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A New Organ


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The organ that I currently play is a 1M + P of unknown pedigree and, it must be said, of indifferent quality. I know that redundant instruments are available from time to time and wonder if any on here has any experience of buying and having such an instrument installed? I am thinking of a modest 2M + P of maybe 10 - 15 stops*** which would fit under the West End tower where, incidentally, there is plenty of room for an open 16' pedal flue if there were one available. The temperature can be quite variable so I don't think that any reeds would on the shopping list. The church is a reasonable size village building with quite a lively acoustic and I would certainly like some brightness, at least one 2' somewhere and preferably a small mixture on the Swell organ.


My real question revolves around cost. How much would one have to pay for such an instrument and what would the likely transport and installation costs be, obviously in very broad terms?


This is purely speculative at the moment and I haven't mentioned anything to anyone at the church but would like to have a very approximate idea of the costs before I pluck up the courage to speak to the vicar and PCC.


Thank you in advance.


*** Off the the top of my head, something along the lines of :-


Pedal Organ


Open Diapason 16'

Bourdon 16'


Great Organ


Open Diapason 8'

Principal 4'

Fifteenth 2'

Stopped Diapason 8'

Flute 4'


Swell Organ


"Small" Open Diapason 8'

"Small" Principal 4'

Mixture 12/15

Flute 8'

Octave Flute 4'

Gamba 8'


The usual couplers, Swell to Great, Swell to Pedal and Great to Pedal.

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This site lists some redundant organs in the UK:


The organ is likely to be very cheap - even free - but the cost of a skilled organ builder is where most of the cost lies. It might be worth you talking to the firm who look after your existing organ. They are likely to know of suitable organs in your area and will also be able to give you an estimate of costs. If you have a good relationship with your organ builder, they may be willing to let your church provide some volunteer muscle to dismantle, pack and move the organ under their supervision which will save your church a lot of money. It goes without saying that you need a faculty in the C of E (or similar in other churches) and you must involve the Diocesan Organ Advisor. A reputable organ builder - such as our Host - will be able to advise you. Remember that an organ is a long-term investment for the church, and it's false economy to act without professional advice. There are hundreds of worthwhile organs around - Good luck!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Peter - I remember your write-up of a Mirfield organ in 'The Organ'. I also remember, from my St. Magnus Cathedral days, dropping into Inverness Cathedral and finding you playing the organ there, with a baby in a buggy next to the console. Must be thirty years ago - the organ at Inverness has gone and they've got a big toaster in there now....

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you might like to contact The Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield in West Yorkshire. http://www.npor.org....ec_index=G00217 is looking for a new home.


Thank you Peter; that is exactly the sort of instrument I should like.


I have spoken to the church treasurer and he is to bring up the idea at next week's PCC meeting. I have offered to buy the organ myself if the rather more considerable funds needed for dismantling, transport, reinstallation etc etc can be raised but am told that with 5 leaks in the church roof I shouldn't hold my breath. A bit like my exisiting organ...

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Thank you Peter; that is exactly the sort of instrument I should like.




Indeed. On paper, it looks to be colourful, with a good variety of 8ft. ranks. If built and voiced well, it should make quite a good accompanimental instrument.


I hope that you are successful with your fund-raising. Do you have access to information regarding grant-awarding bodies? Don't forget the unusual ones, such as local landfill sites. Unless the law has changed, I believe that, if your church stands within five miles of one, you can approach the relevant authority, seeking financial aid. As part of 'community reparation' (for being a landfill site), as it were, they are obliged to help some community projects financially. It may be worth checking to see if this still applies, although it certainly did the last time we looked at fund-raising, here.

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Having had the pleasure of playing the "former" Mirfield H&H about three years ago, I can testify to the beauty and effectiveness of this instrument, despite it being originally designed as a residence organ, and with the advantage of a benevolent acoustic. I use the term "former" as it was replaced last year by a much larger 1989 H&H, itself a former residence organ, but without the same generous provision of 8ft flues already mentioned.


On Youtube you can hear this "former" organ by typing in "Holy Week at Mirfield 2008" in the search box. You'll hear a very forthright and compelling Oboe stop.....


This memorable little instrument was carefully dismantled by the original builders, and is safely stored.

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Thank you pcnd and GrossGeigen for your replies. I shall ask our treasurer, an accountant, to help me with ascertaining possible sources of funding. Sadly, we are no longer within 5 miles of a landfill, the former waste facility having been closed some years ago but there are some large companies within throwing distance who are very aware of the, let's say controversial nature, of their businesses. They may help. I do know that a local Town Trust has been very generous with grants in recent years, without asking for matching funds to be raised. Indeed, they provided much of the funding for a completely new organ in a local chapel. This has yet to be installed because of the need for planning permission to enable the use of a full length 16' Open Wood, some structural alterations being necessary to the C14 building. The current OD 16' is haskelled.


I am listening to the Youtube recording now. My word, that is an ususual and powerful Oboe! In the last piece, the organ sounds much bigger and brighter than one might expect from the paper specification. I'm glad that it is properly stored - if we do manage to raise the wind for a new instrument that would suit very nicely indeed - but it may take a while.

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