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Npor Slowness


mrbouffant
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I played a little village organ back in August and, given it had no NPOR entry, I dutifully noted it all down and sent it off for inclusion.

 

Last week (i.e. 5 months later) I got an email saying 'thanks for the info - sorry for the delay, we have a big backlog'

 

Anyone else had a similar experience? If NPOR are that pushed to actually process the information sent in, why don't they go for a wiki-style approach and allow anyone with a registered interest to update the records? I appreciate they want to be a 'golden source' but right now it seems they are struggling to keep pace with contributions...

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I played a little village organ back in August and, given it had no NPOR entry, I dutifully noted it all down and sent it off for inclusion.

 

Last week (i.e. 5 months later) I got an email saying 'thanks for the info - sorry for the delay, we have a big backlog'

 

Anyone else had a similar experience? If NPOR are that pushed to actually process the information sent in, why don't they go for a wiki-style approach and allow anyone with a registered interest to update the records? I appreciate they want to be a 'golden source' but right now it seems they are struggling to keep pace with contributions...

 

Yes Mr B, I've had this many times. In my experience, the period between submitting new surveys & updates and the entry actually appearing on NPOR is six months. The acknowledgement by e-mail seems to be somewhat hit-and-miss, and on more than one occasion I have failed to receive one. However, Tony Newnham has always chased these up for me in the past.

 

The Wiki approach sounds like a good idea, although that source itself is often plagued by inaccuracies. The problem would be in verifying the integrity of the added data. When I submitted an (accurate) specification update last year, an NPOR editor contacted me in order to find out exactly when various changes were made, and by whom - details which were not immediately obvious to me as a visiting player.

 

G

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However long it takes (and don't forget churches are also slow in providing information) it's a crucially important resource and deserves support rather than shouting at. Having said that, on many occasions over the last two years I have offered help as someone with reasonable computer/web competency which has been gratefully accepted but never got any further than that. I got sick of chasing it up after a while.

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I played a little village organ back in August and, given it had no NPOR entry, I dutifully noted it all down and sent it off for inclusion.

 

Last week (i.e. 5 months later) I got an email saying 'thanks for the info - sorry for the delay, we have a big backlog'

 

Anyone else had a similar experience? If NPOR are that pushed to actually process the information sent in, why don't they go for a wiki-style approach and allow anyone with a registered interest to update the records? I appreciate they want to be a 'golden source' but right now it seems they are struggling to keep pace with contributions...

 

I echo David's comment, NPOR is a wonderful resource, and deserves recognition for the fantastic job that is being done, pretty much unfunded as I understand it. They are slow at posting information, but that I suspect is partly to check accuracy of data. I value it enormously, and would hate to see it be any less accurate than it is. If anyone wants to start a wiki-style resource, I am sure there is space for that too, but my main source will continue to be NPOR. I only wish all countries were as methodical in their registration of organs past and present.

 

Jonathan B)

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I played a little village organ back in August and, given it had no NPOR entry, I dutifully noted it all down and sent it off for inclusion.

 

Last week (i.e. 5 months later) I got an email saying 'thanks for the info - sorry for the delay, we have a big backlog'

 

Anyone else had a similar experience? If NPOR are that pushed to actually process the information sent in, why don't they go for a wiki-style approach and allow anyone with a registered interest to update the records? I appreciate they want to be a 'golden source' but right now it seems they are struggling to keep pace with contributions...

 

Hi

 

Given that some of our surveyors on NPOR disagree with each other, I dread to think what a shambles it would be if it was a free for all! There's at least one organ in the West Country where 3 different people have each recorded vastly different keyboard compasses! Another issue is that, quite often, what looks like a quick, simple update, when checked turns up quite a can of worms and can take several hours to unravel. Certainly, I try and cross-check against any published sources that I have easy access to (and they are not always accurate!) and see if there's anything on the web or the relevant organ-builder's web site.

 

As someone else said, all the editors are volunteers - and there's little enough funding to run the server (which will need to be relocated sometime later this year, which will undoubtedly cost money).

 

I can't speak for my colleagues, but I try and do one day a week - but that's not always possible as church responsibilities obviously have to take precedence (and I've also been ill, and so have not been able to do as much as would have hoped over the past couple of months).

 

We did get the backlog down last year - but it seems to be growing again, as more people use the register and thus more people send us info.

 

Now, if someone would like to come up with funding for a couple of full-time editors at whatever the commercial rate is for data entry - plus office space, etc. Maybe information could be entered sooner. But, of course, the people concerned would also have to have a fair amount of knowledge of organs of various types. It would also be helpful to have someone who could travel the country checking all the details - more money!

 

We would like to get information on line within a month - but at present, that really just isn't possible.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

Given that some of our surveyors on NPOR disagree with each other, I dread to think what a shambles it would be if it was a free for all! There's at least one organ in the West Country where 3 different people have each recorded vastly different keyboard compasses! Another issue is that, quite often, what looks like a quick, simple update, when checked turns up quite a can of worms and can take several hours to unravel. Certainly, I try and cross-check against any published sources that I have easy access to (and they are not always accurate!) and see if there's anything on the web or the relevant organ-builder's web site.

 

As someone else said, all the editors are volunteers - and there's little enough funding to run the server (which will need to be relocated sometime later this year, which will undoubtedly cost money).

 

I can't speak for my colleagues, but I try and do one day a week - but that's not always possible as church responsibilities obviously have to take precedence (and I've also been ill, and so have not been able to do as much as would have hoped over the past couple of months).

 

We did get the backlog down last year - but it seems to be growing again, as more people use the register and thus more people send us info.

 

Now, if someone would like to come up with funding for a couple of full-time editors at whatever the commercial rate is for data entry - plus office space, etc. Maybe information could be entered sooner. But, of course, the people concerned would also have to have a fair amount of knowledge of organs of various types. It would also be helpful to have someone who could travel the country checking all the details - more money!

 

We would like to get information on line within a month - but at present, that really just isn't possible.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Thanks Tony, I believe most people here are very grateful for everything you and the other 'staff' of the NPOR do, we already have a tremendous resource, and I would hate to see it lost or less accurate. I use it for many things, not least researching historical things like the current Lewis thread here, but, I sometimes just use the neighbourhood search function. I find it fascinating to discover instruments of which I had no knowledge!

 

Jonathan

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Thanks Tony, I believe most people here are very grateful for everything you and the other 'staff' of the NPOR do, we already have a tremendous resource, and I would hate to see it lost or less accurate. I use it for many things, not least researching historical things like the current Lewis thread here, but, I sometimes just use the neighbourhood search function. I find it fascinating to discover instruments of which I had no knowledge!

 

Jonathan

 

Hi

 

That's another point - the server doesn't have the intelligence to recognise mis-spelt place names, etc. And sometimes also surveyors have mis-identified churches or their locations - and that's another issue that can take some unravelling! That's not helped by the various boundary changes over the years either.

 

We try to be as accurate as the supplied information allows.

 

Thanks for the support

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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  • 4 months later...

I've experienced this too. Makes me wonder what they're so busy doing! Once they finally got in touch with me though, I was "in", and my contributions now appear very quickly! B)

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Rather than criticise them I think we owe our thanks to all the volunteers who give their time to making NPOR the wonderful resource it is.

 

Whilst no doubt we would all like to see our information uploaded quickly, in the absence of paid staff we have to accept that delays will occur and will be subject to whatever spare time the volunteers feel they are able to devote to the cause.

 

I have no complaints. It would be nice if more editors would tip us off when our information has been uploaded. So far all the information I have submitted has appeared eventually, with the exception of a few photographs (not many - three or four perhaps). In the case of one organ (no longer extant) I submitted six photos, only four of which were used - quite understandably. However the editor courteously assured me that the complete set of photographs has been deposited in the BOA, so the information was not wasted.* In this particular case it emerged that the BOA had done some research of their own into this church's instruments and come up with quite a lot of interesting information.

 

In the last six months I have submitted details and/or photos of around 20 organs, so I daresay the editors are both thanking me and cursing me at the same time. Currently the delay on uploading these seems to be running at around four months, but I guess timescales will vary depending on the individual volunteer.

 

All I would say is: keep up the good work!

 

* The two photos not used were perfectly legible ones of the stops jambs. This did seem a little strange as I would happily have traded in two of the three photos of the console on the site (especially since two of them are identical). Nevertheless I am not in any way criticising. An editor has the right to make his own choice in such matters.

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Like Vox, I too have no complaints. Any entries or corrections which I have submitted have been put on-line promptly; in one case, with my own short descriptions of the aural effect of certain ranks listed with the relevant stops.

 

I can also understand the frustration of those working for the NPOR; for example, I cannot imagine how it is possible to mistake a key compass if one is looking at an instrument. Of course, it is worth trying a few notes (in case the keys are there, but the pipes do not continue up to the top of the claviers, for example). At Milton Abbey, one surveyor disagreed with the presence of the G.O. Trumpet on this lovely Gray and Davison instrument. I was able not only to confirm that I had played this organ on several occasions but, to prevent further misunderstanding, I stood on the bench and took a clear photograph of the the Trumpet rank standing on the G.O. soundboard. Obviously, this method could also be used by surveyors, when submitting details of instruments, in order to clear up other discrepancies.

 

I agree with David's point - it is an excellent resource, which I use several times a week and I, for one, am very glad of its existence.

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Like Vox, I too have no complaints. Any entries or corrections which I have submitted have been put on-line promptly; in one case, with my own short descriptions of the aural effect of certain ranks listed with the relevant stops.

 

I can also understand the frustration of those working for the NPOR; for example, I cannot imagine how it is possible to mistake a key compass if one is looking at an instrument. Of course, it is worth trying a few notes (in case the keys are there, but the pipes do not continue up to the top of the claviers, for example). At Milton Abbey, one surveyor disagreed with the presence of the G.O. Trumpet on this lovely Gray and Davison instrument. I was able not only to confirm that I had played this organ on several occasions but, to prevent further misunderstanding, I stood on the bench and took a clear photograph of the the Trumpet rank standing on the G.O. soundboard. Obviously, this method could also be used by surveyors, when submitting details of instruments, in order to clear up other discrepancies.

 

I agree with David's point - it is an excellent resource, which I use several times a week and I, for one, am very glad of its existence.

 

Hi

 

Thanks again for the expressions of support for myself and the other editors. We are all volunteers - and some of us have pretty demanding "day jobs".

 

I do sometimes contact a contributor when I'm working on their material - but often only if there's a query, or I've discovered additional information. If you want to know when your material is dealt with, I suggest you ask the office - or put a note on your e-mail (imformation received by e-mail is far easier for us to deal with, so is likely to get looked a sooner than information from other methods). We now have a policy of trying to check addresses when we work on a survey - and that takes time, especially as many churches just don't appear in postcode searches. I also tend to try and see if I've got any additional information on instruments - especially if there's gaps in either the info submitted, or the instrument's history - but, of course, that takes time. A recent case was St. Mary's Anglican Cathedral in Edinburgh, where, with the help of a book in my library, and the BOA, I've been able to piece together a fairly full history of the organ - including tracking down Willis' original stop list.

 

As to key compasses - these are sometimes omitted by surveyors - and also they sometimes contradict each other - the classic is a church in the west Country (can't remember where) that has 3 different compasses for the manuals quoted by 3 different surveyors, and varying by over an octave! No way of sorting that out, short of a site visit by someone.

 

Please keep sending updates in - we will get to them sooner or later.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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  • 2 weeks later...
I played a little village organ back in August and, given it had no NPOR entry, I dutifully noted it all down and sent it off for inclusion.

 

Last week (i.e. 5 months later) I got an email saying 'thanks for the info - sorry for the delay, we have a big backlog'

 

Anyone else had a similar experience? If NPOR are that pushed to actually process the information sent in, why don't they go for a wiki-style approach and allow anyone with a registered interest to update the records? I appreciate they want to be a 'golden source' but right now it seems they are struggling to keep pace with contributions...

 

Hi I have made enquires about several redundant organs to the NPOR over the last two years never had a reply, and even if I had the organ would have been long gone. They are a complete waste of time.

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I played a little village organ back in August and, given it had no NPOR entry, I dutifully noted it all down and sent it off for inclusion.

 

Last week (i.e. 5 months later) I got an email saying 'thanks for the info - sorry for the delay, we have a big backlog'

 

Anyone else had a similar experience? If NPOR are that pushed to actually process the information sent in, why don't they go for a wiki-style approach and allow anyone with a registered interest to update the records? I appreciate they want to be a 'golden source' but right now it seems they are struggling to keep pace with contributions...

 

Hi I have made enquires about several redundant organs to the NPOR over the last two years never had a reply, and even if I had the organ would have been long gone. They are a complete waste of time.

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Hi I have made enquires about several redundant organs to the NPOR over the last two years never had a reply, and even if I had the organ would have been long gone. They are a complete waste of time.

I can't say that has been my experience. :rolleyes: In no way were the NPOR people a waste of time, and correspondence was good, courteous and co-operative. From what I know there is a huge amount of work that has to be (and is being) done.

 

Am I to understand that the NPOR is staffed by volunteers? And if so, then I'm not sure that any of us is in a position to snap fingers at them.

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Guest Cynic
Hi I have made enquires about several redundant organs to the NPOR over the last two years never had a reply, and even if I had the organ would have been long gone. They are a complete waste of time.

 

 

If I understand this comment correctly, 'Traditional' wanted to know whether specific organs were 'available' or not*. I'm sure this sort of question isn't in any way the NPOR function or brief - what the set-up does do, if one is patient with the technology, is that it fills in so many gaps in one's knowledge about instruments, locations and builders. I find it an absolutely fascinating resource and one which seems to have amazingly few gaps in the UK, seeing that both surveys and maintenance of the site are essentially unpaid and run on an ad hoc basis. I entirely endorse praise given in earlier postings for the work that has gone into compiling and running the NPOR and would simply urge 'Traditional' to forgive anything which appears to be missing from the service.

 

If information of this* kind is required about individual organs, I suggest Traditional asks our membership - we cover the ground pretty well and most of us have wider contacts too.

 

In the meantime, if anyone is looking for a redundant organ, quite apart from regular appearances on Ebay, the list maintained by George Sixsmith and Son is well worth a view.

http://www.georgesixsmithandsonltd.co.uk/r...gans/index.html

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Hi I have made enquires about several redundant organs to the NPOR over the last two years never had a reply, and even if I had the organ would have been long gone. They are a complete waste of time.

 

Hi

 

Who did you send the enquiry to? The NPOR is a register, not a clearing house - for that, there's a page on the IBO web site.

 

As we do try and reply to queries - if only to point to the right person, but e-mails do go asray. As someone else said, we are all volunteers - the only "paid" person on the team is the office manager, who is contracted to do one day a week, so time restraints are very real.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I praise Tony and his team to the hills. Many times I have had to fetch up at a church to play for a funeral/concert/wedding etc. and I have been ever grateful with the information on NPOR.

 

Especially as often, a phone call to the establishment concerned often reveals a comment like "we have an ORGAN? - really, do we?"

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I praise Tony and his team to the hills. Many times I have had to fetch up at a church to play for a funeral/concert/wedding etc. and I have been ever grateful with the information on NPOR.

 

Especially as often, a phone call to the establishment concerned often reveals a comment like "we have an ORGAN? - really, do we?"

 

Absolutely. I think Tony and his colleagues do a fine job and the NPOR is incredibly useful

 

Peter

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Someone sent me this link to an organ in Bristol that is currently being sold on eBay.

 

It appears to be the instrument at Westbury Park Baptist Church. NPOR has an entry for it, but no specification, so I thought I would mention it just in case anyone in the area feels like trying to rectify that before the organ disappears.

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Someone sent me this link to an organ in Bristol that is currently being sold on eBay.

 

It appears to be the instrument at Westbury Park Baptist Church. NPOR has an entry for it, but no specification, so I thought I would mention it just in case anyone in the area feels like trying to rectify that before the organ disappears.

 

The spec is here.

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