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Is there by any chance, please, some kind forum member who is able to send me a copy of the article printed in The Organ, vol. 39, pp.136ff? I think this may be an article about the old Hele organ at St Andrew's, Plymouth; at least it gets a mention, so I believe. I don't actually know whether the article itself starts on page 136; that may just be the reference that I've been given.

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Is there by any chance, please, some kind forum member who is able to send me a copy of the article printed in The Organ, vol. 39, pp.136ff? I think this may be an article about the old Hele organ at St Andrew's, Plymouth; at least it gets a mention, so I believe. I don't actually know whether the article itself starts on page 136; that may just be the references that I've been given.

 

Although no one seems interested to have my Organ magazines (see my earlier posting) I have not put them in the recycle bin yet!! But I am sorry to say that vol 39 pp 136 is about the Italian Church Hatton Garden, and a quick look in the index for vol 39 did not have anything to do with Plymouth :rolleyes: . Unfortunately I don't have a full set of indices.

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Oh dear! That was definitely the reference I was given, but obviously it's incorrect. Thank you very much for checking, anyway - and for the offer of the article. Much appreciated. I'll need to check with my informant.

 

I think the article I am seeking must be about the St Andrew's instrument since it refers to it being moved in 1874 and again in 1885 and these moves are corroborated by other sources. The writer also claimed that "The two Mixtures on the Great together with the three capital reeds suggest the work of Cavaillé-Coll". It has been suggested to me that this could possibly be the source of the (exceedingly suspect) claim on the NPOR that the 1885 work on the organ was done by Cavaillé-Coll.

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Is there by any chance, please, some kind forum member who is able to send me a copy of the article printed in The Organ, vol. 39, pp.136ff? I think this may be an article about the old Hele organ at St Andrew's, Plymouth; at least it gets a mention, so I believe. I don't actually know whether the article itself starts on page 136; that may just be the references that I've been given.

 

Hi

 

The correct reference is vol 10, no.39 p.166f. I have that and If you confirm you still need it I'll scan it and e-mail it to you later today (don't forget to let me have your e-mail address! A PM might be best). I acquired a few back numbers recently to help complete my collection, and this is in one of them.

 

BOA also has another ref. the Organ Vol.53, no.212 p.119, which I also have - it's part of the "Buckingham's Travels" series so anything included in it will refer to an early organ. Let me know if you want the relevant page(s) from that as well.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Although no one seems interested to have my Organ magazines (see my earlier posting) I have not put them in the recycle bin yet!! But I am sorry to say that vol 39 pp 136 is about the Italian Church Hatton Garden, and a quick look in the index for vol 39 did not have anything to do with Plymouth :blink: . Unfortunately I don't have a full set of indices.

Been out of things for a bit, too busy at work. If you haven't got rid of the magazines yet I will take them!

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Jonathan

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I think the article I am seeking must be about the St Andrew's instrument since it refers to it being moved in 1874 and again in 1885 and these moves are corroborated by other sources. The writer also claimed that "The two Mixtures on the Great together with the three capital reeds suggest the work of Cavaillé-Coll". It has been suggested to me that this could possibly be the source of the (exceedingly suspect) claim on the NPOR that the 1885 work on the organ was done by Cavaillé-Coll.

Somewhat after the event: but what was the result of your research, Vox?

 

David Harrison

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The article was fascinating and included a photo of the pre-1941 console which I hadn't seen previously, but didn't really illuminate the French question, so I ended up going back to the nineteenth-century parish magazines at St Andrew's - which of course is where I should have gone in the first place. Basically, as one might have predicted, it woz Hele's wot dunnit in 1884 (not Cavaillé-Coll in 1885). Hele's tinkered a bit with the Great, Swell and Choir, but their main work was the addition of a Solo Organ consisting of Gamba, Celeste (turned into a 4' Gambette in 1901), Harmonic Flutes 8' & 4', Vox Humana and Tuba mirabilis. The article Tony sent - which is actually about Harry Moreton as well as his organs - refers to this as "a solo organ of French make", but the source of the statement is not divulged. It could conceivably just refer to the specification of the division. On the other hand, it is perfectly possible that the author (Reginald Whitworth) was told this by Moreton. Hele's did sometimes use continental pipework before they set up their own metal casting facility in 1876. Even subsequently pressure of work sometimes led to them importing pipework from Laukhuff and probably others too. They are known to have used Cavaillé-Coll pipework on at least one occasion - at Upton, Torquay - so it is not beyond possibility that the St Andrew's Solo Organ came from France. However I have still to find any confirmation of Cavaillé-Coll's name in connection with St Andrew's.

 

The big transformation of the organ from the Parsons/Gray and Davison instrument to an out-and-out Hele occurred in 1895 and Moreton's account is enough to make you weep:

 

"Without speaking disrespectfully, the organ was then [1885] merely a specimen of an old-fashioned and out-of-date instrument, with a poor, thin tone, utterly incapable of holding together the increasingly large congregations ... I drew up a specification which, in my judgment, I considered would result in the possession of an organ ... capable of sustaining a large body of voices, and supplying that grand, massive tone which is required for leading congregational singing ... Of the old Great Organ only four stops remain, the
daille
[sic - goodness knows what was meant],
clarabella
,
second open diapason
, and
trumpet
, the latter having been revoiced, and new vibrators inserted, and placed on "heavier wind." The remainder of the pipes was absolutely worthless, the metal being too thin to stand revoicing. Twelve new stops were therefore added to this manual by Messrs. Hele..."

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Vox - this sounds fascinating.

 

Is there any chance of seeing a copy of the photograph of the pre-1941 console, please?

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Although no one seems interested to have my Organ magazines (see my earlier posting)

 

I did not see your "earlier posting". Presumably it was an offer to sell your collection of Organ magazines.

 

Would you send me details? David Rogers verdi6@talktalk.net

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Although no one seems interested to have my Organ magazines (see my earlier posting)

 

I did not see your "earlier posting". Presumably it was an offer to sell your collection of Organ magazines.

 

Would you send me details? David Rogers verdi6@talktalk.net

 

 

I did see your earlier posting; I then sent you a PM, to which you replied, to the effect that someone had already made an offer for them. If this is not the case, I too may still be interested in them....

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Basically, as one might have predicted, it woz Hele's wot dunnit in 1884 (not Cavaillé-Coll in 1885). Hele's tinkered a bit with the Great, Swell and Choir, but their main work was the addition of a Solo Organ

Actually I am quite probably wrong in dating the Solo Organ to this rebuild. 1884 is the first specification I have seen that mentions it (so NPOR is clearly wrong in stating that it was added in 1909), but there is nothing to say that it did not already exist. Moreton told Whitworth that it was added in 1874 (in which year the church was extensively re-ordered by Gilbert Scott) and this could well be correct. He doesn't say who did the work, so Hele's might still have been responsible, but there is also the mysterious "Mr Rider" (from Bristol?) to account for. Does anyone know who this might have been?

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Actually I am quite probably wrong in dating the Solo Organ to this rebuild. 1884 is the first specification I have seen that mentions it (so NPOR is clearly wrong in stating that it was added in 1909), but there is nothing to say that it did not already exist. Moreton told Whitworth that it was added in 1874 (in which year the church was extensively re-ordered by Gilbert Scott) and this could well be correct. He doesn't say who did the work, so Hele's might still have been responsible, but there is also the mysterious "Mr Rider" (from Bristol?) to account for. Does anyone know who this might have been?

I'm not sure anyone is really interested, but I found the answer to this. In 1875 St Andrew's was completely revamped by Sir Gilbert Scott. As part of his alterations the west gallery containing the organ was taken down. A day or two before the re-opening on 31 March 1875, there was a press viewing and a couple of reports appeared in the local papers. They relate that the organ had now been moved to a chapel in the north transept and enlarged to four manuals. According to one report, the work was done by a "Mr Rider of Ball-street, Kensington-square (A Plymouth man, by the way)". The other report spells the name "Ryder"; presumably the press were told the name verbally. The new Solo manual had the six stops noted above; the two Harmonic Flutes and the Tuba mirabilis were on high pressure. Rider also introduced penumatic lever action and a "Sforzando" pedal that engaged and disengaged full Great (presumably by blind action?)

 

What I still do not know was what work was done on the Gray & Davison organ by Speechly in 1870. Do the records of this firm still survive? (And is it Speechly or Speechley? I couldn't get any sense out of Google and even NPOR isn't consistent.)

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I did not see your "earlier posting". Presumably it was an offer to sell your collection of Organ magazines.

 

Would you send me details? David Rogers verdi6@talktalk.net

 

 

 

I did see your earlier posting; I then sent you a PM, to which you replied, to the effect that someone had already made an offer for them. If this is not the case, I too may still be interested in them....

 

Yes I have given the magazines away - thank you for your interest.

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The article was fascinating and included a photo of the pre-1941 console which I hadn't seen previously, but didn't really illuminate the French question, so I ended up going back to the nineteenth-century parish magazines at St Andrew's - which of course is where I should have gone in the first place. Basically, as one might have predicted, it woz Hele's wot dunnit in 1884 (not Cavaillé-Coll in 1885). Hele's tinkered a bit with the Great, Swell and Choir, but their main work was the addition of a Solo Organ consisting of Gamba, Celeste (turned into a 4' Gambette in 1901), Harmonic Flutes 8' & 4', Vox Humana and Tuba mirabilis. The article Tony sent - which is actually about Harry Moreton as well as his organs - refers to this as "a solo organ of French make", but the source of the statement is not divulged. It could conceivably just refer to the specification of the division. On the other hand, it is perfectly possible that the author (Reginald Whitworth) was told this by Moreton. Hele's did sometimes use continental pipework before they set up their own metal casting facility in 1876. Even subsequently pressure of work sometimes led to them importing pipework from Laukhuff and probably others too. They are known to have used Cavaillé-Coll pipework on at least one occasion - at Upton, Torquay - so it is not beyond possibility that the St Andrew's Solo Organ came from France. However I have still to find any confirmation of Cavaillé-Coll's name in connection with St Andrew's.

 

The big transformation of the organ from the Parsons/Gray and Davison instrument to an out-and-out Hele occurred in 1895 and Moreton's account is enough to make you weep:

"Without speaking disrespectfully, the organ was then [1885] merely a specimen of an old-fashioned and out-of-date instrument, with a poor, thin tone, utterly incapable of holding together the increasingly large congregations ... I drew up a specification which, in my judgment, I considered would result in the possession of an organ ... capable of sustaining a large body of voices, and supplying that grand, massive tone which is required for leading congregational singing ... Of the old Great Organ only four stops remain, the
daille
[sic - goodness knows what was meant],
clarabella
,
second open diapason
, and
trumpet
, the latter having been revoiced, and new vibrators inserted, and placed on "heavier wind." The remainder of the pipes was absolutely worthless, the metal being too thin to stand revoicing. Twelve new stops were therefore added to this manual by Messrs. Hele..."

 

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

 

 

I may be wrong, so don't quote me, but if the Vox Humana is still with us, the giveaway would be the use of pure-tin, which I understand was the usual thing for Cavaille-Coll.

 

MM

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I may be wrong, so don't quote me, but if the Vox Humana is still with us, the giveaway would be the use of pure-tin, which I understand was the usual thing for Cavaille-Coll.

Now this is fascinating. Can anyone else confirm this, please?

 

Sadly, this organ was destroyed in the blitz, but, luckily enough, the press report that lists the specification actually states against each stop whether it is wood or metal - except for the solo, where it simply says "6 stops - all tin"!

 

Edit: I'm learning. Google threw up this, which is useful, and also a remark in Stephen Bicknell's book that Ducroquet's organ for the Great Exhibition of 1851 "glittered with pipes of nearly pure tin in the French tradition." Then there's a comment here about "Cavaillé-Coll's 97 percent tin pipes".

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Now this is fascinating. Can anyone else confirm this, please?

 

Sadly, this organ was destroyed in the blitz, but, luckily enough, the press report that lists the specification actually states against each stop whether it is wood or metal - except for the solo, where it simply says "6 stops - all tin"!

 

 

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

 

 

It'a not that fascinating because the Cavaille-Coll name was so prestigious, along with that of Schulze, both organ-builders supplied, (or perhaps had supplied), pipes which bore their origin.

 

Local to me is an interesting organ, which I mentioned a few years ago. A fairly ordinary but worthy Laycock & Bannister organ from the 19th century, was added to at very considerable cost. I think I'm right in suggesting that the solitary Vox Humana (added later), cost a staggering £100, when whole organs could be built for £300.

 

By the exquisite sound of it, I would wager, (if I were a betting man), that this rank is by Cavaille-Coll, but I've never been able to confirm it. I seem to recall that it is also made of tin, but I cannot be sure.

 

Over the hill at Halifax, was the "mock-Schulze" by Forster & Andrews, at All Soul's, Haley Hill; containing both Schulze and Cavaille-Coll ranks in the same 4-manual instrument.

 

It was quite common, if not an everyday event, to include such prestigious pipework in new organs in the 19th century; fashion being what fashion was and still is.

 

MM

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