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St Patrick's Soho Square


Malcolm Kemp
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Having just come out of Foyles' today, and having a lot of spare time before my next appointment, I wandered into St Patrick's Soho Square for the first time in many years. After this coming weekend the congregation is moving out so that 12 months of (clearly) obviously needed restoration work can be done on the fabric. In the west gallery, where you would normally find the organ in a building of this Italianate design, is evidence of a music group. At the front of the nave - blocking the view of the altar from the pews - is the console of a toaster. The pipe organ, to the north of the sanctuary was in the process of being ripped out and a lot of wooden pipes, wind trunks &c., were piled up in a mess in the porch. The instrument in general and the console in particular, looked rather poor and worn out, a fact confirmed by looking at the NPOR entry - a very small, nondescript, 2 manual. Even so, it seems a shame to see a pipe organ dumped. Does anyone know anything further about what might be happening to the present instrument and what is proposed in the way of an organ when the church re-opens in a year's time? It looks as if the church is not exactly flush with money. I knew someone years ago who worshiped there and I got the impression then that it was very much a going concern.

 

Malcolm

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Having just come out of Foyles' today, and having a lot of spare time before my next appointment, I wandered into St Patrick's Soho Square for the first time in many years. After this coming weekend the congregation is moving out so that 12 months of (clearly) obviously needed restoration work can be done on the fabric. In the west gallery, where you would normally find the organ in a building of this Italianate design, is evidence of a music group. At the front of the nave - blocking the view of the altar from the pews - is the console of a toaster. The pipe organ, to the north of the sanctuary was in the process of being ripped out and a lot of wooden pipes, wind trunks &c., were piled up in a mess in the porch. The instrument in general and the console in particular, looked rather poor and worn out, a fact confirmed by looking at the NPOR entry - a very small, nondescript, 2 manual. Even so, it seems a shame to see a pipe organ dumped. Does anyone know anything further about what might be happening to the present instrument and what is proposed in the way of an organ when the church re-opens in a year's time? It looks as if the church is not exactly flush with money. I knew someone years ago who worshiped there and I got the impression then that it was very much a going concern.

 

Malcolm

NPOR lists a three manual at St Patrick Soho Square, with a grade two Historic Organ certificate - or did I mis-read something?

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NPOR lists a three manual at St Patrick Soho Square, with a grade two Historic Organ certificate - or did I mis-read something?

 

If the entry IS correct, this looks like a sad loss. A II/P 1793 John Gray - became III/P 1882 Hill.

 

H

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Google 'St Patrick Soho newsletter' you will find material on the organ in 2006. The latest (2009) still expresses an intent to restore it. Th NPOR entry is a complete muddle ( different sources mixed together ). I believe that there is sufficient Gray material for a useful restoration, and that's what the HOC was awarded for. There are only 2 manuals at the moment, though.

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Yes. I was judging on what it looked like as obviously it couldn't he heard but the console was clearly 20th cent.

 

Malcolm

 

The toaster is a three-manual Eminent Cantata with drawstops. Amps and speakers are on the West End gallery. This is a temporary instrument. I think the idea is that after the church restoration is completed the church will purchase a custom-built three-manual Eminent using the existing amps and speakers.

 

Richard

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The toaster is a three-manual Eminent Cantata with drawstops. Amps and speakers are on the West End gallery. This is a temporary instrument. I think the idea is that after the church restoration is completed the church will purchase a custom-built three-manual Eminent using the existing amps and speakers.

 

Richard

 

Custom built - How exciting! :)

 

DW

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Custom built - How exciting! :)

 

DW

 

Yes - sorry David - my use of wording was not well considered. I hope you accept my apologies! What I meant was, it isn't an "off the shelf" model so I am told. The spec will be unique, the console and layout will be specific for the church etc etc...tho I suspect whatever I say will be torched, and quite rightly so!

Best wishes

Richard

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  • 3 weeks later...
With such an historic original instrument surely funding can be found for a proper organ! However, does anyone know what has happened to the original, it sounds like it has gone on the skip.

 

I have just been into the church which is now gutted. It will be closed for one year. The floor is coming up, the walls are being replastered and the ceiling reguilded. Major construction will be carried out underneath to form new meeting rooms.

The organ was taken away as described earlier in another post...I found out that much did go for scrap (but only old casework which was late victorian, bellows and the like). The rest of it (pipework, soundboards, console etc) is, i think gone to Goetze and Gwynn. I assume that at somepoint, it is going to be rebuilt in the church?

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