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Peter Clark

Lytham St Cuthberts

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Guest Barry Williams
Off topic but I seem also to remember that an incumbent there at round about this time went on to hold a quite important position in the C 0f E after first being our local diocesan bishop down here!

 

AJJ

 

Dr George Carey

 

Barry Williams

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This would suggest to me that you have not experienced good, state-of-the art instruments. The reeds on our Wyvern-Pheonix are absolutely superb, as are the flutes & diapasons. I don't believe anyone would consider the full organ to be "Foggy". Our loudspeakers sit clearly visible and undisguised on large shelves in the north transept. If we happened to have an attractive pipe front from a former instrument I would see no harm in using it, but we don't.

 

Since the organ was installed (in 2006) there have been a number of occasions upon which visitors, including other organists, have come to talk to me at the console, from where the battery of loudspeakers are clearly visible, demanding to know where the pipes are. This custom built 42 stop instrument cost us a little over £25K (details available here) . Only one UK manufacturer charges £50K+ for similar instruments.

 

Personally I would struggle to see any use for an alternative Theatre Organ specification on our instrument at church. It might be fun at home though!

 

I am sure that your organ would have better reeds, diapasons & flutes than mine since my church's Rodgers is probably over 15 years old now.

The speakers are installed where the old pipe organ was behind a screen at the front of the church, but if this has an impact on the sound, I don't know.

 

I would definately like the church to get a customised organ once the Rodgers dies, but that could be quite a while away at the moment.

 

JA

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I remember back in the 1970's St. Nicolas, in the market place, durham had a major upheaval, both spiritualy and furniture wise, the outcome was (and others may no better) that to have their 3 manual Copeman Hart, they Had to have a "pipe organ" as well. They got around this buy having a one manual instument of maybe 2 stops and had it hidden away. My father was at the time organist at another local (6 miles away) church which also had a small Copeman Hart, and the official party from St. Nicks came to give it the once over etc.

regards

Peter

 

A few years back I was associated for a while with Bert Prested, an organ builder in Durham. He told me of St. Nicks in the market place. That they were buying a Copeman Hart instrument, and that he was retained first to remove the pipe organ, and second, to make from it a one manual organ sans pedals. I saw the instrument just once, and if I remember correctly, it is something like Flute 8, Principal 4, Fifiteenth and Nazard. I could be completely wrong, but in the short time I had on it I know I was entranced.

Moving on, the re-developement of St Nick's interior was completed, and the 'big' service was scheduled, and arranged for a date. The ceremony was to include 'opening the new CH 3 decker. Come the day however, and for whatever reason, the Copeman Hart was not ready, or could not be delivered in time.

The solution to the service accompaniment problem was solved by bringing Bert's little gem in from the back room and plugging it into the wall where the CH was to have been. By all accounts it performed magnificently and did the job without a hitch.

To the best of my knowledge, the Prested instrument is still there, tucked away and unused.

 

Bert Prested, now sadly no longer with us, was a fascinating old feller, but nursed a seething hatred of Harrison and Harrison. When contacted to quote on work which H&H were also quoting on, would price himself ridiculously low to keep H&H out. This ensured that he never became rich. He was a craftsman nevertheless, and gifted.

He once called me to give him "a hand with something". When I arrived at his workshop (in Bearpark), there was his yellow Reliant three-wheeler van with ten feet of Open Wood sticking out of the passenger side window, and another foot or two emerging from the back door. We wangled it back out of the van, stuck it on the roof bars of my old Montego, and took it round to Ushaw College, where I had a happy hour or so on his rebuild of their instrument.

 

It was for my embellishment of the St.Nicks story, and an unwise comment or two about CH that Cheryl Hart had me tossed out of Piporg-L or whatever it was called. Funnily enough, I survive to this day.

 

Chris Baker

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Guest Lee Blick
When I arrived at his workshop (in Bearpark), there was his yellow Reliant three-wheeler van with ten feet of Open Wood sticking out of the passenger side window, and another foot or two emerging from the back door. We wangled it back out of the van, stuck it on the roof bars of my old Montego, and took it round to Ushaw College, where I had a happy hour or so on his rebuild of their instrument.

 

Did he have an organ workshop in Peckham and a tuner called 'Rodney', by any chance? :lol:

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Did he have an organ workshop in Peckham and a tuner called 'Rodney', by any chance? :lol:

 

I very much doubt it - he was no fool, and definitely had nothing to do with horses.

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A few years back I was associated for a while with Bert Prested, an organ builder in Durham. He told me of St. Nicks in the market place. That they were buying a Copeman Hart instrument, and that he was retained first to remove the pipe organ, and second, to make from it a one manual organ sans pedals. I saw the instrument just once, and if I remember correctly, it is something like Flute 8, Principal 4, Fifiteenth and Nazard. I could be completely wrong, but in the short time I had on it I know I was entranced.

Moving on, the re-developement of St Nick's interior was completed, and the 'big' service was scheduled, and arranged for a date. The ceremony was to include 'opening the new CH 3 decker. Come the day however, and for whatever reason, the Copeman Hart was not ready, or could not be delivered in time.

The solution to the service accompaniment problem was solved by bringing Bert's little gem in from the back room and plugging it into the wall where the CH was to have been. By all accounts it performed magnificently and did the job without a hitch.

To the best of my knowledge, the Prested instrument is still there, tucked away and unused.

 

Bert Prested, now sadly no longer with us, was a fascinating old feller, but nursed a seething hatred of Harrison and Harrison. When contacted to quote on work which H&H were also quoting on, would price himself ridiculously low to keep H&H out. This ensured that he never became rich. He was a craftsman nevertheless, and gifted.

He once called me to give him "a hand with something". When I arrived at his workshop (in Bearpark), there was his yellow Reliant three-wheeler van with ten feet of Open Wood sticking out of the passenger side window, and another foot or two emerging from the back door. We wangled it back out of the van, stuck it on the roof bars of my old Montego, and took it round to Ushaw College, where I had a happy hour or so on his rebuild of their instrument.

 

It was for my embellishment of the St.Nicks story, and an unwise comment or two about CH that Cheryl Hart had me tossed out of Piporg-L or whatever it was called. Funnily enough, I survive to this day.

 

Chris Baker

 

I remember Bert well, did you ever sit in his front room and hear all those clocks :lol:

I remember him playing a few "cine" films from a projector he had in the kitchen and showing onto a screen on the sitting room front window. My dad introduced him to a good friend (Ralph Franklin) who at the time (1984 ish) was Dof M at St. Peters, Harrogate. Bert did a "rebuild" of sorts and Copeman hart provided the usual electronic 32ft pedal bits.

regards

Peter

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I very much doubt it - he was no fool, and definitely had nothing to do with horses.

did he build the Festival Hall console in the 50's when he was at H & H???

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did he build the Festival Hall console in the 50's when he was at H & H???

 

He worked on the RFH as you say, though at that time he was a console builder with H&H. I never discovered why he turned against them so vehemently. Whilst at RFH he took a lot of 8mm film of the rebuild in progress, and showed them to me a couple of months before he died. After his death, Joan his wife gathered all his film, camera gear and practically everything else of his working memorabilia and placed it all at auction. I did not know about the sale until after the event.

It all apparently went for peanuts, and I would have killed for his work journals and records.

 

Chris

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... Has anybody seen/heard/played it? As I go to Blackpool at least once a year to see my sister and do the avuncular thing, would it then be worth having a look at this instrument? How indeed do people feel about such an instrument?

 

I'd be very interested in views.

 

Peter

 

In a word:

 

BLEAH.

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He worked on the RFH as you say, though at that time he was a console builder with H&H. I never discovered why he turned against them so vehemently. Whilst at RFH he took a lot of 8mm film of the rebuild in progress, and showed them to me a couple of months before he died. After his death, Joan his wife gathered all his film, camera gear and practically everything else of his working memorabilia and placed it all at auction. I did not know about the sale until after the event.

It all apparently went for peanuts, and I would have killed for his work journals and records.

 

Chris

I did not know that the hammer fell on all his "stuff", I suppose it may turn up on ebay, you never know

Peter

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Maybe I should explain why we opted for a Copeman Hart organ in Lytham. It was far from our original intention. We had an organ by Peter Conacher which had been moved early in its life. Being designed to speak into the nave only it did a fine job, but then it was turned around to face the chancel where it blasted the heads off the choristers but sounded feeble to the congregation. It was altered and added to several times after that to try and correct that, but location prevailed. My first job was to try to solve this problem and I proposed to turn the organ back around, beef up the choir organ in the chancel and add side shutters to the swell to project  a second manual behind the choir.

Our organ builder, David Wells agreed that the idea would work, but said that the old organ had become such a mongrel with all the alterations that it was not worth spending more money on. We therefore started looking for a suitable replacement instrument. At that point the organ adviser came into our lives. We visited several used instruments together, but he was fixated on one scheme only and refused to consider anything else. The scheme was to combine two organs by Willis III into a single organ. One of them both the organist and I knew and didn't like and the other was in pieces in David's workshop. Both the churches wanted ridiculous money so we crossed them off our list. The adviser was so obstructive to any other solution that the time came when we gave up on a pipe organ and opted for digital.

We chose Copeman Hart as he could build is an instrument to our exact design and voice it just the way we wanted it. I was in charge of the church organ and based it on the organ in Pietermaritzburg City Hall, South Africa. This was Brindley & Foster's largest and finest instrument. I had the joy of being in charge of it for 12 years and knew every stop intimately. I added a few things to make it work as a church organ as well as a concert organ. Other than that it was an exact replica. Some people may not like the voicing, but I assure you that it's totally accurate. The original can be heard on You-Tube if you're interested.

Peter Jebson is the organist and is famous in the theatre world. We wanted an organ on which to show his skill. Our solution was to fit variable tremulants which could give the church organ a more theatrical sound when required. Ernest came up with a counter suggestion. For an extra £5000 he would give us a complete theatre organ played from the same console and through the same sound system. Peter and Nigel Ogden took charge of the design and voicing and got exactly what they wanted.

So that's how we got 2 organs in one and why they are digital.

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On 8/25/2007 at 15:15, Peter Allison said:

A few years back I was associated for a while with Bert Prested, an organ builder in Durham. He told me of St. Nicks in the market place. That they were buying a Copeman Hart instrument, and that he was retained first to remove the pipe organ, and second, to make from it a one manual organ sans pedals. I saw the instrument just once, and if I remember correctly, it is something like Flute 8, Principal 4, Fifiteenth and Nazard. I could be completely wrong, but in the short time I had on it I know I was entranced.

It's now in Abergavenny Priory - I played it last year and it is a remarkable little instrument with real 'presence' in the building, in a very helpful acoustic.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=V00348

DSCF2016b.jpg

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On 29/01/2018 at 13:08, John Mitchell said:

 ... We therefore started looking for a suitable replacement instrument. At that point the organ adviser came into our lives. We visited several used instruments together, but he was fixated on one scheme only and refused to consider anything else ...

Was he an independent organ adviser/consultant whom the church chose and paid for, or the honorary Diocesan Organs Adviser (DOA)?  The two have distinct roles.  The DOA's primary role is not to advise the church but to advise the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC).  This is made quite clear in the document entitled  'Guidance Note - DAC Advisers' issued by ChurchCare - see the link below:

http://www.churchcare.co.uk/images/Guidance_Notes/DAC_advisers.pdf

Quoting from this document:  "The primary role of an adviser is to advise the DAC. Advisers may, if they think it appropriate, give informal advice to parishes in broad terms, but it is not part of their duties to draw up detailed schemes or to recommend a particular contractor for a project. It is not unusual to become aware of situations where the parish needs a specialist in order to prepare a suitable set of proposals for their intended project. In situations like these, the DAC adviser should never appoint themselves as adviser to the parish and prepare a scheme of work for them. A parish about to embark on a potentially costly and possibly complex scheme in need of advice should appoint a paid consultant".

Having been involved myself in situations where the DOA automatically took it upon himself to act as the consultant and insist on a particular course of action, I know how difficult it can be to get the DOA to properly understand his own role!  In one rather extreme case the DOA seemed outraged that the PCC had had the nerve to instruct an independent consultant whose views were at odds with those the DOA was trying to foist on the church.  But with patience and diplomacy we eventually 'won' (if that's the right word), and the necessary Faculty was granted.

On the other hand, if a paid consultant (i.e. not the DOA) is the source of the problem, the answer is much easier - kick him out and find another with whom the church can work in a more positive fashion.

Although the events in this thread are old news, they are still relevant to the point I'm making here, at least for the CofE.

CEP

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I was not aware of the distinction, but the gentleman concerned was introduced to us as the DOA. He was determined to have us take his proposal and vetoed  or subverted every other scheme. It was also clear that our organ builder was 'In his pocket'. I became angry when at a general meeting, having quoted us £200,000 to carry out another plan, agreed with the DOA that the organ concerned was of poor quality. At that moment I became so furious that I dare not speak as the words I would have used were seldom heard in the vicarage!!

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