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Dewsbury Minster


john carter
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While visiting Yorkshire last week, I was shown the major rebuilding work at Dewsbury Minster. I understand there is a scheme to install a 3/31 pipe organ originally by Booth of Wakefield, later rebuilt by Conacher, ex St. Marks Church, Dewsbury. Do any of the Northern based contributors to this board know anything of this scheme or the organ itself. Is it a project I should support?

 

John Carter

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While visiting Yorkshire last week, I was shown the major rebuilding work at Dewsbury Minster.  I understand there is a scheme to install a 3/31 pipe organ originally by Booth of Wakefield, later rebuilt by Conacher, ex St. Marks Church, Dewsbury.  Do any of the Northern based contributors to this board know anything of this scheme or the organ itself.  Is it a project I should support?

 

John Carter

 

Hi

 

Do you know who is doing the work? I've not heard anything about it, but Dewsbury is not too far away.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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To be honest I haven't found out a lot in the pub tonight, except to confirm who the builder is. Anyway, here's what I know from research and previous discussions with the organist at the Minster.

 

The National Pipe Organ Register tells a sorry story about this church. It had a Willis in 1890, which was rebuilt by Harisson's in 1920. The NPOR seems to indicate that a new organ was put in by a local builder in 1989, and there is a note from the surveyor saying that there was some considerable doubt about the fate of the Willis/Harrison pipework. This new instrument seems to have lasted only until the mid 1990's when it was removed - to the council tip, I suspect.

 

The electronic instrument started misfunctioning last year, and a five figure sum was quoted for repairing it. The PCC (now with a rector more sympathetic to music in the liturgy) questioned the wisdom of spending this sort of money every decade to keep an electronic instrument in working order. They consulted the diocesan organ adviser, who mentioned that the instrument from the now redundant St Mark's church in the town might be suitable.

 

Quotations were sought for relocating this instrument to the Minster, and as I recall the sums mentioned were a little more twice what was being quoted for repairing their electronic instrument. Anyway, they have managed to raise the funds and the job is now under way.

 

The work is being done by Andrew Carter of Wakefield. I seem to remember the organist telling me they were going to add a pedal reed.

 

Worthy of support? I think so. It is replacing an electronic instrument with real pipes, and bringing back into use a redundant instrument that might otherwise have rotted away, been vandalised or worse, and the job is being done by a reputable organbuilder.

 

And, as we know, there is great joy in heaven when a sinner repents ...

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To be honest I haven't found out a lot in the pub tonight, except to confirm who the builder is.  Anyway, here's what I know from research and previous discussions with the organist at the Minster.

 

The National Pipe Organ Register tells a sorry story about this church.  It had a Willis in 1890, which was rebuilt by Harisson's in 1920.  The NPOR seems to indicate that a new organ was put in by a local builder in 1989, and there is a note from the surveyor saying that there was some considerable doubt about the fate of the Willis/Harrison pipework.  This new instrument seems to have lasted only until the mid 1990's when it was removed - to the council tip, I suspect.

 

The electronic instrument started misfunctioning last year, and a five figure sum was quoted for repairing it.  The PCC (now with a rector more sympathetic to music in the liturgy) questioned the wisdom of spending this sort of money every decade to keep an electronic instrument in working order.  They consulted the diocesan organ adviser, who mentioned that the instrument from the now redundant St Mark's church in the town might be suitable.

 

Quotations were sought for relocating this instrument to the Minster, and as I recall the sums mentioned were a little more twice what was being quoted for repairing their electronic instrument.  Anyway, they have managed to raise the funds and the job is now under way.

 

The work is being done by Andrew Carter of Wakefield.  I seem to remember the organist telling me they were going to add a pedal reed.

 

Worthy of support?  I think so.  It is replacing an electronic instrument with real pipes, and bringing back into use a redundant instrument that might otherwise have rotted away, been vandalised or worse, and the job is being done by a reputable organbuilder.

 

And, as we know, there is great joy in heaven when a sinner repents ...

 

Sounds good Nick.

 

Could I ask you to let NPOR know when the work is finished? We can then get the records up-to-date. If I can find time, perhaps I'll try and visit the church - is it normally open?

 

Many Thanks

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Sounds good Nick.

 

Could I ask you to let NPOR know when the work is finished?  We can then get the records up-to-date.  If I can find time, perhaps I'll try and visit the church - is it normally open?

 

Many Thanks

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

 

Their website says the church is open 9 to 3.30.

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Thank you for the information, Nick. It sounds a very encouraging project. Those of us relying on electronics don't fare too badly, after all it's the music that matters most, but it is nice to hear of somewhere that is going back to real pipes.

 

May I hasten to add that though the surname is the same, I have no connection with Andrew Carter of Wakefield - unless that is, my current family history research proves otherwise!

 

John Carter

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