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St. Martin, Lower Bourne, Farnham


Jonathan Lane

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I have been DofM at St. Thomas (up the hill) since the beginning of 2004, and we have responsibility for playing and providing a choir for weddings at St. Martin. There is now an Allen, which not unexpectedly is quite disappointing. NPOR has details of the Grant Degens and Bradbeer organ, 15 stops from three ranks. The survey date is 1969. Does anyone know what happened to this organ, or have any memories of it?

 

Thanks,

 

Jonathan

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I'm not sure that I'd be that disappointed playing an Allen if it had replaced the GDB extension device whose spec is recorded on NPOR. I spent 10 yrs as DoM at a church that replaced this

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=H00019

 

with an Allen. The PCC had gained the necessary faculty just prior to my arrival, and I only played the old organ in public twice, which was quite enough. Pretty much any electronic would have been preferable.

 

BTW, your own instrument looks splendidly versatile.

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I'm not sure that I'd be that disappointed playing an Allen if it had replaced the GDB extension device whose spec is recorded on NPOR. I spent 10 yrs as DoM at a church that replaced this

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=H00019

 

with an Allen. The PCC had gained the necessary faculty just prior to my arrival, and I only played the old organ in public twice, which was quite enough. Pretty much any electronic would have been preferable.

 

BTW, your own instrument looks splendidly versatile.

 

Unfortunately, the Allen is a poor example. Ours is rather fine, if a little loud!

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Thinking of GDB, I played this once or twice http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00254 and great fun it was, too. The acoustic was, IIRC, fairly dry, but that only made it more spectacular.

 

I spent more time playing this one http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N01306 which had some similar characteristics, but a much livelier acoustic.

 

I think I'd rather still play either of them than an electronic.

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Thinking of GDB, I played this once or twice http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00254 and great fun it was, too. The acoustic was, IIRC, fairly dry, but that only made it more spectacular.

 

I spent more time playing this one http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N01306 which had some similar characteristics, but a much livelier acoustic.

 

I think I'd rather still play either of them than an electronic.

 

For fear of being classed a fuddy duddy, I would always rather play a pipe organ than an electronic!

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I have been DofM at St. Thomas (up the hill) since the beginning of 2004, and we have responsibility for playing and providing a choir for weddings at St. Martin. There is now an Allen, which not unexpectedly is quite disappointing. NPOR has details of the Grant Degens and Bradbeer organ, 15 stops from three ranks. The survey date is 1969. Does anyone know what happened to this organ, or have any memories of it?

 

Thanks,

 

Jonathan

 

Now here was a blast from the past. I used to do quite a bit of playing at St Martin's as I knew David Swinson up at St Thomas'. Don't know anything about the pipe organ, but the cong were always very friendly and grateful for my trip over from GUildford. I'm assuming that the splendid boys choir at St T's is still flourishing, I still have the CD they recorded in the late 90's and remember an excellent few days of services I played for them at Exeter cathedral. Is Kevin J still singing there?

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Guest Barry Williams

I have just spoken to Mr Geoffrey Morgan who was for a number of years Organs Adviser to the DAC in Guildford Diocese. He does not recall the instrument at all. Further, he could find no trace fo the church in his register of organs in Guildford Diocese.

 

If St Martin's is a consecrated building it will be within the Faculty Jurisidiction. A Faculty should have been sought for the removal of the instrument. It may be that the Diocesan Registry will be able to give further information as to the conditions of its disposal.

 

It may have been scrapped. I have a vague recollection that someone told me that many years ago. I played the organ in the factory. It was very successful there. As far as I recall, Grant, Degens & Rippin/Bradbeer only made three extension organs; this one, a house organ for Dr Peter Hurford and the organ in the House of Commons chapel.

 

Barry Williams

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I have just spoken to Mr Geoffrey Morgan who was for a number of years Organs Adviser to the DAC in Guildford Diocese. He does not recall the instrument at all. Further, he could find no trace fo the church in his register of organs in Guildford Diocese.

 

If St Martin's is a consecrated building it will be within the Faculty Jurisidiction. A Faculty should have been sought for the removal of the instrument. It may be that the Diocesan Registry will be able to give further information as to the conditions of its disposal.

 

It may have been scrapped. I have a vague recollection that someone told me that many years ago. I played the organ in the factory. It was very successful there. As far as I recall, Grant, Degens & Rippin/Bradbeer only made three extension organs; this one, a house organ for Dr Peter Hurford and the organ in the House of Commons chapel.

 

Barry Williams

 

It is part of the Parish of the Bourne, I don't know how that fits into Geoffrey's recollections, I will contact him directly, as it may trigger further memories. I don't know how long after the survey of 1969 the organ existed. If the Allen was new, I suspect not very long. I really feel it would have been better to retain it, but someone else must have thought differently at the time! Those GDR/GDB organs I have come across have always been pleasant to play.

 

Jonathan :lol:

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Could this be the organ that was given its first recital by Garret O'Brian who was then at St Thomas’s? I went along with Garret for his recital. The organ was simply dreadful. A hymn machine had been rebuilt into a screeching banche. Just about no use at all in accompanying hymns.

 

When asked by its creator what I thought about the new organ, I replied it only lacked two things. Namely a gallon of petrol and a match.

 

Alan

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Guest Barry Williams
Could this be the organ that was given its first recital by Garret O'Brian who was then at St Thomas’s? I went along with Garret for his recital. The organ was simply dreadful. A hymn machine had been rebuilt into a screeching banche. Just about no use at all in accompanying hymns.

 

When asked by its creator what I thought about the new organ, I replied it only lacked two things. Namely a gallon of petrol and a match.

 

Alan

 

It is doubtful if this is one, for it was never 'rebuilt' but was an entirely new instrument, with pipes scaled and made for the purpose. I think that the opening recital was given by John Foss.

 

There must surely be someone at the church who can remember what happened to the organ. Perhaps an enquiry could be made lcoally. It would be good to know.

 

Barry Williams

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It is doubtful if this is one, for it was never 'rebuilt' but was an entirely new instrument, with pipes scaled and made for the purpose. I think that the opening recital was given by John Foss.

 

There must surely be someone at the church who can remember what happened to the organ. Perhaps an enquiry could be made lcoally. It would be good to know.

 

Barry Williams

 

Unfortunately, all enquiries at St. Martin and St. Thomas have drawn a blank. I will continue with my investigation and let members know when I have more details.

 

Jonathan

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I have just spoken to Mr Geoffrey Morgan who was for a number of years Organs Adviser to the DAC in Guildford Diocese. He does not recall the instrument at all. Further, he could find no trace fo the church in his register of organs in Guildford Diocese.

 

If St Martin's is a consecrated building it will be within the Faculty Jurisidiction. A Faculty should have been sought for the removal of the instrument. It may be that the Diocesan Registry will be able to give further information as to the conditions of its disposal.

 

It may have been scrapped. I have a vague recollection that someone told me that many years ago. I played the organ in the factory. It was very successful there. As far as I recall, Grant, Degens & Rippin/Bradbeer only made three extension organs; this one, a house organ for Dr Peter Hurford and the organ in the House of Commons chapel.

 

Barry Williams

 

Hi

 

Not quite - there were a couple of laer ones, after the firm moved from London (and, reading between the lines, was well in decline) - NPOR E01317 is one of them. Paule Hale seems pretty knowledgable about GDB organs - he may know what happened to this one.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Barry Williams
Hi

 

Not quite - there were a couple of laer ones, after the firm moved from London (and, reading between the lines, was well in decline) - NPOR E01317 is one of them. Paule Hale seems pretty knowledgable about GDB organs - he may know what happened to this one.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Sorry, Tony, but I could not get NPOR EO1317 to show - it reports 'Survey not found' Have you other details please? I would be very interested to see what other extension organs they built. I presume this was after Mr Degens had left.

 

Barry Williams

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Sorry, Tony, but I could not get NPOR EO1317 to show - it reports 'Survey not found' Have you other details please? I would be very interested to see what other extension organs they built. I presume this was after Mr Degens had left.

 

Barry Williams

It's a zero, not an 'O', so search for E01317... :)

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It's a zero, not an 'O', so search for E01317... :)

 

 

I think this instrument has had a Quintaton 16' added in its new home in Great Torrington.

 

I have written to Paul Hale to ask if he knows anything about the instrument that was in Lower Bourne: Saint Martin.

 

Barry Williams

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It would also be interesting to know what was there before, after all, even though NPOR doesn't record an installation date, we know that Grant, Degens and Bradbeer didn't trade under this name until 1965. The church has been around since 1957. Was there just a piano, or an harmonium?

 

Jonathan

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  • 2 weeks later...

The G D & B organ dates back to the time when I was DofM at St. Thomas's. I was also a director of Grant Degens & Bradbeer. There was a 1 manual 5 stop (?) tracker action by J W Walker - quite a vintage instrument, but the organist of St Martin's wanted something to rival the Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt in St Thomas's. The idea underlying St Martin's was to have a Principal rank for each department: 8' on the Pedal, 4 then 2 on the keyboards. Also a flute and a reed. There were 3 ranks : Rohr Flute 16, 8, 4 2, Principal 4 & 2 and a Rohr Schalmei at 16,8 + 4 (I think!)

We tried out a "budget" instrument - but it was not a success. The acoustics are not very good and the instrument was not in an ideal position. The Church would have been better off keeping the Walker!

I don't know where it is now - if it was well sited in a resonant room it might sound quite good!

 

John Foss

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The G D & B organ dates back to the time when I was DofM at St. Thomas's. I was also a director of Grant Degens & Bradbeer. There was a 1 manual 5 stop (?) tracker action by J W Walker - quite a vintage instrument, but the organist of St Martin's wanted something to rival the Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt in St Thomas's. The idea underlying St Martin's was to have a Principal rank for each department: 8' on the Pedal, 4 then 2 on the keyboards. Also a flute and a reed. There were 3 ranks : Rohr Flute 16, 8, 4 2, Principal 4 & 2 and a Rohr Schalmei at 16,8 + 4 (I think!)

We tried out a "budget" instrument - but it was not a success. The acoustics are not very good and the instrument was not in an ideal position. The Church would have been better off keeping the Walker!

I don't know where it is now - if it was well sited in a resonant room it might sound quite good!

 

John Foss

 

Thanks John, that helps enormously, anything else you know, about St. Martin's or indeed St. Thomas gratefully received as I preparing a pamphlet on the music history of the church. Contact me off list if that helps.

 

Jonathan

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Sorry, Tony, but I could not get NPOR EO1317 to show - it reports 'Survey not found' Have you other details please? I would be very interested to see what other extension organs they built. I presume this was after Mr Degens had left.

 

Barry Williams

 

Hi Barry

 

For some reason I've only just found your post! Sorry about the typo - all NPOR ref numbers are an initial letter followed by 5 numbers (at least, the ones accessible to the public are - the editors can use a suffix letter to hide work in progress if things need to be checked, etc.)

 

Maurice Forsythe-Grant's book "Twenty One Years of Organ Building" has a complete Opus list for the various incarnations of the firm. On a quick skim through the following are extension jobs:-

 

Opus 2 St Andrew, Walton-on-Stone - even used a Diaphone for the bass of the Open Wood.

Opus 3 - Hurstpierpoint College - included some extension

Opus 4 St Simon, Southsea - some extension

Opus 20 - house organ for Peter Hurford

Opus 23 St Martin, Farnham

St Stephen's Chapel, Palace of Westminster

Singleton Hospital, Swansea

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi Barry

 

 

Maurice Forsythe-Grant's book "Twenty One Years of Organ Building" has a complete Opus list for the various incarnations of the firm. On a quick skim through the following are extension jobs:-

 

Opus 2 St Andrew, Walton-on-Stone - even used a Diaphone for the bass of the Open Wood.

Opus 3 - Hurstpierpoint College - included some extension

Opus 4 St Simon, Southsea - some extension

Opus 20 - house organ for Peter Hurford

Opus 23 St Martin, Farnham

St Stephen's Chapel, Palace of Westminster

Singleton Hospital, Swansea

 

Hi Tony

Sorry to be a bore but can you supply the page number for the Swansea job please. I don't recognise it and can't find it in the index. Thanks

PJW

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Guest Barry Williams

Hi Barry

 

For some reason I've only just found your post! Sorry about the typo - all NPOR ref numbers are an initial letter followed by 5 numbers (at least, the ones accessible to the public are - the editors can use a suffix letter to hide work in progress if things need to be checked, etc.)

 

Maurice Forsythe-Grant's book "Twenty One Years of Organ Building" has a complete Opus list for the various incarnations of the firm. On a quick skim through the following are extension jobs:-

 

Opus 2 St Andrew, Walton-on-Stone - even used a Diaphone for the bass of the Open Wood.

Opus 3 - Hurstpierpoint College - included some extension

Opus 4 St Simon, Southsea - some extension

Opus 20 - house organ for Peter Hurford

Opus 23 St Martin, Farnham

St Stephen's Chapel, Palace of Westminster

Singleton Hospital, Swansea

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Thank you. St John's Boscombe also had some manual extension on the bombarde/choir - I recall doing the tonal finishing with Mr Degens vividly! (I think the instrument has been altered since.) There may have been others of a similar ilk.

 

My intentions in referring to extension organs were directed to instruments such as St Martin's Farnham. It is helpful to have Mr Foss's comments, especially with reference to the best stop on the organ - the acoustics.

 

Barry Williams

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It is helpful to have Mr Foss's comments, especially with reference to the best stop on the organ - the acoustics.

 

Barry Williams

 

Hear, hear, especially true at St. Martin's, where the acoustic is pretty much dead, there's nothing much that can be done. However, I would still prefer a pipe organ over the Allen.

 

Jonathan

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Hi Barry

Maurice Forsythe-Grant's book "Twenty One Years of Organ Building" has a complete Opus list for the various incarnations of the firm. On a quick skim through the following are extension jobs:-

 

Opus 2 St Andrew, Walton-on-Stone - even used a Diaphone for the bass of the Open Wood.

Opus 3 - Hurstpierpoint College - included some extension

Opus 4 St Simon, Southsea - some extension

Opus 20 - house organ for Peter Hurford

Opus 23 St Martin, Farnham

St Stephen's Chapel, Palace of Westminster

Singleton Hospital, Swansea

 

Hi Tony

Sorry to be a bore but can you supply the page number for the Swansea job please. I don't recognise it and can't find it in the index. Thanks

PJW

 

 

Hi

 

p.177 - just a very brief mention towards the bottom of the page (in the firms last days).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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