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MusingMuso

Disposing of organs on e-bay

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MusingMuso    0

I see there's yet another organ for sale on e-bay; this time a small two manual in a Methodist Church.

 

I love the wording in the listing:-

 

With the change in our style of worship and the lack of an organist the Church Council are seeking to depose of the instrument to a good home.

 

What is wrong with these people?

 

Would we ever see other artefacts on e-bay?

 

"Medieval font for disposal, which is no longer used"

 

"18,210 pieces of sundry stained-glass for sale. Buyer to make arrangements with double-glazing specialist."

 

"12 really scary gargoyles; suitable for halloween parties. No longer required due to replacement drainage."

 

"Great west door of York Minster; suitable for restoration. Needs sanding down and re-varnishing."

 

 

Is it just me that's completely fed up with the present crop of iconocastic fools, who think that their style of worship is the be all and end all?

 

Cromwell must be laughing in his grave.

 

MM

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Alas, in many ways you could be right. A combination of trendy clerics and half-witted "songwriters" with neither the musical nor the theological acumen are taking over (mind you, I do quite like some of Stuart Townsend's songs which display a considerably higher standard of musicianship than most of Kendrick's slowdive curve into cyclical banality) and the sad thing is that most youngsters have never heard a canticle or psalm.

 

Our church is fortunately far better than many in as much as we have a combination of good hymns to open and close the service with three songs in between. No-one has yet questioned my voluntaries or what I play during the Communion (Elevazione, Falsas and some later German Unter der Wandlung), neither do I expect them to, unlike some churches in the diocese in which one hears of all manner of horrors being thrust upon the longsuffering organist. Cromwell's descendent's are indeed alive and well in certain areas. We msut resist as long as we can by whatever method we can.

 

John

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Could the Holt 3-manual reed organ currently on e-bay be the ex-Marmaduke Conway/Saltaire collection instrument? Perhaps our esteemed expert on such matters, Tony Newnham, would confirm or otherwise?

 

CP

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JohnR    0
I see there's yet another organ for sale on e-bay; this time a small two manual in a Methodist Church.

 

I love the wording in the listing:-

 

With the change in our style of worship and the lack of an organist the Church Council are seeking to depose of the instrument to a good home.

 

What is wrong with these people?

 

Would we ever see other artefacts on e-bay?

 

"Medieval font for disposal, which is no longer used"

 

"18,210 pieces of sundry stained-glass for sale. Buyer to make arrangements with double-glazing specialist."

 

"12 really scary gargoyles; suitable for halloween parties. No longer required due to replacement drainage."

 

"Great west door of York Minster; suitable for restoration. Needs sanding down and re-varnishing."

 

 

Is it just me that's completely fed up with the present crop of iconocastic fools, who think that their style of worship is the be all and end all?

 

Cromwell must be laughing in his grave.

 

MM

 

There have been cases where an organ has been 'thrown out' and then been lovingly restored in another church nearby. Members of the organs original home have heard the restored instrument and wondered what on earth

they have done.

 

John R

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Could the Holt 3-manual reed organ currently on e-bay be the ex-Marmaduke Conway/Saltaire collection instrument? Perhaps our esteemed expert on such matters, Tony Newnham, would confirm or otherwise?

 

CP

 

Hi

 

It seems that Ian has already answered this - I've not seen the advert anyway. Holt built 2 large 3 manual reed organs, the ex Conway one and another, very similar one - I'm not sure what happened to that, but I understand the ex-Conway instrument is in good hands, having been restored by Cambridge reed Organs. I played it when it was at Saltaire - an impressive beast.

 

Most Holts were 2mp (or even just 2m) and fulfilled the role that they were intended for (i.e. pipe organ substitue/practice instrument - similar to current electronics) competently.

 

every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

It seems that Ian has already answered this - I've not seen the advert anyway. Holt built 2 large 3 manual reed organs, the ex Conway one and another, very similar one - I'm not sure what happened to that, but I understand the ex-Conway instrument is in good hands, having been restored by Cambridge reed Organs. I played it when it was at Saltaire - an impressive beast.

 

Most Holts were 2mp (or even just 2m) and fulfilled the role that they were intended for (i.e. pipe organ substitue/practice instrument - similar to current electronics) competently.

 

every Blessing

 

Tony

 

 

I also played that organ on a visit to Saltaire quite some years ago, and found the Conway connection interesting as I have a copy of his book 'Playing the Church Organ'.

 

CP

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I see there's yet another organ for sale on e-bay; this time a small two manual in a Methodist Church.

 

I love the wording in the listing:-

 

With the change in our style of worship and the lack of an organist the Church Council are seeking to depose of the instrument to a good home.

 

What is wrong with these people?

 

Would we ever see other artefacts on e-bay?

 

"Medieval font for disposal, which is no longer used"

 

"18,210 pieces of sundry stained-glass for sale. Buyer to make arrangements with double-glazing specialist."

 

"12 really scary gargoyles; suitable for halloween parties. No longer required due to replacement drainage."

 

"Great west door of York Minster; suitable for restoration. Needs sanding down and re-varnishing."

 

 

Is it just me that's completely fed up with the present crop of iconocastic fools, who think that their style of worship is the be all and end all?

 

Cromwell must be laughing in his grave.

 

MM

 

But where are Cromwell's bones? I have been trying to establish the whereabouts of a certain Rector's bones which were with his Mother's (and his wife went in as well for good measure). The graveyard was sold to Tesco for use as a car park and the local "Bereavement Services" have been very helpful in looking through the re-interments, although they can't trace the Rector. Needless to say the Church have not answered a single letter of enquiry. If ebay had been around then I wonder if they would have sold the bones. Might as well just put me out with the re-cycling.

PJW

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innate    0
But where are Cromwell's bones?

Cromwell’s head is buried (after an extraordinary series of adventures) in an unmarked spot in the grounds of a Cambridge College but I don't know where the rest of him ended up.

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Hi

 

It seems that Ian has already answered this - I've not seen the advert anyway. Holt built 2 large 3 manual reed organs, the ex Conway one and another, very similar one - I'm not sure what happened to that, but I understand the ex-Conway instrument is in good hands, having been restored by Cambridge reed Organs. I played it when it was at Saltaire - an impressive beast.

 

Most Holts were 2mp (or even just 2m) and fulfilled the role that they were intended for (i.e. pipe organ substitue/practice instrument - similar to current electronics) competently.

 

every Blessing

 

Tony

 

 

Little Waldingfield Church, Suffolk used to have a 3m and pedal harmonium - an ornate North American job with fake pipes on the top. It was replaced in the early seventies (?) by a Philicorda (remember them?), which looked a good deal more incongruous. However, in 1990 Peter Bumstead installed the organ from St. Mary's, Thetford, the basis of which is by Hart of Redgrave (1809), enlarged by the Normans. It's a very fine example of a Victorian organ, and fits its allotted space as though it were made for it, but I wish I knew what happened to that monster harmonium.

 

East Mersea Church, Essex, had a fairly big 2m and pedal harmonium, which was replaced by a neat little 3 rank unit organ by Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt in 1971.

 

There is/was a rather fine sounding reed organ - 2m, no pedals - in St. John's, Upper Norwood, Surrey. I wonder if it's still there (it's a long time since I was farmed out there one Sunday as part of an RSCM Young Organists' Course in 1970).

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MusingMuso    0
Cromwell's head is buried (after an extraordinary series of adventures) in an unmarked spot in the grounds of a Cambridge College but I don't know where the rest of him ended up.

 

 

===========================

 

Well at least they had the pleasure of decapitating him. The rest of him was probably dragged around various cloisters by a fast horse, until he eventually ended up at Tesco's.

 

What a fitting end for this dreadful man.

 

MM

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Cromwell’s head is buried (after an extraordinary series of adventures) in an unmarked spot in the grounds of a Cambridge College but I don't know where the rest of him ended up.

 

In the antechapel of Sidney Sussex College.

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Little Waldingfield Church, Suffolk used to have a 3m and pedal harmonium - an ornate North American job with fake pipes on the top. It was replaced in the early seventies (?) by a Philicorda (remember them?), which looked a good deal more incongruous. However, in 1990 Peter Bumstead installed the organ from St. Mary's, Thetford, the basis of which is by Hart of Redgrave (1809), enlarged by the Normans. It's a very fine example of a Victorian organ, and fits its allotted space as though it were made for it, but I wish I knew what happened to that monster harmonium.

 

East Mersea Church, Essex, had a fairly big 2m and pedal harmonium, which was replaced by a neat little 3 rank unit organ by Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt in 1971.

 

There is/was a rather fine sounding reed organ - 2m, no pedals - in St. John's, Upper Norwood, Surrey. I wonder if it's still there (it's a long time since I was farmed out there one Sunday as part of an RSCM Young Organists' Course in 1970).

 

Hi

 

The Little Waldingfield was probably actually an "American organ" (i.e. suction reed organ, rather than a true harmonium - but they can still be interesting & effective instruments - except for the Bell (Canadian) 2mp's - I've played a couple of these, and they - unlike Holt - have the usual reed organ divided stops (split treble & bass) - the upper manual having the distinction that not one rank runs through - the bass & treble halves are different sounds!

 

And yes - I do remember Philicorders!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

Little Waldingfield was probably actually an "American organ" (i.e. suction reed organ, rather than a true harmonium - but they can still be interesting & effective instruments - except for the Bell (Canadian) 2mp's - I've played a couple of these, and they - unlike Holt - have the usual reed organ divided stops (split treble & bass) - the upper manual having the distinction that not one rank runs through - the bass & treble halves are different sounds!

 

 

It was indeed, and a very striking looking beast, too. I have always assumed that most reed organs sucked (as it were), apart from French ones and some German ones in the same sort of style. There was a relatively modern 2m and pedal suction reed instrument by Jacot in Holm Church, Orkney, but it wasn't particularly robust.

 

Were Holts and Apollos suck or blow?

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Ian Ball    0
It was indeed, and a very striking looking beast, too. I have always assumed that most reed organs sucked (as it were), apart from French ones and some German ones in the same sort of style. There was a relatively modern 2m and pedal suction reed instrument by Jacot in Holm Church, Orkney, but it wasn't particularly robust.

 

Were Holts and Apollos suck or blow?

They suck!

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Little Waldingfield Church, Suffolk used to have a 3m and pedal harmonium - an ornate North American job with fake pipes on the top. It was replaced in the early seventies (?) by a Philicorda (remember them?), which looked a good deal more incongruous. However, in 1990 Peter Bumstead installed the organ from St. Mary's, Thetford, the basis of which is by Hart of Redgrave (1809), enlarged by the Normans. It's a very fine example of a Victorian organ, and fits its allotted space as though it were made for it, but I wish I knew what happened to that monster harmonium.

 

East Mersea Church, Essex, had a fairly big 2m and pedal harmonium, which was replaced by a neat little 3 rank unit organ by Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt in 1971.

 

There is/was a rather fine sounding reed organ - 2m, no pedals - in St. John's, Upper Norwood, Surrey. I wonder if it's still there (it's a long time since I was farmed out there one Sunday as part of an RSCM Young Organists' Course in 1970).

 

I used to have an old catalogue from the Mason & Hamlin company, and among the various models featured therein there were some big reed organs of up to 3m/Ped with the largest being named the 'Liszt', complete with 'pipes' on the facade. In the 80's the only organ at Ivychurch on the Romney Marsh in Kent was an electrically blown (sucked) reed organ of 2m. I don't suppose it was ever replaced with a pipe organ, as the church looked semi-redundant.

 

The first instrument I played on as an infant was an Estey organ, and it gained a fair price when we eventually sold it.

 

And the 'Philicorda'? Our tiny church had a reed organ until 1969, when we bought the little 'toaster'...it did the job for 25 years, but I was young then, and wouldn't like it now! I remember the 'church' version of the bigger 2m model, and the pedals which only played one note at a time. My school foolishly bought one for the hall in 1974, and it disappeared after just a few weeks, such were its failings. They would have had to get an Allen in those days if they wanted anything like a decent sound.....

 

CP

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I used to have an old catalogue from the Mason & Hamlin company, and among the various models featured therein there were some big reed organs of up to 3m/Ped with the largest being named the 'Liszt', complete with 'pipes' on the facade. In the 80's the only organ at Ivychurch on the Romney Marsh in Kent was an electrically blown (sucked) reed organ of 2m. I don't suppose it was ever replaced with a pipe organ, as the church looked semi-redundant.

CP

 

I have a vague idea that Browne's of Canterbury advertised the installation of a new unit organ at Ivychurch in the Organists' Review some years ago - or was it one of the other Marsh churches? I hope to be over there next month and if I get a chance to satisfy my enthusiasm for the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, I'll go and have a look. The only organ on the Marsh that I know personally is the Father Willis at Lydd - unless the Harrison at Hythe counts.

 

Old Romney church had a French reed organ which Tim Robbins (I think) restored.

 

Does anyone know what is in New Romney Church these days?

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I have a vague idea that Browne's of Canterbury advertised the installation of a new unit organ at Ivychurch in the Organists' Review some years ago - or was it one of the other Marsh churches? I hope to be over there next month and if I get a chance to satisfy my enthusiasm for the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, I'll go and have a look. The only organ on the Marsh that I know personally is the Father Willis at Lydd - unless the Harrison at Hythe counts.

 

Old Romney church had a French reed organ which Tim Robbins (I think) restored.

 

Does anyone know what is in New Romney Church these days?

 

The Browne organ you refer to is at St.Mary in the Marsh, if my memory serves me correctly. A west-end job with detached console.

 

CP

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The Browne organ you refer to is at St.Mary in the Marsh, if my memory serves me correctly. A west-end job with detached console.

 

CP

 

Yes, just checked NPOR, and it's ref K00730

 

CP

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Currently there are several pipe organs listed on ebay. Two strike me as interesting because they illustrate the sort of straightforward mechanical action organ built frequently in the 19th century and into the early 20th, compared to the rather extreme use of extension sometimes used later in the 20th. Both are by reputable builders.

 

The first is by Speechly. The listing is due to expire in a couple of days' time but I'll give it anyway:

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/171884826173?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

Sometimes you can still see an item after its sell-by date, but the item ID is 171884826173. This also sometimes enables you to find it retrospectively.

 

This organ has 10 speaking stops and 534 pipes. The seller says it is in Brecon but there is no NPOR entry for a Speechly organ there, even though s/he gives a screenshot of what looks like part of a web page taken from NPOR.

 

The second organ is by Walker. Its link is:

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/252049039304?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

and the item ID is 252049039304.

 

It has 84% of the pipes of the Speechly if my arithmetic is correct (450 vs 534), yet 120% more speaking stops (22 vs 10).

 

I do not dismiss extension organs out of hand as some of them can be moderately musical and useful to my mind. However this one seems to take things to extreme, and in some respects it also appears wasteful. However I have no idea what the customer might have insisted on, so it would be unfair to heap all criticism onto the makers. There are only 4 ranks, none of which is a reed whereas the Speechly has one. Moreover, one of the flue ranks is a 3 rank mixture duplicated on both manual divisions. (Thus one could argue that the mixture occupies three ranks, but as far as I can see all of them are treated electrically as just one and denoted as 'rank D' in the stop list). The whole thing is enclosed, thus it seems juvenile to denote one of the divisions as a 'swell organ'. Even providing couplers could be criticised as fairly pointless if not wasteful, though with care there could be some occasions when they would add something which the intrinsic extension does not provide, I suppose.

 

I wonder rhetorically which one I would prefer to play. I never make such a decision about any organ that I have not played, or at least heard in its environment, and I have played nor heard neither of these. The Walker electric console would probably be easier to manage provided the action is still in good condition, but the fact that only flue ranks are provided, together with the somewhat excessive use of extension (to my mind) is a potential disadvantage.

 

I must admit that I am only posting this message, which some might quite reasonably consider time-wasting, because of the appalling weather. Both yesterday and today I donned gardening clothes, determined to do something about the summer's crop of weeds, only to be driven in again after less than half an hour on both occasions, covered in mud and in a correspondingly filthy frame of mind. I hope members will not think I am taking out my frustrations on them.

 

CEP

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This organ has 10 speaking stops and 534 pipes. The seller says it is in Brecon but there is no NPOR entry for a Speechly organ there, even though s/he gives a screenshot of what looks like part of a web page taken from NPOR.

 

Could it be Gary Owens's firm who have collected it somewhere and are selling it on? He's based in Brecon.

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Could it be Gary Owens's firm who have collected it somewhere and are selling it on? He's based in Brecon.

 

Yes, I think it is. The instrument is also advertised as a used one on his website - see:

 

http://www.go-organbuilders.org.uk/usedpipeorgans/

 

However I didn't want to blow his cover, though I can't really see that it matters. The additional publicity here can't but help, and I can't see that it breaches forum guidelines on advertising because it's not Gary himself who is doing it, and I have no connection whatever with his firm. So purely altruistic, m'lud ...

 

CEP

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