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Places to practice in Cornwall


timothyguntrip
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I will be spending a week in Cornwall from the coming Friday, and looking for an instrument to practice on once or twice during that time - in preparation for something the following week. I'm ideally looking for somewhere in the Rock / Padstow / Wadebridge area. Would anyone know of any approachable churches / titulaires who might be gracious in granting me a couple of hours practice time during the week?

Best wishes to all.

VA

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This sort of issue is where a local organists' association might be able to help. Of recent days there have been strongly polarised views expressed about them on this forum, so why not put the Cornwall one to the test by asking them your question? Contact details from Organists' Review are:

 

Gabrielle Lewis 01822 833728 (gabriellelewis [at] waitrose [dot] com)

www.cornwallorganists.org.uk

 

CEP

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Kilkhampton Parish Church is well worth trying, although it may not be too close to you. One of Roger Yates's best. The Methodist Church has an intriguing Father Willis three manual chamber organ with seven speaking stops - multum in parvo. Sadly, the Nicholson/Yates at Newquay was destroyed in a fire some years ago.

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VA (Tim) mentioned Rock. There's always St Enodoc's church near there, surrounded by the golf course and immortalised by John Betjeman who now rests in the churchyard:

 

" ... A Village Voluntary fills the air
And ceases suddenly as it began,
Save for one oboe faintly humming on ..."

 

(from "Sunday Afternoon Service in St Enodoc's Church, Cornwall").

 

Unfortunately this almost certainly referred to a reed organ as elsewhere in the same poem he said "The Lord's name by harmonium be praised". This was in the 1930s/40s, and I don't know whether they now have a pipe organ. If they do, I can't imagine it could be other than a very small one given the tiny church.

 

But interesting and evocative all the same.

 

CEP

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Kilkhampton Parish Church is well worth trying, although it may not be too close to you. One of Roger Yates's best. The Methodist Church has an intriguing Father Willis three manual chamber organ with seven speaking stops - multum in parvo. Sadly, the Nicholson/Yates at Newquay was destroyed in a fire some years ago.

 

Slightly closer to you is Budehaven - the Parish Church of Saint Michael and All Angels. The organist there was the organist at Kilkhampton for several years, until recently. He is a personal friend and I could put you in touch with him, if you wish.

 

Saint Michael's, Budehaven has a two-clavier instrument, rebuilt by Osmonds, in 1966. Lance Foy (partly at my instigation) did further restoration work in about 1989. The instrument includes a Double Trumpet - Trumpet (16ft./8ft.) unit on the Swell (which is also available on the Pedal Organ at 16ft. pitch). The G.O. is fairly complete up to a Mixture III and a fat, loud Trumpet (which should be labelled 'Tromba'). The organ is played from a detached console at floor level, which has a reasonable supply of pistons.

 

Kilkhampton might not be so easy to get on these days - which is partly why my colleague moved over to Saint Michael's.

 

Let me know (via PM) if you wish to contact the organist at Saint Michael's.

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....... Sadly, the Nicholson/Yates at Newquay was destroyed in a fire some years ago.

There is a new pipe organ at Newquay - opened last year by David Briggs. It seems to have been created by Lance Foy from a couple of redundant instruments from elsewhere and I believe also re-uses the console from the stop-gap digital. I have not managed to hear it nor seen a stoplist yet.

 

A

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I notice that the NPOR entry for Bude Haven includes the line "Electro Mechanical action for sops and couplers". Opens a whole new window on choir-training, doesn't it? ;)

 

Interesting - one of the sops once inadvertently set fire to her music during a carol service, in this church. However, I do not think that she was under electro-mechanical control at that time.

 

This typo could have been my fault - or the previous organist (now retired to Dorset) - it could also have been that of the late, and sadly missed, Phil Rogers. He was always prompt in uploading information to the NPOR which I sent him. He was very much interested in obtaining up-to-date details of the organ in Saint John's Church, Wimborne. Unfortunately, by the time I had managed to gain access to this Hele instrument*, Phil had died.

 

 

 

 

* It has been partly rebuilt, with minor tonal alterations, by an unknown builder. However, I had to play for a funeral there a couple of summers ago and, from the state of it, I can see why no-one has owned up to carrying out this work. I did ask a church secretary if there were any details regarding who had undertaken the recent work on the instrument, but she said that she had no idea. With this particular church, this does not surprise me - they are very much concerned with spiritual concerns (not a criticism), and less bothered over temporal matters. This said, in a church of this size, I have to wonder why it was felt necessary to have two drum-kits - particularly when one has been largely enclosed in a home-made perspex screen (and partially roofed=in). The mixing-desk, speaker stacks and the large quantity of electrical cable untidily snaking all over the place, makes this church look rather less inviting than it otherwise might be.

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