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Mander Organ Builders Forum

St James, Muswell Hill


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I don’t know if this instrument http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=G00093 has been discussed here before. A search didn’t produce any results.


This organ has been highly regarded by colleagues and friends (including the much-missed Theo Saunders). I’ve played it a few times recently and I must admit to being slightly underwhelmed. The console is comfortable but, rather like its similar-sized near neighbour at St Michael’s, Highgate, badly-situated for being able to judge volume and balance; given the only mechanical links are the swell pedals a position on the opposite side of the chancel would have been better, in my opinion.


But I’m wondering chiefly about the sound—I don’t find it inspiring to play. Is this a result of the re-ordering of the church and the carpet?


Interested to find what the team think …



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There is also the Jennifer Bate connection - her father (and teacher) H. A. Bate was organist there from 1924 to 1978 and I think he was responsible for the design of the organ with Harrison & Harrison. I also seem to recall that she was involved when they restored the instrument some years ago.



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