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jonadkins

Let's have a riot part deux

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...odd, then, that Tonbridge has been used for many recordings, in solo and accompanimental roles. Kevin Bowyer, Dame Gillian Weir, Simon Preston, Jeremy Filsell, Iain Farrington, Isabelle Demers, Sarah Baldock and many others have made successful recordings on it - a dull and colourless instrument would be a poor choice, I would have thought.

 

Maybe we need a forum 'law' that subjective judgements are made from personal experience and that hearsay evidence is inadmissable !

 

H

 

For the record, generally I try to avoid offering an opinion on specific instruments which I have not actually played - or at least heard live. However, the reviews to which I alluded appeared in Organists' Review and Choir & Organ (as far as I can remember). In the case of the Bridgewater Hall, the reviewer was, I believe, Roger Fisher, who had given the instrument a fairly thorough examination, within reasonable time-constraints.

 

I am not sure that this would class merely as 'hearsay'.

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For the record, generally I try to avoid offering an opinion on specific instruments which I have not actually played - or at least heard live. However, the reviews to which I alluded appeared in Organists' Review and Choir & Organ (as far as I can remember). In the case of the Bridgewater Hall, the reviewer was, I believe, Roger Fisher, who had given the instrument a fairly thorough examination, within reasonable time-constraints.

 

I am not sure that this would class merely as 'hearsay'.

 

Absolutely agreed. But a couple of ill-conceived jobs do not an entire reputation make. A certain very particular organ builder once presented me with a CD of fairly obscure music by a fairly obscure player, on the basis that he admired the (Marcussen) instrument tremendously and wished it to form a part of my education in voicing. Anyone who has first-hand knowledge of the person I am referring to will realise at once that there is, quite simply, no higher accolade.

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Good evening,

 

I am a new French member; I believe the instrument you described in this post is St Peter's Bournemouth which I knew quite a lot when (in the late sixties) I was a student and spent most of my holidays in Bournemouth.

I remember the H&H organ very well, particularly the Great Harmonics (one evening, I entered the church as I heard music being played: an lady organist was playing a Bach fugue with nearly full organ, adding the great Trombas for the last bars...I will never forget).

I wrote an article in the French quarterly "L'orgue" in January 1978, about Bournemouth's organs (at least some of them). At the time, my favorite organ was Christchurch Priory's, I mean the previous organ by Compton and Deggens.

 

I also heard the organ in Winborne Minster and its trumpet en chamade in the late 1970s or 1980s.

 

Unfortunately, my health does not allow me to travel at the moment, but I hope I will be able to come back in Bournemouth in the years to come.

 

Friendly yours.

PV

 

Hello PV and welcome. I am afraid you will find Bournemouth a very different place. The road on which St Peter's is situated is now end-to-end nightclubs, some open, some closed. Nightlife has completely taken over the area, and the churchyard is frequently host to rapes and acts of violence and at least one stabbing in the past three years. It is now sealed off at night.

 

The Harmonics were removed in 1976, along with the fine console (replaced with an upended fruit crate stained and varnished) and most of the reeds were revoiced.

 

I fear you would be well advised to spend your train fare on some other location! The Wimborne instrument is the only one of those which you mention to have survived more-or-less unchanged in its original form.

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Hello PV and welcome. I am afraid you will find Bournemouth a very different place. The road on which St Peter's is situated is now end-to-end nightclubs, some open, some closed. Nightlife has completely taken over the area, and the churchyard is frequently host to rapes and acts of violence and at least one stabbing in the past three years. It is now sealed off at night.

 

The Harmonics were removed in 1976, along with the fine console (replaced with an upended fruit crate stained and varnished) and most of the reeds were revoiced.

 

I fear you would be well advised to spend your train fare on some other location! The Wimborne instrument is the only one of those which you mention to have survived more-or-less unchanged in its original form.

 

Indeed - welcome, PV (Chamade78).

 

 

Sadly Heckelphone is entirely accurate in his assessment of Saint Peter's. The console is a particularly bad example of 1970s workmanship.

 

The organ of Wimborne Minster is indeed in much the same state as when you last heard it. The action works rather better than that at Saint Peter's, too - which is interesting, since this instrument has had various parts of the transmission replaced twice. The Minster key action still dates entirely from 1965 - and is as prompt and reliable as ever - thank goodness.

 

I noticed that the 'Mary Shelley steps' were boarded off with heavy-duty chipboard (or plywood), when I went to play last Sunday. I am also slightly shocked to learn of the stabbing.

 

A mumber of other instruments are now no more - or at least, have been removed to other locations. The Willis/GD&B, formerly at Saint Swithun's, currently resides in some form in a church in Suffolk, the name of which presently escapes me. I did find it on the internet* and there were a few photographs, which appeared to show a rather strange layout. It is possible that the organ is being rebuilt there over time, by the organist of the church.

 

 

 

 

* Unfortunately I am presently unable to locate the details of my previous search.

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Indeed - welcome, PV (Chamade78).

 

 

Sadly Heckelphone is entirely accurate in his assessment of Saint Peter's. The console is a particularly bad example of 1970s workmanship.

 

The organ of Wimborne Minster is indeed in much the same state as when you last heard it. The action works rather better than that at Saint Peter's, too - which is interesting, since this instrument has had various parts of the transmission replaced twice. The Minster key action still dates entirely from 1965 - and is as prompt and reliable as ever - thank goodness.

 

Transmission doesn't really make that much odds. Rusty, underpowered, low-budget lever magnets driving no fewer than seven different types and designs of action; leatherwork which in places dates back to 1914 (and in several places has been replaced with tosh, and in several more places has been replaced really quite badly). No amount of computing is going to overcome that.

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Transmission doesn't really make that much odds. Rusty, underpowered, low-budget lever magnets driving no fewer than seven different types and designs of action; leatherwork which in places dates back to 1914 (and in several places has been replaced with tosh, and in several more places has been replaced really quite badly). No amount of computing is going to overcome that.

 

 

This is true. One wonders what the budget for the 1976 work was. The Church Hall was sold, but whether the money was used to finance the organ rebuild, or was siphoned-off for some other purpose, I do not know.

 

It is interesting that the 1914 Choir Organ was on electric action (including the action for the extra octave of pipes to enable the Cor Anglais to function at 8ft. pitch), yet in 1976, R&D removed these pipes, stating that it could not be done with the new action. I would still like to know why - or was there some other reason?

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Indeed - welcome, PV (Chamade78).

 

A mumber of other instruments are now no more - or at least, have been removed to other locations. The Willis/GD&B, formerly at Saint Swithun's, currently resides in some form in a church in Suffolk, the name of which presently escapes me. I did find it on the internet* and there were a few photographs, which appeared to show a rather strange layout. It is possible that the organ is being rebuilt there over time, by the organist of the church.

 

 

 

 

* Unfortunately I am presently unable to locate the details of my previous search.

 

 

It's at Lavenham, one of the finest of the East Anglian 'wool' churches, where it replaced a slightly pepped-up two manual Conacher. The instigator of the move was the Vicar and the work is being carried out by amateurs but with help from Bishop & Son. I was interested to note that some of the extreme neo-classical stops on the Choir are being replaced by Victorian pipework originally in All Saint's, Shrub End, Colchester. this was a one manual supplied by Godball of Ipswich (he had a music shop on the Cornmarket and supplied organs which he got from a tame organ-builder). I remember this one because I was born and brought up about a mile from it. It was a decent little job but constricted in a chancel chamber, and was replaced by a second-hand extension organ from elsewhere in Essex. The latter was a fairly terrible thing. I gave a recital on it because of family connections (as it happened - I'll play anywhere!), but it really wasn't very nice and has itself been replaced by a toaster.

 

There are plans at Lavenham to add a solo division - dunno whether it will be on a fourth manual or share the lowest one. The church is big enough to take it. Another one to go see next time I'm home....

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Hmm, interesting about St P's, B. I had thought about going to look at the setup there, but something about it put me off. Now the enlightening discussion above confirms my reluctance.

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Hmm, interesting about St P's, B. I had thought about going to look at the setup there, but something about it put me off. Now the enlightening discussion above confirms my reluctance.

 

Come to visit Wimborne Minster, instead. The organ is, in my opinion, greatly superior to that at Saint Peter's - in its present state.

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Come to visit Wimborne Minster, instead. The organ is, in my opinion, greatly superior to that at Saint Peter's - in its present state.

 

And probably in any state.

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Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, Paisley, is no ordinary Baptist Church. It's a big cruciform building with a crown steeple. The four manual 1890 Hill is very fine indeed (that's another Hill that I like!). It also has the only Saxhorn stop I've ever met.

 

Paisley Abbey, of course - the best of the Downes organs known to me - a very cohesive and exciting job. Apart from the Downes connection, of course, one cannot think of this organ without George McPhee, who was organist at the time of the rebuild and is still there now. A fine musician and a splendid companion for a few drams.

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It's at Lavenham, one of the finest of the East Anglian 'wool' churches, where it replaced a slightly pepped-up two manual Conacher. The instigator of the move was the Vicar and the work is being carried out by amateurs but with help from Bishop & Son.

 

There are plans at Lavenham to add a solo division - dunno whether it will be on a fourth manual or share the lowest one. The church is big enough to take it. Another one to go see next time I'm home....

 

Thank you, David - not being able to recall the name of the church was driving me crazy. I have an idea that Lance Foy alos assisted in moving this instrument.

 

I played it once or twice (in its former location). I thought that at the time, it was a reasonably good organ, with some exciting chorus reeds. I cannot remember much about the quiet stop s- save that there were not many quiet sounds on this instrument.

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Reading this, I suddenly thought, "I wonder what has happened to Pierre Lauwers?" One of the most regular contributors in the past, we have not heard from him for ages. I hope everything is OK?

 

Mind you, we hadn't heard much from pcnd5584 lately. Last night's exchanges brought back some much missed spirit to the forum, which I greatly welcome after some difficult incidents in recent times. MM has certainly found a good way to get people talking.

 

I have sent Pierre a message of good wishes today, on the French board. As far as I can see, he posted on at least one thread there yesterday. I also said that we hoped to see him back here soon. I trust that other contributors do not object to my assumption* of an inclusive wish, here. I offered to say something controversial about Dulcianas, if it would help - so I hope that we shall 'see' Pierre here again in the near future.

 

Thank you for your kind comment, John. Things have been somewhat stressful, lately. However, it is nice to be back here again.

 

Perhaps a good outing is what we need. With this in mind, I am happy to suggest that board members would be welcome to come to Wimborne Minster - perhaps after the end of term - for a visit. I would need to check with my director and the churchwardens, of course. In addition, I would also need to fit the visit around weddings and tours; however, it should be possible to find a convenient time. Perhaps, if anyone is interested, they could either send me a PM, or let me know here.

 

As well as the attraction of the Minster, there are a number of good cafés and restaurants in the town - which is also pleasantly picturesque. We have two additional attractions over Saint Peter's, Bournemouth: we have not had a stabbing for several years and no part of the churchyard is boarded-off with heavy duty chipboard.

 

 

 

 

* Not in the BVM sense, of course.

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I have sent Pierre a message of good wishes today, on the French board. As far as I can see, he posted on at least one thread there yesterday. I also said that we hoped to see him back here soon. I trust that other contributors do not object to my assumption* of an inclusive wish, here.

 

I, too, miss his contributions. I hope he comes back.

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Yes - another of Rushworths' best, and very well matched to the building. I haven't heard it since it was restored and re-ordered, but I understand it's even better than it was.

 

Malvern Priory?

Yes, agreed (and with some bias).

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