Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Waxy O'connor's, Glasgow


James Goldrick
 Share

Recommended Posts

As much as we hear about Ratzeburg's 'rauschwerk' and apocryphal Choir to Pub couplers, attempting to bring something of the happiness of the pub to those twenty minute sermons, I wonder about the reverse.

 

Has anyone ever visited the pub Waxy O'Connor's in Glasgow?

While I was in the U.K. last year, I came across this pub and it is a marvellously intricate edifice. The interior appears to be supported by solid tree trunks (Perhaps attempting something along the lines of Adlington Hall?)

 

...and Lo and behold upon entering the central space, one is greeted by a diapered Victorian organ facade.

 

I would be interested to know if anyone knows the origins of this instrument (now only a pipefront)

 

A panoramic view of the interior:

 

JG

 

P.S. Try the haggis... it's excellent! (A bit more difficult to procure back here in Sydney)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't help you with that particular instrument, but it does remind me of the Wetherspoon's in Brighouse, which is in a former Methodist chapel(!) with the organ still present. Apparently all the pipework is still intact, but there is no blower. The punters aren't allowed up in the gallery, so it all still looks very like a chapel up there, complete with the choir music stands.

 

I was sitting round a table there with the Halifax organ mafia one Sunday evening. As we were sipping our halves of real ale, Philip Tordoff was working out how many Messiah's he had played there. It wasn't far short of 30 as I recall. It seemed most incongruous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Choir to Pub's aren't apocyphal - one exists in Bournemouth, I have seen and drawn it with my own hands.

 

There is a great institution in Winchester called The Black Boy which is worth hunting out - amongst its random object collections there is a harmonium, and a celesta.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not quite sure why there is this "retro art" movement in some pubs to-day, but I think one of the first to go this particular way was the "Via Fossa" in the 'Village' Manchester, which is quite spectacular and cost a small fortune to kit out....sadly no organ.

 

Also in Manchester is the upper-floor (closed to the public) of a Brannigans pub, (I think it's Branningans), where there is a large 3-manual instrument still in-situ in what was a large methodist chapel.

 

Sadly, the famous pub at Great Munden, "The Plough," no longer has the 3 manual Compton theatre-organ installed due to a change of ownership. The organ was bought and placed in storage by a small band of enthusiasts, including the very talented Simon Gledhill.

 

Of course, it's a far cry from "Pizza and pipes" such as can be found in America, where world-class theatre organists delight audiences/diners regularly. You can see a video of the instrument being played, as people stuff themselves with food.

 

Those of a nervous disposition be warned; the "Belly-buster challenge" is not a pretty sight!

 

 

http://www.roaring20spizza.com/

 

For the specification, here is the list, but it is only a list of actual ranks, which are spread across the four manual and pedal divisions, amounting to about 276 stop-keys.

 

http://www.organstoppizza.com/wurlitzer.htm

 

Wouldn't that be fun in the UK?

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone is searching for another pub with an organ case as a feature, I sold a small Gray and Davison gothick case from a one-manual that had stood in Craven Arms Methodist Church* to the Red Lion pub in Cricklade a year or two back. They planned to use this as a screen and I imagine that by now they have done so.

 

*I hasten to add that I did not remove this organ from its original home, I merely gathered up the bits from a farmer after the evil deed had been done; (like me,) he could not bear to see good material simply put in a skip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Lee Blick

I think there should be more pipe organs in public houses. Imagine being able to walk in, order your pint, and stroll along to the console with beer in hand and entertain fellow drinkers with your favourite Vierne, J.S. Bach and Eric Thiman. Roffensis and pcnd could even become the next 'Chas & Dave'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to go to recitals at this former Methodist Church (Park Street) and remember the last time the organ was rebuilt. Keith Rhodes gave the opening recital and some of the Bradford cathedral choristers took part. I seem to remember it was a fairly uninteresting 3 manual Conacher.

 

As one of his former organ pupils, I can just picture Philip Tordoff in the former chapel with his pint of real ale. (I'm sure he never used to drink halves!!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK - fair point. If one listens to the track It never rains on Dire Straits' Love over gold album, I admit that it sounds exactly as if Dylan were singing lead vocals.

 

 

=====================

 

Probably better than my attempts at singing when I am tired, and the few faculties which remain, begin to resemble the nasal combination of Sir Lawrence Olivier reading the part of Richard III with the dipthongs of the 'Elephant Man.'

 

I was never born to be a singer.

 

:lol:

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK - fair point. If one listens to the track It never rains on Dire Straits' Love over gold album, I admit that it sounds exactly as if Dylan were singing lead vocals.

MK's vocals on 'Tunnel of Love', 'Telegraph Road' and 'Brothers in Arms' also tend towards the Dylanesque, I would contend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MK's vocals on 'Tunnel of Love', 'Telegraph Road' and 'Brothers in Arms' also tend towards the Dylanesque, I would contend.

 

Yes - I would agree with this.

 

Have you heard Dylan on his Nashville skyline album (with Johnny Cash sharing the vocals)? He actually sounds in tune and with a fairly decent tone.

 

Anyway....

 

Whilst I do not know of a pub which contains a pipe organ, I do know that Russian brothels often used to house pipe organs, which were used for the entertainment of the customers (take that as you wish). This is one of the reasons that the Russian Orthodox Church prefers to limit the musical parts of their services to a cappella vocal contributions.

 

There was also formerly a three-clavier instrument in a shopping arcade in Boscombe, which had a slightly odd scheme on paper - and two consoles, I believe. However, this has long since been removed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Lee Blick
Yes - I would agree with this.

 

Have you heard Dylan on his Nashville skyline album (with Johnny Cash sharing the vocals)? He actually sounds in tune and with a fairly decent tone.

 

Anyway....

 

Whilst I do not know of a pub which contains a pipe organ, I do know that Russian brothels often used to house pipe organs, which were used for the entertainment of the customers (take that as you wish). This is one of the reasons that the Russian Orthodox Church prefers to limit the musical parts of their services to a cappella vocal contributions.

 

There was also formerly a three-clavier instrument in a shopping arcade in Boscombe, which had a slightly odd scheme on paper - and two consoles, I believe. However, this has long since been removed.

 

Wasn't this an instrument which could be used within the theatre/cinema and also be played for the benefit for the shoppers in the arcade?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wasn't this an instrument which could be used within the theatre/cinema and also be played for the benefit for the shoppers in the arcade?

 

This is indeed the same instrument - which is presumably why it had two consoles.

 

Some years ago, the specification was given in a back-issue of Organists' Review. I think that it was provided by a colleague who happens to sing in our church choir. I shall endeavour to ask him if he can locate the specification; this will probably be quicker than looking through stacks of magazines trying to find the article.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes - I would agree with this.

 

Have you heard Dylan on his Nashville skyline album (with Johnny Cash sharing the vocals)? He actually sounds in tune and with a fairly decent tone.

 

Anyway....

 

Whilst I do not know of a pub which contains a pipe organ, I do know that Russian brothels often used to house pipe organs, which were used for the entertainment of the customers (take that as you wish). This is one of the reasons that the Russian Orthodox Church prefers to limit the musical parts of their services to a cappella vocal contributions.

 

There was also formerly a three-clavier instrument in a shopping arcade in Boscombe, which had a slightly odd scheme on paper - and two consoles, I believe. However, this has long since been removed.

 

 

================================

 

 

Well, if we're talking about pipe-organs in shopping centres, then you could do worse than visit the Habitat store on Regent Street, London. The premises were formerly known as the "New Gallery" cinema, and the organ (now fully restored) is a Wurlitzer.

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to mention a certain store in Philadelphia, of course...

 

 

============================

 

I know! Been there, done that......

 

There's something very civilised about iced coffee on the Mezanine, with Vierne ringing in your ears.

 

I could almost have become a closet Francophile, but the Fisk at Harvard University soon brought me back to my senses.

 

:lol:

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wasn't this an instrument which could be used within the theatre/cinema and also be played for the benefit for the shoppers in the arcade?

 

Hi

 

Presumably http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N11520.

 

The ref on the NPOR survey is to The Organ no. 108 (April 1948) - I have a copy - I'll take a look later when I have a few minutes. (There may well have been something in Organists' Review as well - but I don't have many back numbers of that)

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There used to be a restaurant in Worcester (in The Tything to be more precise for locals) that had a cinema organ installed in an upstairs room, with grills (no pun intended) in the floor/ceiling to allow the sound into the main room downstairs.

 

I've no idea whether its still there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There used to be a restaurant in Worcester (in The Tything to be more precise for locals) that had a cinema organ installed in an upstairs room, with grills (no pun intended) in the floor/ceiling to allow the sound into the main room downstairs.

 

I've no idea whether its still there.

 

It was in the Cygnet restaurant. The organ was removed c1980 to Ventnor on the Isle of Wight (into a private basement theatre below a jewellers' shop) when its owners relocated. It was sold some years ago now and I believe resides in Australia.

 

When in Worcester the organ (a Compton ex Pavilion, Reading for those who might actually want to know) somehow acquired the nickname "The Countess" and Nigel Ogden did actually compose "The Countess of Worcester Waltz" for it, although I've only ever heard it once, and suspect that not even Nigel now has a copy!

 

Not to mention a certain store in Philadelphia, of course...

 

And the Mitsukoshi store in Tokyo which has a three manual Wurlitzer. Apparently because of the temperature/humidity all the ivories are attached to the keys with tiny brass screws rather than glue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there should be more pipe organs in public houses. Imagine being able to walk in, order your pint, and stroll along to the console with beer in hand and entertain fellow drinkers with your favourite Vierne, J.S. Bach and Eric Thiman. Roffensis and pcnd could even become the next 'Chas & Dave'.

 

 

============================

 

 

I wonder what the pub-food menu would contain?

 

A whole new counter-thread emerges..........

 

 

B)

 

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...