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St Mary Magdalene, South Molton


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I have just returned from a holiday in North Devon and had a look at the Vowles organ in the parish church at South Molton.

The  instrument, http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N07915,  is a 3 manual tracker with very attractively painted display pipes but appears to be in a desperately poor state of repair.

There is a "Note for Visiting Organists" on the music desk which says, inter alia, that the choir organ is not to be used as it is beyond hope, the organ may lose all wind without notice at any time and that several pedal notes do not work and organists may need to transpose hymns if they wish to use the pedals after exploring which notes work. The church is currently in the throes of major roofing work which may explain why no money is available for the organ.

I wonder if any forum members have played the organ in the past and have a memory of how it sounded? There are [hopefully] 2 pictures of the organ below.

We were staying in the nearby North Molton and I contacted the church before going and was made most welcome by the vicar and churchwarden who showed me where the key was kept and said to please play whenever I wished. Mrs H. may have regretted their generosity! The organ http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N12353 here is a Walker and although the blower is a little noisy it makes some lovely sounds. There has clearly been some work since the latest report to the NPOR (whom I shall notify shortly along with photos) and the missing stops on the Swell organ have been added.

Do other forum members contact churches via ACNY before a holiday - I always do so...





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