Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Reed Organ Museum


John Robinson
 Share

Recommended Posts

I hesitate to post this topic as, of course, this is a PIPE organ forum, although as digital organs have been mentioned once or twice, I though I might chance it!

 

I recently visited the Reed Organ and Harmonium Museum in Saltaire, West Riding of Yorkshire. My wife and I were the only people there, yet the proprietor, Phil Fluke, spent a couple of hours of his time enthusiastically demonstrating some of his many instruments (including combination instruments: piano + reed organ, celesta + reed organ, pipe organ + reed organ, etc.) and providing much information of interest.

 

Although I have been interested primarily in pipe organs for over forty years, I found my visit to this museum really very enlightening. For example, some of the reed organs I heard were impressively powerful: not the bleating, unsteady sound I had come to expect. Also, an example of a 'flute' register sounded tolerably 'fluty', which I found quite surprising from a free reed.

 

If anyone is in the area, I would urge them to pay a visit. Admission is only £2.50 and photography/videography is permitted. I would strongly suggest telephoning first, as it is not always open. When my wife and I arrived at the published opening time, we were disappointed to find it closed. However, five minutes after telephoning the proprietor at his home, we were being welcomed in!

 

The Reed Organ and Harmonium Museum

6 Albert Terrace

Saltaire

Shipley

Yorkshire

BD18 4PS

 

Telephone: 01274 585601 (Mobile: 07976 535980)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hesitate to post this topic as, of course, this is a PIPE organ forum, although as digital organs have been mentioned once or twice, I though I might chance it!

 

I recently visited the Reed Organ and Harmonium Museum in Saltaire, West Riding of Yorkshire.  My wife and I were the only people there, yet the proprietor, Phil Fluke, spent a couple of hours of his time enthusiastically demonstrating some of his many instruments (including combination instruments: piano + reed organ, celesta + reed organ, pipe organ + reed organ, etc.) and providing much information of interest.

 

Although I have been interested primarily in pipe organs for over forty years, I found my visit to this museum really very enlightening.  For example, some of the reed organs I heard were impressively powerful: not the bleating, unsteady sound I had come to expect.  Also, an example of a 'flute' register sounded tolerably 'fluty', which I found quite surprising from a free reed.

 

If anyone is in the area, I would urge them to pay a visit.  Admission is only £2.50 and photography/videography is permitted.  I would strongly suggest telephoning first, as it is not always open.  When my wife and I arrived at the published opening time, we were disappointed to find it closed.  However, five minutes after telephoning the proprietor at his home, we were being welcomed in!

 

The Reed Organ and Harmonium Museum

6 Albert Terrace

Saltaire

Shipley

Yorkshire

BD18 4PS

 

Telephone: 01274 585601 (Mobile: 07976 535980)

 

Hi

 

I know it well! See my post re. concerts.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hesitate to post this topic as, of course, this is a PIPE organ forum, although as digital organs have been mentioned once or twice, I though I might chance it!

 

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

 

 

Believe it or not, the harmonium is perfectly on-topic.

 

There was an organ in Poland which had, as a third added manual, an entire reed organ of harmonium type installed behind the knee-board of the console. The pipes are still there, but the harmonium disappeared.

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Believe it or not, the harmonium is perfectly on-topic.

 

There was an organ in Poland which had, as a third added manual, an entire reed organ of harmonium type installed behind the knee-board of the console. The pipes are still there, but the harmonium disappeared.

 

MM

 

I'd be interested to know where that is and the specification, including the harmonium section, if you have that information.

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Believe it or not, the harmonium is perfectly on-topic.

 

There was an organ in Poland which had, as a third added manual, an entire reed organ of harmonium type installed behind the knee-board of the console. The pipes are still there, but the harmonium disappeared.

 

MM

 

I'd be interested to know where that is and the specification, including the harmonium section, if you have that information.

 

John

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

 

 

Ask and thou shalt receive!

 

Try the following link for pretty pictures and a description in Polish of the "Parabrahm-Orgel" (I think that may refer to the maker of the "Harmoniumwerk") which was labelled "Orchester Manual" and had ten stops, including a Celesta.

 

http://www.organy.art.pl/instrumenty.php?instr_id=10

 

I translated the whole thing, and it seems that the reed registers (I think there were 7 or 8 of them) were removed in 1928, and a "baroque" style Positive added to the instrument. The interesting thing is that the Celesta was available at various amplitudes, from ppp to ff.

 

If you find yourself struggling with the language and/or machine translations, then I would be happy to decipher for you John.

 

MM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Reed Organ Museum at Saltaire should be considered a national treasure for English organ building. Reed organs are a parallel development to nineteenth century/early twentieth century pipe organ history. I visited the museum on my first trip to the UK in 1987 and had a great time playing as many of the exhibits as I could. The warm welcome and invitation to have a go was most encouraging.

 

Included in the collection is a spledidly preserved example of a 3 manual John Holt of Birmingham as built for Marmaduke Conway to practice on when not on the Ely Cathedral console.

Also to be found is a reed organ by William Hill built very much in the style of the smaller church organs.

 

I'm a great fan of John Holt reed organs as I owned one for quite awhile and several were exported to NZ in the 20s. There are several two manual and one three manual preserved here. These 3 manual models have pedal 32s. The full swell effect on my Holt was most appealing as was the Great Clarinet. The engineering was very creditable.

 

I look forward to visiting Saltaire again when I am the guest of the Bradford and Halifax Organists Associations for a lecture on New Zealand Organ History in November.

 

We also have an interesting 'compensating' reed organ in the Roman Catholic Church of Lyttelton near Christchurch. Reeds plus one Open Diapason 8' rank.

Again, perfectly preserved and very loved. Caleb Simper sounds ideal!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Reed Organ Museum at Saltaire should be considered a national treasure for English organ building. Reed organs are a parallel development to nineteenth century/early twentieth century pipe organ history. I visited the museum on my first trip to the UK in 1987 and had a great time playing as many of the exhibits as I could. The warm welcome and invitation to have a go was most encouraging.

 

Included in the collection is a spledidly preserved example of a 3 manual John Holt of Birmingham as built for Marmaduke Conway to practice on when not on the Ely Cathedral console.

Also to be found is a reed organ by William Hill built very much in the style of the smaller church organs.

 

I look forward to visiting Saltaire again when I am the guest of the Bradford and Halifax Organists Associations for a lecture on New Zealand Organ History in November.

 

We also have an interesting 'compensating' reed organ in the Roman Catholic Church of Lyttelton near Christchurch. Reeds plus one Open Diapason 8' rank.

Again, perfectly preserved and very loved. Caleb Simper sounds ideal!!

 

Hi

 

The big Holt has been sold on recently, so is no longer at Saltaire (which is a shame - it's a nice instrument). The collection does change, as some instruments are sold and others obtained - although the basic collection remains "not for sale". I'm a regular visitor, and will be playing there for an event in September.

 

Maybe I'll meet you at the Bradford Organists' Association event - it's in the diary, but I'm not sure if I can get there yet.

 

I would be interested in details and pictures of the hybrid reef/pipe organ you mention - sounds fascinating. Do the pipes actually stay in tune with the reeds?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MM

 

Many thanks for the details of the web site for the Polish organ. This is very interesting, even though I don't understand (and wouldn't begin to try to pronounce!) the Polish text.

 

TN

 

I do have a photo of the pipe/free-reed hybrid, but I can't work out how to include it in this post. There must be a way, as I have seen pictures posted on this forum. Perhaps someone will advise me, then the picture will be there for all to see. I didn't ask Phil, but I suspect there would be problems keeping the flue pipes in tune with the free reeds, due to temperature fluctuations.

 

I also have a photo of the enharmonic reed organ at the museum which I could include. This comprises up to seven keyboards (three present at the moment), thus providing up to seven different notes for each semitone. Looking at it, I am sure it would be a nightmare to play, although I understand it was primarily for demonstration and experimentation with different temperaments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi Michael,

 

I was very interested to see your note. I was allowed by Phil Fluke to play the large 3MP Holt in the Saltaire collection a couple of years ago. It is amazing!

 

I am doing historical research on English-built reed organs. I would very much appreciate more information about the Holt or other ROs in NZ, especially of course the 3MP.

 

If you would like to see what I am doing, take a look at:

 

http://tardis.dl.ac.uk/FreeReed/English/organ_book

 

I hope you will find it interesting.

 

Best wishes, Rob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi John,

 

BTW I noticed your address - I am in Warrington, but exciled Derby lad!

 

Anyway, there are a few composite organs around. Louis Huivenaar of the Netherlands recently sent me some phots which look quite modern of a compined reed/pipe instrument with pipes said to be by Harris and Son. I could send you a copy. Unfortunately I don't have much information about who built it or where it is now...

 

Regards, Rob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Rob

 

It would be interesting for several contributors if you could post the photos on this site.

 

Should you manage this, please let me know how you did it! I tried to post some a while ago (see my posts in this thread) but couldn't work out how to do it!

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...