headcase Posted February 1, 2006 Share Posted February 1, 2006 The topic of service disasters made me realise that the funnier side of organ tuning (yeah, right...) might also help to lift a little of the winter gloom. Two stories come to mind. When I was a lowly tuner's lad, said tuner and I visited a parish church in a Gloucestershire town (well known for a book festival). The organ was placed on a gallery at the west end, the console about as far away as it could be, in the chancel. Communication was therefore difficult with resorting to unseemly shouting. A dumb note on the bass of the Swell Oboe meant the tuner needed to remove the pipe for cleaning. Standing inside the Swell box, invisible to view and having lifted out the lengthy resonator, he then proceeded to demonstrate how, with the correct embouchure, one could perform The Last Post and Reveille. Sadly this degenerated into a pitiful collection of what might best be described as 'raspberries', all the more unfortunate as the Priest had walked in unannounced partway through the concert. Sitting 90ft away at the console I was helpless to indicate the presence of clergy! We didn't lose the tuning, either. *** The second story was related to me by a colleague and concerns the antics of another young apprentice (no names, no pack-drill) who went on to far greater things in the trade. Working in a cold and dingy south-east London church in the mid 1950's, little amusement was to be had. However, the church did possess some very fine chandeliers, suspended on heavy chains from the roof trusses. The apprentice, being of an adventurous nature, considered that these chains would make excellent pendulums. Climbing aloft and clinging to a chandelier he did indeed prove that it was possible to get up a 'fair old swing', up and down the nave. As always happens in moments of such delight, the church door creaked open, heralding the arrival of clergy. Now, of course, consider the scene...and that there are no brakes, as it were, on a swinging chandelier... *** Any other takers ? H Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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