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Thanks for some excellent pictures - BAM for SS Peter & Paul, Lincoln (a much-travelled instrument - it looks very well in its present home, to judge from the photograph) and SomeChap for Hatfield, Castle Howard and Kingston Lacy.  The latter is a new one to me. I had forgotten that there was an organ in the chapel at Hatfield and I certainly didn't know that it had such an elaborate case.  The picture of the ancient organ in the drawing room is surely the best yet produced and looks quite stunning!  The Castle Howard picture seems to have come out very well, despite the low resolution.  The organ must have been quite a catch for Tom Harrison at that time in his career.  I see from NPOR that the case was designed by R.J. Johnson of Newcastle.  He seems to have been an architect of more than usual ability and I believe that he was responsible for enlarging and enhancing the cases at Newcastle Cathedral to take the new Lewis organ (and presumably for the chancel case also).  The organ was last rebuilt by Nicholson in 1981 and I think it's up for some more work now.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=P00150

Newcastle3.jpg

Newcastle6.jpg

There's also what looks to be an old case in St. George's chapel in the cathedral - I don't known its history.

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N04280&Number=3

 

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3 hours ago, SomeChap said:

Thanks as always to David Drinkell and others for showcasing the best of rural Anglophone organ heritage.  Three more I remembered:

 

Hatfield house contains two stunning organ cases, one in the chapel:

24381584148_4a5c4fc6ba_b.jpg

... and (to my eye) an even finer one in (I believe) the summer drawing room

IMGP4071.JPG

In a similar vein there is also the early Harrison at Castle Howard

IMG_3722.jpg

(apologies for low resolution photo of the latter)

I took my choir to sing an evensong in Hatfield House Chapel a couple of years ago. The (Willis) organ in the chapel still works but is in very poor condition. The organ in the long hall was restored a few years ago; I think by Mander. We had string accompaniment in the chapel that evening and sang music by Gibbons, Byrd, Tallis and Purcell. A most enjoyable occasion!

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NPOR says the chapel organ at Hatfield is by Lewis - the stop-list appears to bear this out.  Looks like a good place to sing!

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Yes...…...I noticed that David. When we were in the chapel, I had a go on it (the little that worked!) and there is a Willis name plate above the swell clavier, so there is a mystery! It was lovely to sing in there - the chapel is small, but it is three storeys high. The choir (plus Lord Salisbury and his family) took up all the pews, and the congregation (mainly choir parents) gazed down on us from the galleries!

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2 hours ago, OmegaConsort said:

I took my choir to sing an evensong in Hatfield House Chapel a couple of years ago. The (Willis) organ in the chapel still works but is in very poor condition. The organ in the long hall was restored a few years ago; I think by Mander. We had string accompaniment in the chapel that evening and sang music by Gibbons, Byrd, Tallis and Purcell. A most enjoyable occasion!

The organ that you say is in the Summer Drawing room is in fact in the Long Gallery and is exquisite. It is on wheels so one can push it away from the wall to get in to tune it. The problem then is pushing it back again as the floor is very slippery! The chapel organ is very fine but in quite a state now sadly.

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2 hours ago, OmegaConsort said:

Yes...…...I noticed that David. When we were in the chapel, I had a go on it (the little that worked!) and there is a Willis name plate above the swell clavier, so there is a mystery! It was lovely to sing in there - the chapel is small, but it is three storeys high. The choir (plus Lord Salisbury and his family) took up all the pews, and the congregation (mainly choir parents) gazed down on us from the galleries!

I suppose that Willis did something to it following the merger of the two firms shortly after the Great War.  The firm was known as Henry Willis & Sons and Lewis & Co for a few years to satisfy a legal nicety.  The 1925 Willis at St. Magnus Cathedral has "W&L" on the bellows weights - I have one (which was lying about inside, not nicked off one of the reservoirs!) which I use as a paper-weight. The merger meant that Willis, who had lost his own factory, gained the large and palatial Lewis works on Ferndale Road - only to lose that in the Blitz.

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Re: Newcastle Cathedral, you can read more about it, from some years ago, here: www.duresme.org.uk/NEorgans/newcastle.htm

As previously stated, it's not in use at the moment as it needs restoration, and the cathedral itself is undergoing restoration. 

 

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I used to go to all the Bank holiday  recitals at Newcastle (Timothy Hone was DOM then) and recorded one of them, thats now lost sadly

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I'm beginning to lose track but I don't think anyone's mentioned the Assumption in Redenhall yet.  I'm not sure I find it beautiful exactly (not curvaceous enough for me!) but it's smart for a UK parish organ, properly encased and free-standing and commands the west end of the Nave rather well.  Npor notes that it was brought from London (Holdich, 1842) on 12 horses, a reminder that this must be one of the last generation of pre-industrial (ie pre-romantic) organs built in England?

I quite like the faces of the side tower corbels; they remind me of something out of Jim Henson's Labrynth.

Redenhall13Y.jpg

Redenhall16Y.jpg

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Canon Gordon Paget used to recall a story told him by the Ipswich organ builder John Rayson about the conveyance of the Redenhall organ from London and the difficulty the horses had on Gun Hill at Dedham, on the Essex/Suffolk border.  This was still a notorious bit of road when I was a child and we used to go to Ipswich every other Saturday in the football season because my father had a season ticket for Ipswich Town.  It has long been bypassed but is still there as a back road.  It wasn't the steepness (this is East Anglia!), but the bend halfway down that was the dicey bit.  Redenhall is probably the finest surviving Holdich organ, but there are a lot of them about, particularly in East Anglia and in his home county of Northamptonshire.  His father was rector of Maidwell in that county, and the Holdich is still there. My long-time friend (from university days) Colin Ashworth is (or was) organist there.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D00333

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D00333&Number=1

Richard Bower, the Norfolk organ builder, has made a study of Holdich organs, and they were also a favourite with the late Bernard Edmonds.  He contributed an article to the Organ Club Handbook no. 6 (c. 1961), analysing Holdich's style.  One interesting paragraph deals with case-work:

"Even well into the nineteenth century, Holdich on occasion provided a console with solid stop-knobs and labels alongside, in the style of times long past.  His cases in earlier days were of the styles then current, most often debased Gothic, but sometimes Renaissance.  In latter days, he provided mostly "pipe-racks". But in his middle period he made an interesting attempt to provide artistic cases in an economical way.  This he did by making use of fret-carving, which could be done by machine very much more cheaply than the cost of hand-carving, however modest the latter might be.  These cases could be most effective, and characteristic examples may be seen at Melchbourne in Bedfordshire and Bewdley in the Vale of Severn."

Here's Melchbourne:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=R01503

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=R01503&Number=1

I can't find a picture of Bewdley online, although there is one in Bernard's article.  He also has a shot of Mickleton, Gloucestershire, where the Holdich of c. 1858 has a case by Comper:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N05731

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N05731&Number=1

Holdich was building organs for over fifty years, and they turn up all over the place.  The Episcopal Church in Kirkwall, Orkney has one, although it came from somewhere else.  Another interesting transplant, this time from a local residence, is at Templepatrick, Co. Antrim:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D01396

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D01396&Number=1

Going back to Dedham, but not the Gun Hill, the church is famous from its depiction in the works of the artist John Constable.  The organ was a 3 manual Hill, complete with stop-knobs stained a different colour for each department, on the south side of the chancel.  I played there one afternoon in my teens and visitors kept  putting money on the bench next to me (and a Scotsman in a kilt gave me a piece of heather).  I think I made about a pound and fifty pence, which was a tidy sum in those days.  The organ was later rebuilt by Bishop and Son on high at the west end with a detached console.  The case is the old one reworked.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N08696

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N08696&Number=1

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Those readers interested in finding out more about Holdich are referred to Rodney Matthews 'A Reluctant Convert - The Life and Times of G M Holdich: Organ Builder' published in 2013 by 'At the Sign of the Pipe'.   

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Thanks, John -  it looks very well, having been (apparently) moved (or returned) to the gallery. BBE's picture shows it to the side of the chancel.

When you were in Colchester, did you ever play the Holdich at Birch?  It was a very fine example in a decent Gothick case, restored by our hosts.  Unfortunately, the church was declared redundant some years ago and is now in a terrible state (a disgrace - one of Teulon's best jobs), but the organ was moved, I know not where.

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12 hours ago, David Drinkell said:

did you ever play the Holdich at Birch?  

No, I didn’t get around very much, being otherwise occupied most weekends, David.

I seem to recall playing for a wedding on the fine Willis at St Andrew, Halstead (http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=R01158), though. It didn’t have the upperwork or Trombone, then. Must sound very grand, now.

An even nicer shot of the Great Bardfield organ (18 May) is here: http://www.essexviews.uk/photos/Essex%20Churches/Essex%20Churches%20G-H/Great-Bardfield-Church-Organ.jpg

Nice to know that the Birch instrument is in a new home.

 

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On 09/08/2018 at 03:01, David Drinkell said:

 Redenhall is probably the finest surviving Holdich organ, but there are a lot of them about, particularly in East Anglia and in his home county of Northamptonshire.  His father was rector of Maidwell in that county, and the Holdich is still there.

Indeed, in my benefice (King's Cliffe, Northants) there are Holdich organs in Easton-on-the-Hill (a fine one, renovated by Richard Bowers), Bulwick, and a small one-manual in Laxton (complete with Diaocton), also renovated by Bowers. Collyweston has a one-manual that is also reputed to be by Holdich. 

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Thanks to ptindall for information about the current whereabouts of the ex-Birch organ.  

John - I also remember the Father Willis at Halstead. Like you, I played it before the latest additions were made, but it was still grand then, nevertheless.  At the other end of the town, Holy Trinity has a good three-manual Binns, although this one is trumped by the magnificent example up the road at Haverhill.

Stephen - I had forgotten about Easton-on-the-Hill, a real text-book vintage Holdich, and with a (now unique?) "Dumb Organist", a barrel playing mechanism that one slots into position over the keys. Here it is:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03476

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N03476&Number=1

 

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The beautiful north case of the 1938 Forster & Andrews/John Compton organ in Hull Minster. The 4-manual, 104 speaking stop organ is now in urgent need of a thorough restoration, having not undergone any extensive work in 80 years and for which the Minster authorities is now actively seeking funds.

Minster North Case.jpg

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A fine picture - thank you!  I hope that, when the time comes, there will be a straightforward restoration, including the Compton console with its luminous stop-heads.  This organ was always reckoned to be one of Compton's finest rebuilds and it deserves careful treatment.  It's amazing how durable Compton's work could be.  His actions could still be working well after more than fifty years.  I believe Downside is running on a lot of original components after 87 years (Roger Taylor deserves much credit for looking after it).

Here's the console at Hull, battered but still going: 

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N03966&Number=2

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St. Luke's, Chelsea, widely claimed in 1932 to be "Downside come to town", and certainly one of Compton's most famous jobs.  The case dates from 1824 (with obvious add-ons at the sides.  I see from NPOR that there is now a two-manual console at the east end.  When I played there, there was only the original Compton console and that was at the east end in the gallery above the choir-stalls - quite a long way from the pipes.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=A00750

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=A00750&Number=4

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=A00750&Number=3

 

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St. Mary Magdalene, Paddington - another fine Compton.  The case is nothing to look at, but it has another luminous console.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N17436

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N17436&Number=3

However, in the crypt, there is a nice little Casson positive with a gorgeous case by Comper:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D04959

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D04959&Number=1

 

 

 

 

 

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