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All Saints, Rackenford, Devon


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Mrs H. and I are off to the fringes of Exmoor for a couple of weeks next month and as usual I have had a look on NPOR for any instruments in the area.

 

This organ is within 1.5 miles of the farm cottage that we are renting and I wonder if anyone on here knows the instrument, which on paper looks quite interesting.

 

Thank you.

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Mrs H. and I are off to the fringes of Exmoor for a couple of weeks next month and as usual I have had a look on NPOR for any instruments in the area.

 

This organ is within 1.5 miles of the farm cottage that we are renting and I wonder if anyone on here knows the instrument, which on paper looks quite interesting.

 

Thank you.

 

I don't know that one, but old Bevingtons are interesting. There is one very similar to this at Hilborough, Norfolk (NPOR N06363), but it also has a Sesquialtera 17.19.22 on the Great. What fascinates me about it is that the case appears to be a lot older than the organ and is very similar, but on a larger scale, to the old case (formerly attributed to Father Smith) at Staunton Harold. The Great is in the case, but the Swell is tacked on at the back. I've never met anyone else who has thought about this particular example, which strikes me as being potentially a lot more important in historical terms than has been realised. Incidentally, it's a nice organ too, and features on the BIOS soundfiles.

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  • 1 month later...

I was unable to find anyone in the village who was able to open the organ for me and the single Sunday service was at a time which clashed with other activities. Pity, as I should like to have heard it and even had a play - a first for me on an instrument with a short compass pedal.

 

The organ has quite attractively decorated front pipes in blue and gold and from what I could see from the floor was in clean condition. Next time maybe...

 

Photos sent to NPOR.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I don't know that one, but old Bevingtons are interesting. There is one very similar to this at Hilborough, Norfolk (NPOR N06363), but it also has a Sesquialtera 17.19.22 on the Great. What fascinates me about it is that the case appears to be a lot older than the organ and is very similar, but on a larger scale, to the old case (formerly attributed to Father Smith) at Staunton Harold. The Great is in the case, but the Swell is tacked on at the back. I've never met anyone else who has thought about this particular example, which strikes me as being potentially a lot more important in historical terms than has been realised. Incidentally, it's a nice organ too, and features on the BIOS soundfiles.

 

 

I have just remembered that there is a very nice, to the best of my knowledge, original Bevington instrument in Slaidburn Parish Church, West Yorks. A plaque on the case informs the reader that the instrument was exhibited at The Great Exhibition.

 

The church purchased the instrument but the only location for it, considering the size of the building .was at the West End directly in front of the door. Access to the church has been via the side door ever since!!

 

Not had a the opportunity to hear this instrument but I am sure some perusers of this site have more details. Good to know that at least this instrument has survived the passing and ravages of time.

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I don't know that one, but old Bevingtons are interesting. There is one very similar to this at Hilborough, Norfolk (NPOR N06363), but it also has a Sesquialtera 17.19.22 on the Great. What fascinates me about it is that the case appears to be a lot older than the organ and is very similar, but on a larger scale, to the old case (formerly attributed to Father Smith) at Staunton Harold. The Great is in the case, but the Swell is tacked on at the back. I've never met anyone else who has thought about this particular example, which strikes me as being potentially a lot more important in historical terms than has been realised. Incidentally, it's a nice organ too, and features on the BIOS soundfiles.

 

The organ belonging to the late David Sanger, in his converted chapel in Cumbria, is a Bevington first built for a private house. Awkward to play in many respects for all but David himself, it has Swell/Great stops on opposite sides to the normal layout, a straight flat 'board, trigger swell, no compositions, and no help whatever from an acoustic! Every note (or fault) tells, and even eminent professionals have found it a challenge. However, its tone and quality of construction have to be admired. More remarkable is the fact that this basically humble and modest 'chapel organ' has been used for a repertoire normally performed on much greater instruments! David would never have entertained the notion of 'Hauptwerk' for home practice!

 

CP

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The organ belonging to the late David Sanger, in his converted chapel in Cumbria, is a Bevington first built for a private house. Awkward to play in many respects for all but David himself, it has Swell/Great stops on opposite sides to the normal layout, a straight flat 'board, trigger swell, no compositions, and no help whatever from an acoustic! Every note (or fault) tells, and even eminent professionals have found it a challenge. However, its tone and quality of construction have to be admired. More remarkable is the fact that this basically humble and modest 'chapel organ' has been used for a repertoire normally performed on much greater instruments! David would never have entertained the notion of 'Hauptwerk' for home practice!

 

CP

 

 

Yes, that's an instrument of real character and surprisingly versatile if one takes the trouble to work at it. It's of interest also because David played it as a teenager in its original home in South London.

 

John Norman summed Bevingtons up in 'The Organs of Britain' by saying 'They are worth hanging on to, even if they do not rank as great art', which I think is fair comment. They are good workhorses, which is more than can be said for quite a lot of other instruments. Some of the later ones were gormless (like the one now at Little Horkesley, Essex, NPOR D00237), but generally they are solid and pleasant little jobs. Shimpling, Suffolk (NPOR D00553) is typical of a good small Bevington. They exported about half a dozen to Newfoundland. I gave a recital on the one at Collins Cove (Open, Claribel, Gamba, Principal, Flute, octave coupler, Pedal Bourdon). A fairly late one (1905 - bought by subscription by local fishermen and brought over from London by a ship returning from a delivery of cod), it has 58 note compass and a full compass pedal stop, so you can do quite a lot with it. Nice Acoustics too. A similar but earlier one at Trinity is still hand-blown, although there is electricity in the church. The jewel of the collection is in the United Church at Brigus: Double Diapason and Bourdon Bass, Open, Lieblich Gedact, Bell Gamba, Principal, Harmonic Flute, Mixture and prepared-for Cornopean. It illustrates the toughness of the breed. It was pushed bodily up against the back wall to make way for a Hammond which squats in front of it (itself largely superseded by an electronic keyboard) and the blower was disconnected. However, it still plays and there's nothing wrong with it that an afternoon's work wouldn't put right. It really is quite a splendid little job, and handsome too, with its painted pipes (with milled edges like most Bevingtons). The church shares a minister and organist with the next-door settlement of Cupids, where the UC has a small Forster & Andrews - very nice, well-built and worthy but dull. Bevingtons may be a little lacking in finesse, but at least they are interesting.

 

Kilkenny Cathedral (the Church of Ireland one) has a sizeable 3 manual Bevington which was built for an Exhibition in Dublin. When I knew it, it was impressive but decrepit. By now, Trevor Crowe should have finished a major restoration, also turning it round to speak better into the church, and I would imagine that it's very well worth a visit.

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