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Chilmark & Teffont Evias


DaveHarries
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Hi all,

 

Have been in Wiltshire for some of the last couple of days. I was spending time in the area around the village of Chilmark. During my trip I photographed these two organs that I thought you all might be interested to look at. They are quite contrasting in appearance.

 

The first one is the nice Bevington in Chilmark Parish Church. This organ was, according to the church guidebook, given by a local resident in 1848. It is by Bevington & Sons of London but was restored, according to the NPOR - there is nothing fixed to the organ clarifying this - in 1966 by George Osmond, Taunton. Note that the small Chair case has dummy pipes made of wood.

 

I did get a go on this organ some years ago. Very nice instrument.

 

http://churchorgans.fotopic.net/p57615422.html

 

A sharp contrast can be found by looking at the organ of Teffont Evias. The village is located around 1 or 2 miles east (ie. towards Salisbury) of Chilmark. The NPOR says that this is an "Upton model" by "Scudamore". That sounds highly unlikely if you consider that, under an hour's drive from Teffont Evias, is a village called Upton Scudamore which is just the other side of the town of Warminster. As if to suggest that the NPOR's facts are mistaken a plaque attached to the case reads "Henry Willis, London".

 

This organ has an open top which shows all the pipes. There is also a full pedalboard but, on account of the apparent lack of a 16ft Bourdon, it should be assumed that the manual stops - of which there are 4 - are permanently coupled to the pedals.

 

The date of "1860s" that I have given is a guess. I think that there is a person on this forum connected with the Willis firm: I can't remember who the member is but is there any chance that he could look out the original date of Willis' installation of this organ and let me have it? I would be interested to know.

 

http://churchorgans.fotopic.net/p57615427.html

 

Any thoughts on these instruments?

 

HTIOI,

 

Dave

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The NPOR seems to indicate that the organ is an 'Upton' model from the 'Scudamore' range - made by Willis - this sounds sensible as far as I can remember.

 

The Scudamore organs were connected with the village of Upton Scudamore - somewhere I have an article which may have come from the late Julian Rhodes' website - which now incidentally seems not to exist - explaining the Willis/Scudamore connection along with someone I seem to remember was called Nelson Hall - there was also a Rev. John Baron involved somewhere along the line. There might even have been an article in one of the past BIOS Journals.

 

There is a similar instrument in the small chapel in the centre of Warminster with a particularly odd sideways on console. One or two others exist in this area - I might add that I live very close to both.

 

None of this - I hasten to add - should be confused with Keith Scudamore who operated down this way some years ago!

 

A

 

PS David Coram might know more.

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David Coram might know more.

 

... I think that's the highest compliment anyone's ever paid me!

 

All I know is that there's also one in Bratton, and that work is still being carried out under the name Keith Scudamore, by a son I think. I also know you should have gone an extra few miles to Tisbury, Heytesbury, Sutton Veny, Knook, Steeple Ashton and Westbury. Another day, perhaps.

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... I think that's the highest compliment anyone's ever paid me!

 

All I know is that there's also one in Bratton, and that work is still being carried out under the name Keith Scudamore, by a son I think. I also know you should have gone an extra few miles to Tisbury, Heytesbury, Sutton Veny, Knook, Steeple Ashton and Westbury. Another day, perhaps.

 

from BIOS Reporter April 2004 (http://www.npor.org.uk/Reporter/apr04.pdf)

 

The Pipe Rack and the Tractarians (research notes by Paul Tindall)

..............Street’s activities with cases seem to have been inspired by his collaboration with the Revd John Baron, though he also provided £1000 worth of ‘casework’ at Salisbury Cathedral, a hideous non-design which still afflicts the building. Baron’s book sets out the Tractarian position very instructively. He makes a call for truthfulness of design and function (later to be a Modernist position), and applies the same reasoning to the arrangement of organs, arguing that medieval churches ought to have medieval-looking organs; precedents are sought in the positives depicted by Raphael and Giotto, among others. Having decided that organs in country churches should be reduced to their essential parts, he presents various simple but attractively detailed designs by Street, who restored his church at Upton Scudamore. The first organs were made by the local craftsman Nelson Hall; one dated 1860 survives at St Lawrence’s, Warminster. In 1858 Willis took up the idea, and several such instruments can be found in the area, for instance at Bratton, Teffont Evias, Tilshead (ex Edington Priory) and Old Burghclere..............

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A sharp contrast can be found by looking at the organ of Teffont Evias. The village is located around 1 or 2 miles east (ie. towards Salisbury) of Chilmark. The NPOR says that this is an "Upton model" by "Scudamore". That sounds highly unlikely if you consider that, under an hour's drive from Teffont Evias, is a village called Upton Scudamore which is just the other side of the town of Warminster. As if to suggest that the NPOR's facts are mistaken a plaque attached to the case reads "Henry Willis, London".

 

Actually this sounds exactly right.

 

The "Scudamore" organs originated with the Rev. John Baron, vicar of Upton Scudamore, who came up with a design for a small inexpensive instrument to be installed in his church. This led to requests from incumbents of other small churches and Baron designed a series of small 2, 3 and 4 stop instruments which were initially build by Nelson Hall.

 

Around 1858 Henry Willis commercialised the idea and started building small instruments based on Baron's designs.

 

Laurence Elvin's book, "Forster and Andrews, Their Barrel, Chamber and Small Church Organs", contains a copy of Willis's prospectus for the "Scudamore Organs", which came in two basic models - the "Upton" and the "Douglas" and had a variety of specifications ranging from the most basic:

 

Open Diapason, metal from Gamut G to f3 in alt. Stopped Diapason, wood, from CC to FF#

 

to the most elaborate:

 

Open Diapason 8

Stopped Diapason or Dulciana 8

Principal 4

Fifteenth 2

 

According to Willis's prospectus (which, I think, dates from 1862) approximately 200 of these instruments had been built since 1858 although I suppose that it is possible that those numbers were inflated.

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