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Loss Of Two Victorian Organs


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Having never heard an organ by Forster & Andrews, I was slightly saddened to see that one of their organs has now been obliterated: the church at Radford Semele, Warwickshire was destroyed (except for the tower) by fire in the earliy hours on 16th March 2008. The church is to be rebuilt, however.




Organ: Forster & Andrews, 1891 [NPOR N05891]

2 manuals, 9 stops, 478 pipes


Also gone, back in December 2007, went the church - and organ - at St. Thomas, Newhey, Greater Manchester. This was an arson, however, and someone is likely to get a custodial sentence for it: he has been found guilty of the offence.




Organ: Wordsworth & Maskell, 1876 [NPOR R00610]

2 manuals, 17 stops, 926 pipes


Aren't Wordsworth & Maskell a rare maker nowadays?



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Aren't Wordsworth & Maskell a rare maker nowadays?







I vividly recall the thrill I had when I first heard the Laycock & Bannister re-build at Skipton PC in North Yorkhire. Originally a blunderbuss Rushworth & Dreaper 3-manual, the organ was totally re-cast, and much of the pipework which is now in the organ is by Wordsworth & Maskell, dating from 1866.


It's one of two remarkable organs created by the firm; the other one being the one that I play. Both benefitted from two fine tonal artists, one being a certain Mr Brown, who was a teacher at the local grammar school in Skipton, and the other being Denis Thurlow in the brief period in which he took over the company. The company closed some years ago.


The Skipton organ is just the most fabulous sound at the console or in the chancel, but due to a very poor acoustic, the instrument does not get out too well into the nave. That in no way detracts from the tonal quality of the instrument, which really is quite outstanding.


So at least a good chunk of W & M's pipework has been saved and re-used to good effect.





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