk in the project's gestation, but the reality was a highly responsive action with incredible repeat velocity. Let us firmly hope it will prove far more reliable than an earlier attempt at an electric action by a misguided telephone engineer!

 

The console was beautiful, very clearly laid out, and included the drawstops for several of the yet-to-be-built divisions of the nave organ - I hope that one day soon these will indeed draw sound and the second organ will no longer be just a pipe-dream. I found the instrument to be one of the easiest large organs I've ever encounted to just sit there with no previous opportunity to try it out and just play something straight off with lots of complicated registration changes.

 

Definitely a day to remember, for those who came from nearby and from those from further afield (I think I probably hold the record, having come all the way over from the Congo...) Many thanks to Adrian and so many others from the Cathedral who made this day, and this wonderful organ, possible. And thanks to Manders for the forum that's made it possible for us all to participate in this occasion, and who must have saved a fortune today in bandwidth costs as we've all been off the internet for a few hours!

 

Contrabombarde

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Thanks indeed to Adrian for organising and hosting this event, and to Christopher for his gifted and enthusiatic contribution too. There can be no doubt that Worcester now has a superb 4-manual organ in the quire with a range of colour well beyond its predecessor. Although very much an english cathedral organ, during the demonstrations it was hard to believe we were not in France, the Durufle in particular seemed to have an ideal instrument. For me the highlight of the demonstration was without doubt the wonderful duet version of "The Ride of the Valkyries", which had to be heard to be believed. I didn't hang around after lunch as I had a conflict of interests which drew me back to Cheltenham, but enjoyed the morning very much.

 

Regular and long term readers will know that I was very critical of the decision to scrap the old organ, I'm not going to go back over that - its irrelevant know, but also sceptical about the choice of builder for its replacement. I have to say its a triumph. I'm very happy to admit I was wrong This is a superb instrument, probably one of the finest in the country, superbly designed and executed for the job in hand. I may even prefer it to Hereford, and thats quite a statement from me.

 

Well done Adrian and very well done indeed Kenneth Tickell

 

 

Best wishes all, probably my last post under this user name, althought I suspect a few of you have worked out my new identity,

 

 

Neil

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I was sent on a first aid course today which proved a bit of a washout. I would have bunked off had it not been that I was supposed to be interviewing 2 choristers at 4.00. When they didn't turn up either, I was absolutely livid as you might imagine. Perhaps I'll turn up next week and pretend I misread my diary...

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May I add my thanks to Adrian and Chris and the Cathedral staff for a lovely day. It was also nice to meet some of the other board members (and we even got a mention at evensong!) I hope this will not be the last meeting where we can all share our passion for the organ.

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It was a fabulous day!

From hearing excellent performances on the organ, (including a stunning anthem at Evensong sung by the girls choir and layclerks, directed by Chris Allsop with the organ scholar playing - anyone remember his name?) having the chance to play and explore the new organ - unrushed, to climbing around amongst the diaphones, it was all great fun.

 

I think others have summed-up the virtues of the organ well, so no need for me to add anything!

 

Huge thanks to Adrian, Chris, Kenneth T and of course John Mander for so graciously allowing us to discuss a major new instrument by 'the competition' in such detail in the first place!

 

Worcester Cathedral has an exciting future and a fine instrument - that's before the next stage is undertaken which will really just be the icing on the cake (Or the icing on the Nave?)

 

P. :P

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I must add my thanks to all for a truly memorable day. The organ is simply brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed Adrian and Chris's introduction and tour of the stops, not to mention the playing by board members. I'm glad that Contrabombarde had time to play the Final from Guilmant 1...mmmmm. The library visit was wonderful; it was amazing and a real privilege to see so many ancient documents, my thanks are due to David the Librarian for taking the time to answer all my questions and point out so many fascinating details. I could have spent hours in there.

 

Non-cathedral highlight? The couple in the pub kindly vacating their large table when 6 of us were contemplating some furniture shifting!

 

I'm only sorry that through a family commitment I had to miss Evensong.

 

P

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I would like to put on record my appreciation and thanks to Adrian for organising the day and for his playing. Same to Chris Allsop for his playing (giving us that "Ride of the Valkyries" duet as well as the sound demonstrations) and also for his excellent musical direction at evensong. Same again to the staff at the Cathedral for putting up with us. Also well done to the Organ Scholar who rounded it all off with that piece at the end of evensong: what was it?

 

Thanks also to the cathedral librarian for providing us for such an interesting set of items for us to view up there.

 

It was good to meet other members of the forum. My thanks go to the organists among us on the day who came with some wonderful music. I think that the Quire organ is an instrument that sounds superb and which will serve the cathedral for years to come. I look forward to having many more chances to hear it when chances arise.

 

All in all, a memorable day.

 

Dave

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So glad you all enjoyed your day in Worcester yesterday! For the record, the organ at Evensong was played by George Castle, who was organ scholar at Worcester in 2004-5, went off to Oxford, and has now come back as Sub-Assistant Organist. And the piece after Evensong was the Final from Widor's 6th Symphony. :P

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So glad you all enjoyed your day in Worcester yesterday! For the record, the organ at Evensong was played by George Castle, who was organ scholar at Worcester in 2004-5, went off to Oxford, and has now come back as Sub-Assistant Organist. And the piece after Evensong was the Final from Widor's 6th Symphony. :P

 

Thanks for that Chris - do you have a current Organ Scholar too?

Congratulations on your direction of the choir yesterday - particularly the anthem, stunningly beautiful...

P.

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So glad you all enjoyed your day in Worcester yesterday! For the record, the organ at Evensong was played by George Castle, who was organ scholar at Worcester in 2004-5, went off to Oxford, and has now come back as Sub-Assistant Organist. And the piece after Evensong was the Final from Widor's 6th Symphony. :P

 

Chris, thank you for identifying George, I was about to ask who he was as he did a sterling job at evensong, but why did he keep putting headphones on during the rehearsal?

 

Just to reiterate what others have said; many, many thanks to you and Adrian for making us so welcome, being so generous with your time and putting on a great programme for the day. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit and look forward to travelling down more frequently to hear the occasional evensong.

 

Regards,

David

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I should like to add my thanks to Adrian and Chris for a memorable and most enjoyable day. Thanks also to David Morrison for giving us access to the library, and the fascinating documentation relating to the organs of the Cathedral. I'm ashamed to admit that it, in all my years in Worcester, it was my first visit to the library!

 

It was a great pleasure to meet some of my fellow board members and hear them play, and to hear the range of music that the Tickell organ is able to handle in a very musical and convincing way; a delight, also, to hear the choir in such fine voice!

 

As readers of previous posts will be aware, I was fond of the old organ, having grown up with it, but I am very happy to admit that the installation of the new instrument brings to a close a very doubtful century in the history of the Cathedral's organs.

 

Favourite wish? To hear the Elgar Sonata no. 1 in the Cathedral, on an instrument that can finally do it justice!

 

Henry

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Favourite wish? To hear the Elgar Sonata no. 1 in the Cathedral, on an instrument that can finally do it justice!

I think thats a little unfair on the old machine, but agree that the new organ would do it proud

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I think thats a little unfair on the old machine, but agree that the new organ would do it proud

 

Not much more to add to what has already been said except to say thanks to all concerned for an excellent day and what a super instrument. What we heard totally dispelled my concern regarding the impact at the Three Choirs Recital by Gillian Weir which I now realise was due to where I was sitting, so many people being present, and the raised seating platform in the crossing. The day also explained and confirmed why Worcester needs more than one instrument.

 

The highlight for me was the Jonathan Dove anthem at Evensong. Oh, and I don't care if I don't hear anymore coupled Tubas for a bit!

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