Colin Pykett Posted February 10, 2015 Share Posted February 10, 2015 I don't like starting new topics because often they have already been opened. However I can't find anything on this subject on the forum, so please bear with me. From time to time I used to come across some small extension organs by Rushworth and Dreaper. I say "used to" because they seem to have vanished now, probably because they are a rather old and dated mid-twentieth century product of the firm. Let me describe one such to see if it evokes any echoes from forum members. It used to be in Holy Trinity parish church, Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, on the way to 'D H Lawrence Country' at Eastwood and beyond there to Derbyshire, but there is nothing on the NPOR about it. It had a two manual detached console at the east end of the church with cancelling stop keys. The cancel feature was not like those of Compton, for example, which used second touch against a stronger spring. The R&D ones each had a small black plastic tab at the top which you touched to cancel the others in that division. There were two expression pedals because the whole instrument was enclosed in two boxes, apart possibly from some of the pedal pipes. However the stops on both divisions were drawn from the pipes in both boxes, theatre organ style, so the expression pedals did not have a one-to-one correspondence with the divisions. This could sometimes take you by surprise! The pipes were in two small but nicely designed cases placed at each corner of the west gallery. The whole thing was heavily extended but I can't recall how many ranks this particular one had. An interesting feature was the presence of two stops, one on each division, bearing the name 'Solo Synthetic'. The one on the swell was quieter than that on the great, but both were composed of 8 and 2 2/3 foot pitches, possibly with a quiet 4 foot constituent as well. They were quite useful. There was a 16 foot reed on the swell but it only went down to tenor C. I used to enjoy playing this organ, despite its several obvious limitations. It did, admittedly, benefit from a helpful acoustic in this case, and the separation of the console and pipework gave the player a sense of spaciousness which belied the relatively small building. I found it an attractive little thing and very comfortable to play, with a considerable tonal palette endowed by making the maximum possible use of the pipes available. It was not unlike the Compton Miniatura in concept and execution, though this particular one gave greater scope to the player if only because of its additional ranks. Did this range of instruments have a house name such as the Miniatura did with Compton? They were probably made in quite large numbers because the firm used to make a lot of similarly styled ones for MOD military chapels both here and abroad during the Cold War years. They also might have surfaced in larger crematoria and the like. Any thoughts, anyone? CEP Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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