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Best Organ In The Uk? Holiday Fun For The Rainswept!

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I totally agree with Patrick. Having looked through the information on the BIOS website, it seems that in setting the criteria for the award of HOCs, a relatively small, though knowledgeable, group at BIOS are trying to emulate the listed buildings activities of English Heritage, but without the clout or the money to support restoration. If all that comes of the scheme is the award of a "handsome certificate" that may help in raising future funding then surely the definitions of an historic instrument should be broader, to include the likes of Armley and, more modestly, Heaton. Otherwise there is a risk that old fossils may be preserved at the expense of real National Treasures.







The thought occurs, that if cathedrals were organs, they would not qualify!






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The thought occurs, that if cathedrals were organs, they would not qualify!

Having seen what certain favoured architects have perpetrated in certain historic piles in the past I am tempted to suggest that they would deserve not to!


Bah! Humbug! :rolleyes:

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Guest Vox Humana 8'

Best small organ:

I can't decide, so I'll nominate two.

Stoke d'Abernon, St. Mary the Virgin: a 1975 Frobenius. http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N08960

Farnborough Abbey, St. Michael: a 1905 Mutin. http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N08452


Best medium organ:

Ewell, St. Mary the Virgin. A glorious 1889 Father Willis of 3 manuals and pedals and 39 stops (see http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...c_index=D08165). Alas, having been rebuilt there in 1975 (its predecessor having been destroyed by fire in 1973) by Rushworth and Dreaper, some of the materials used inside are now life-expired (shoddy, a type of rubbercloth) and they painted all the old leathers white, causing them to crack. The two pipefronts in its original home now stand one behind the other, the front one having had gold paint sprayed over the stencilling! B) .The action is also in dire need of regulation: additionally, the pedal reed is a 16' Ophicleide on 15 inches of wind, and it's right behind the facade, so it's way too loud! Furthermore, the acoustic in the building is very dry.


Best large organ:

Again, I can't decide, so here are two nominations:

Blenheim Palace, an 1897 Willis of four manuals and pedals with fifty-two stops (see http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...c_index=N09565: basically a larger version of the Ewell organ.

Wimbledon, R. C. Church of the Sacred Heart: a 1912 Walker of three manuals and fifty stops (see http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=D03104.

A 1935 rebuild saw the addition of six stops to the Choir, a Nazard 2 2/3, a Tierce 1 3/5, a Septième 1 1/7, plus an unenclosed section consisting of Open Diapason 8', Gemshorn 4', Tuba 8'. Regrettably, the Vox Humana on the Swell became a Dulciana Twelfth. The instrument was part-restored in 1985, when all of the 1935 additions barring the Dulciana Twelfth and the Tuba were removed. It is now in dire need of restoration (see http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/jleadbeater/new_page_1.htm), but is still very fine, with its three independent 32' stops crowning an organ of immense power in a fine acoustic.

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