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Fire Warning Plate


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Whilst on holiday in Dolton, North Devon last week, my wife and I visited the village church and noticed this plate below one of the organ cases. The plate isn't in very good condition and the image isn't too clear. As I had only my compact digital camera with me rather than my DSLR it needed a fair amount of work in Photoshop to get to this stage but the wording was readable on the higher resolution version.

 

It reads...

 

1. The organ is damp, a lamp or stove is placed in it and left to burn all night with the result of setting it on fire.

 

2. The Organist, the Blower, the Tuner or a workman making repairs strikes a match or lights a spirit lamp, taper or candle which he leaves burning with the result of setting the organ on fire.

 

3. The music desk lights are movable brackets which can be placed so that flames touch woodwork. This is done once and the whole is set on fire.

 

You have been warned!

 

The organ itself has a lovely sound, quite powerful but with a very pleasant sweetness to the quieter stops. The specification is on NPOR and I shall be sending some photographs to them over the next few days. By the way, the Swell Oboe is 8', not 4'...

 

Peter

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Whilst on holiday in Dolton, North Devon last week, my wife and I visited the village church and noticed this plate below one of the organ cases. The plate isn't in very good condition and the image isn't too clear. As I had only my compact digital camera with me rather than my DSLR it needed a fair amount of work in Photoshop to get to this stage but the wording was readable on the higher resolution version.

 

It reads...

 

1. The organ is damp, a lamp or stove is placed in it and left to burn all night with the result of setting it on fire.

 

2. The Organist, the Blower, the Tuner or a workman making repairs strikes a match or lights a spirit lamp, taper or candle which he leaves burning with the result of setting the organ on fire.

 

3. The music desk lights are movable brackets which can be placed so that flames touch woodwork. This is done once and the whole is set on fire.

 

You have been warned!

 

The organ itself has a lovely sound, quite powerful but with a very pleasant sweetness to the quieter stops. The specification is on NPOR and I shall be sending some photographs to them over the next few days. By the way, the Swell Oboe is 8', not 4'...

 

Peter

 

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

 

 

 

I know an organ with a radiant-element heater built into the console; its' rays warming the hands and keys and bathing them in a ghostly red light. I always thought this a thoroughly dangerous thing, but the organ has yet to burn down. In any event, it has a timer-switch, to prevent key-warping and fire.

 

However, a certain famous instrument was spared from destruction by the great presence of mind of the then organist.

 

Apparently, going inside the organ with a lighted candle to stop a cipher, with a suitable piece of paper under the pipe-foot, he tripped and dropped the candle. The candle remained lit, but a long way down, among the pedal-pipe chests, dust and the nests of the resident church-mice.

 

The organist told this story, and expressed his grave concern at the unfortunate incident.

 

A very polished gentleman of great dignity, it was perhaps not a wise thing to ask how he dealt with the problem.

 

Hesitating to reply, and drawing the questioner close, he whispered in his ear, "Well fortunately, I felt that I was able to make water!"

 

I suppose one could claim that whilst the organ does not have a general cancel, the claim could be made for it, that it was once "oft piston."

 

:lol:

 

MM

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Whilst on holiday in Dolton, North Devon last week, my wife and I visited the village church and noticed this plate below one of the organ cases. The plate isn't in very good condition and the image isn't too clear.

I visited Firle church in East Sussex recently, and the organ there had the same inscription on the case at the side.

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I visited Firle church in East Sussex recently, and the organ there had the same inscription on the case at the side.

 

 

There is a down side to these signs and the implications thereof, viz. a lot of well-intentioned people then went around lining blower boxes with asbestos. Correct me if I'm wrong, but some kinds of asbestos are not particularly stable and there is a risk that given time wispy fibres start to come away from the lining and can get blown through the organ and out into the space. I will never forget taking a small un-wanted organ out of a grammar school at Burnham, Near Beaconsfield, Bucks. Day 1 we'd taken the thing apart and day 2 we expected to come back for the bits with our lovely hired (and booked) van. Unfortunately, being an honest bloke (mostly) as I finished work on day 1, I told the bursar that we wouldn't be taking the blower box with us because it had asbestos in it. Mistake!

 

Being a conscientious chap, he promptly phoned Shire Hall for advice, they insisted that nobody should enter the hall; we were sent away for several days while an 'expert' team came to effect the (extremely expensive) removal of (a very small amount of) asbestos. Our van hire went west, of course.

 

Meanwhile, at my school in Gloucester the blower box for the Hall organ was also lined with asbestos. I drew the bursar's attention to the fact and his decision was to screw the inspection panels on tighter! Presumably on the basis of 'what the eye don't see...'

I don't know how many lives were put at risk with that one.

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There is a down side to these signs and the implications thereof, viz. a lot of well-intentioned people then went around lining blower boxes with asbestos. Correct me if I'm wrong, but some kinds of asbestos are not particularly stable and there is a risk that given time wispy fibres start to come away from the lining and can get blown through the organ and out into the space. I will never forget taking a small un-wanted organ out of a grammar school at Burnham, Near Beaconsfield, Bucks. Day 1 we'd taken the thing apart and day 2 we expected to come back for the bits with our lovely hired (and booked) van. Unfortunately, being an honest bloke (mostly) as I finished work on day 1, I told the bursar that we wouldn't be taking the blower box with us because it had asbestos in it. Mistake!

 

Being a conscientious chap, he promptly phoned Shire Hall for advice, they insisted that nobody should enter the hall; we were sent away for several days while an 'expert' team came to effect the (extremely expensive) removal of (a very small amount of) asbestos. Our van hire went west, of course.

 

Meanwhile, at my school in Gloucester the blower box for the Hall organ was also lined with asbestos. I drew the bursar's attention to the fact and his decision was to screw the inspection panels on tighter! Presumably on the basis of 'what the eye don't see...'

I don't know how many lives were put at risk with that one.

Unfortunately, this is one of my specialist subjects. Anything that has asbestos that is crumbling or shedding fibres is dangerous and needs removal or encapsulation by experts. It is a very expensive process, but the risks make it too serious to ignore. Air tests are relatively straightforward and will quickly indicate whether urgent action is required. I know of people who have suffered horrible deaths as a consequence of this material, please do not ignore it.

JC

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

I know an organ with a radiant-element heater built into the console; its' rays warming the hands and keys and bathing them in a ghostly red light. I always thought this a thoroughly dangerous thing, but the organ has yet to burn down. In any event, it has a timer-switch, to prevent key-warping and fire.

 

However, a certain famous instrument was spared from destruction by the great presence of mind of the then organist.

 

Apparently, going inside the organ with a lighted candle to stop a cipher, with a suitable piece of paper under the pipe-foot, he tripped and dropped the candle. The candle remained lit, but a long way down, among the pedal-pipe chests, dust and the nests of the resident church-mice.

 

The organist told this story, and expressed his grave concern at the unfortunate incident.

 

A very polished gentleman of great dignity, it was perhaps not a wise thing to ask how he dealt with the problem.

 

Hesitating to reply, and drawing the questioner close, he whispered in his ear, "Well fortunately, I felt that I was able to make water!"

 

I suppose one could claim that whilst the organ does not have a general cancel, the claim could be made for it, that it was once "oft piston."

 

:)

 

MM

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Unfortunately, this is one of my specialist subjects. Anything that has asbestos that is crumbling or shedding fibres is dangerous and needs removal or encapsulation by experts. It is a very expensive process, but the risks make it too serious to ignore. Air tests are relatively straightforward and will quickly indicate whether urgent action is required. I know of people who have suffered horrible deaths as a consequence of this material, please do not ignore it.

JC

 

A few years ago I was asked to look after a village organ and on the first tuning visit looked in the blower cabinet to check for Asbestos. It was certainly there and very crumbly so alerted the church warden, giving him the phone number of a specialist that I recommend. That evening the phone went and a lady told me that she was the organist and wanted to know a little more about the problem. She asked how the stuff actually got out into the church and so I explained that it was drawn through into the bellows, into the soundboard and through the pipes.

 

"Oh that's alright then" said she... " They are all above my head".

 

Peter

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