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Katherinehutt

Abbott and Smith organ at risk

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Dear All,

 

This is my first post so please be gentle.

 

I am a member of the PCC at St John's Oulton near Leeds. Recently our lead was stolen from the roof of our church causing catastrophic damage. We have a 1900 Abbott and Smith Organ in the church. (according to the NPOR!)

 

In order to support our applications for Heritage Funding to repair to roof we are trying to explain how the heritage of the building is at risk.

 

I'd be really interested in any information people can give me about our organ. I understand its not rare - but it is beautiful and up to last November was played at least once a week at services.

 

We will be opening the church for Heritage Open Day and any information will help with our displays as well.

 

Any help is massively appreciated.

 

Katherine xx

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Such damage should be covered by the church's insuracne - although I do know that several insurers have tightened up on their criteria for paying out following lead thefts, as they've become very common, sadly.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi Katherine,

 

Would it be at all possible for you to send me the specification of the organ and I will try and get it entered on NPOR?

 

Best wishes,

Barrie

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Hi Katherine,


I'm sorry to hear about the theft of the lead. The church where I usually play suffered from this a few years ago.


I did play for a couple of services at Oulton in 1999/2000. If my memory is correct, it's a two-manual instrument with mechanical action to both keys and stops. The organ's position on a gallery means that it sounds well in the building, which has quite a good acoustic. Would you be able to post some photographs of the organ (particularly the console) as that might help contributors to this Forum to give you further information.


If you are able to establish that the organ has had few (or no) alterations since it was built, that could give you a stronger case for heritage funding.


I would hope that, as Tony has said, the church insurance will at least contribute to repairing the damage to the roof.


Incidentally, does the church currently have an organist? You say that 'up to last November [the organ] was played at least once a week...'.


Nick

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........

 

I would hope that, as Tony has said, the church insurance will at least contribute to repairing the damage to the roof.
.........
Nick

 

 

The operative word here is indeed 'contribute'.

 

As Katherine and her friends have probably found out by now, if your church is insured with Ecclesiastical they only contribute a relatively limited amount to the replacement, and then only provided you have followed all their advice regarding the use of Smartwater etc.

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Thank you so much for all of your input - we are desperate to save the church and its interior fittings.

 

The lead was stolen in November last year, which is when the services had to be halted as the lead theft happened immediately prior to some torrential rain which soaked the plaster in the ceiling and meant we had to close the building as the plaster was falling off. Prior to that we did have a church organist who played every sunday for us.

 

Ecclesiastical contribute up to a maximum of £12,500 towards lead theft - we are currently putting in a Heritage Lottery Bid for £185,000 to START repairs - we estimate the whole thing will be almost £0.5m - we want to refurbish the building into a multi use community centre opening it up on more than just a sunday morning and we would like to include music concerts (organ recitals??!) as part of our vision.

 

The organ is currently covered with plastic sheeting to protect it from any immediate and direct water ingress - fortunately it doesn't seem to have been in the direct path of water (so far!) but I am concerned about the impact the damp atmosphere will have on the organ.

 

The only information I have is the information which is included on our NPOR entry which states it has been serviced and minor changes but to be honest I don't really understand it!!!! (I am but a lowly piano player of youth!!)

 

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E00108

 

Our church will be open for Heritage Open Day if any of you would like to come and see it???? (Bit of a long shot but all help gratefully appreciated!!)

 

Katherine xx

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