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Another Caroe case is at Elveden Church, Suffolk, where he added a new, larger nave adjacent to the medieval one, plus a cloister leading to a much larger tower, all paid for by the Guinness family and in a style which Pevsner described as "Art Nouveau Gothic".  The picture in NPOR shows the case to be a typical Caroe design (more so than Southwell) with its deep pipe shades and further embellishment around the toe-boards. 



Further pictures of the extravaganza which is Elveden, including a couple of sideways views of the organ, are found on Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches site.



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It is a shame that this sumptuous church (parish spelled 'Elvedon' on the Diocesan website !), a veritable mini-minster, does not appear to have a more comprehensive instrument to match its architecture and accoutrements. It is also, and most sadly, usually closed and with no keyholder available. 

There is mention of a 1976 rebuild on the NPOR webpage, with no further details. Were this to mean that there is now a 2' (at least) would be excellent news. I'm sure the original sounded good (how could it not, given the builders ?), but . . .  

My Googling has produced nothing else, apart from a few more (good, face-on, colour) photos.

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Thinking again about English cathedrals, I'm very fond of Portsmouth.  The first time I was there was in the seventies to ring the bells (bell-ringing is one of the best ways to discover churches, organs and good pubs). The old town looked rather scruffy - it hadn't recovered from World War II - and the cathedral was still incomplete.  The Jordan "grinning monkey" organ case looked somewhat the worse for wear (as well it might).  Much later, in the nineties, I took my Belfast choristers to sing there for a week - what a difference!  The town had revived itself and the cathedral had been completed. The 1861 organ which Nicholson had built for Manchester Cathedral had arrived (via Holy Trinity, Bolton) and been restored and installed by the present Nicholson firm, and the old case had been splendidly renovated. The whole place looked beautiful and the clergy and vergers were exceptionally friendly and helpful (as was David Price, the organist). Portsmouth Cathedral is a peculiar building (I don't use that term disparagingly).  The east end consists of the gothic chancel of the medieval church, plus the classical nave (now the quire) and tower added in the seventeenth century to replace the one destroyed during the Commonwealth.  When the church became a cathedral, Sir Charles Nicholson was commissioned to enlarge it. He made a substantial gallery under the tower and commenced the building of a new nave, which was halted at the outbreak of war in 1939.  The nave was finally completed in 1991.  Because of the substantial tower, which was at the west end of the seventeenth century building, the nave is pretty much a separate space, so a West Great organ with case by Didier Grassin was built by Nicholsons' back-to-back with the existing instrument and inaugurated in 2001. Last year, a Trompete de Maris was added in the nave - a particularly happy example of a party horn, I think.  The West Great has doors which are closed during Advent and Lent. The main organ is the third to have been installed in the old case.  The first, after many rebuilds, was destroyed in the Blitz at Compton's works in London, whence it had been taken for rebuilding (the case, fortunately, stayed in the cathedral and survived). The second came from St. Michael's Church, which had been damaged in the war, and was installed by Walker, with a later rebuild by Eustace & Alldridge in 1974.  This was replaced by the Nicholson organ in 1994.


The Jordan case, facing in the Quire:


The West Great case, facing the nave:


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And another of my favourites - St. Edmundsbury.  It's mind-boggling to remember that the two great churches (St. James - now the Cathedral - and St. Mary's, a third, St. Margaret's is long gone), which stand within a stone's throw of each other, were dwarfed by the enormous abbey church which stood behind them, the ruins of which can be seen to this day.

St. James was beautifully enlarged in the sixties by Stephen Dykes Bower, and the wonderful central tower completed in 2005, the impetus being a substantial legacy from Dykes Bower - it looks as if it has been there for centuries.

The organ was rebuilt in Dykes Bower's new Quire by Nicholson in 1970 (I was at the opening recital, by Francis Jackson) and was a fine job, but relied rather heavily on recycled soundboards, etc.  Harrison & Harrison built a new instrument in 2010, and it finally has a pair of proper cases designed by Alan Rome, very much in the Dykes Bower style.




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Beverley is a bit 'out of the way' - thank goodness! Being 'out of the way' the building has survived 'modernising influences' of the Victorians and of others! I played my first 'cello continuo in there somewhere about 1965/6 when Peter Fletcher was Minster Organist. I think, on that occasion, Andrew Leach, now at Hessle Parish Church, was playing the organ. Over the years I played 'cello continuo dozens of times in there - sometimes in the freezing cold of an East Riding December winter!!!

Peter Fletcher took me up to the organ console around the same time. It was a magnificent sight looking down into the choir and, despite being, so I was told, a considerable 'cellist, I knew then that I wanted to play the organ!!!! I've always thought the Arthur Hill organ case, viewed from the West End of the Minster was absolutely perfect and totally matching of the Snetzler case which stands beside it.

One of my absolute favourite buildings! Pictures can be seen here! http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D06725 

I'm sure someone more competent than I will load a picture - it doesn't seem to want me to load!



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And , talking of favourite buildings!!

Christ Church Spitalfields is, I think, my favourite London church. In my days in London it lay almost derelict, saved, I think, by the sale of St. John's Smith Square which covered the funding of the roof replacement which, ultimately, saved the building. I've never been to church there, my preference is for 'slightly further up the candle' - St. Augustine's Kilburn or, for good local 'High Church' St Peter's London Docks! But I went into Christ Church to see the completed restoration and it is stunning, absolutely stunning!

Bridge's organ has been magnificently restored to it's 1735 specification, by William Drake Ltd. in 2015. The case is 'out of this world'! 

More pictures and sound files here: http://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=H00969


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Gosh! This has been a most enjoyable thread so far - full marks to Ooth would might well be our youngest forumite, for initiating it. I have rarely come across organ cases on a scale of beauty of even the least attractive of those that members have drawn to our attention - I guess that St Mary's, Launceston, is the only one I can think of that comes anywhere close:


to be continued...



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Other than that, the old (1962) Nicholson/Yates case on the organ at St Michael's, Newquay that was destroyed by fire, was appealing, but if we're going to mention King's, Cambridge, I must bring in St Paul's Cathedral... and indeed, Westminster Abbey.

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6 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

Other than that, the old (1962) Nicholson/Yates case on the organ at St Michael's, Newquay that was destroyed by fire, was appealing, but if we're going to mention King's, Cambridge, I must bring in St Paul's Cathedral... and indeed, Westminster Abbey.

Sorry! I just thought that, seeing as other Cambridge college chapels and a couple of Cathedrals, had got a mention, I'd put a 'plug' in for my old alma mater!

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Hate to say never been to Dunedin although I lived in Christchurch for a few years in the South Island of New Zealand. New Zealand known for its hidden treasures (gems of the golden age of British organ-building!)

Norma is the nickname for this Hill, Norman & Beard giant in Dunedin Town Hall! 4 manuals and a grand design! Constantly looked after by the South Island pipe organ company, founded by workers of the Norman & Beard firm in the 1970s.


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On ‎11‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 14:40, S_L said:

Sorry! I just thought that, seeing as other Cambridge college chapels and a couple of Cathedrals, had got a mention, I'd put a 'plug' in for my old alma mater!

Quite right too!  I have to confess that, as far as Cambridge is concerned, my alma mater is Homerton, where I did my teaching year (my degree is from Bristol).  In the hall, there was (in 1979) a Hammond, dated 1937.  It still worked, although it was prone, when it got excited, to emit smoke.  I suppose a lot of us were like that in those days.  I wonder if it's still there.  In a way, I was glad to make its acquaintance, as I was of a similar model in a Belfast suburb where I filled in for Evensong for about six months (Cathedral Evensong was at 3.30).  At least I got to know how to operate the things - as forumites will know, even just switching them on can be far from straightforward.  Real old Hammonds are much sought-after by rock musicians - nothing else makes quite the same sound.

Returning to the real things, here are the two other "grinning monkey" cases, apart from Portsmouth Cathedral.  All Hallows, Twickenham (by Renatus Harris, ex-All Hallows, Lombard Street, City of London, brought here when that church was demolished and installed by Kingsgate Davidson to a clever scheme by Cecil Clutton:



And St. Clement's, Eastcheap, City, by Renatus Harris.  it looks a bit incongruous in its present position perched above the porch, but a fine case all the same.  The organ, rebuilt the last two times by Hill, Norman & Beard,  I always thought to be a good one. 




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15 hours ago, David Drinkell said:

Real old Hammonds are much sought-after by rock musicians - nothing else makes quite the same sound.



When I came to live in this little tiny village in South West France my next door neighbour, from half a mile away, Jean-Louis Texier, knocked on my door on the first Sunday afternoon I was here, to welcome me to the village.

He was astounded that I was a musician, even more astounded that I played the organ! And he invited me over to his home, across the lake, where he has two Hammond organs - rescued from churches in the North of France!!!

Who would have thought it? 

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A characteristic of Hammonds was that they kept going (and in some cases still do) longer than one usually expects for such instruments.  Canterbury Cathedral had one (actually, I think, two, either or both of which could be played from either console) which was certainly still there in 1970 when Allan Wicks let me have a go on the Willis.  The Hammond was used to support congregational singing in the nave before our hosts provided a nave division to the Willis organ.  In 1978, Allan Wicks gave a concert and a master-class at Bristol University and I remember him saying that, although the tone of the Hammond left something to be desired, at least he could rely on the thing working.  This contradicts Henry Willis III's  comments in 1947:

"At Canterbury Cathedral, the Hammond loaned free by that firm as an advertisement, no doubt, seems to require frequent servicing - the site of the apparatus is one mass of dscarded valves and other components" (Letter to G. Donald Harrison reproduced in Charles Callahan's  "The American Classic Organ").

Also, David Shuker, in a recent number of "The Organists' Review" thought that the Canterbury Hammond had been removed prior to 1970 - but I remember seeing it.

To return to the thread:  here is a nice chunky case, typical of its period, at Buxton, Norfolk.  The organ originally by James Scott of West Tofts in 1865, but rebuilt or replaced by Walker. The case looks more like Walker's work, but the date would be rather late.



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There's a nice one in Capel St Mary, Suffolk.  The rather lovely facade contains a little-altered Fr Willis



In other news, I've been looking (without luck) for online pics of the spectacular Joseph Casson masterpiece in Thorpe Malsor.  Visually it's not my cup of tea personally, and a pipe rack rather than a proper case, but if you like decorated front pipes you will like this one!  My best effort is an article on Paul Hale's website but you'll have to click through to the pdf I'm afraid; it might just be worth it though!

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Capel St. Mary is in my neck of the woods when I'm back in the UK (I was born and brought up in Colchester), but I haven't, so far, got round to playing the organ!

Not a very good picture, but here is Thorpe Malsor:

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A lot of Casson Positive organs had no case-work at all (quite Holtkampish, really), like this one at Bromeswell, Suffolk:



These are quite common - I took one out of a house in Essex and put it into the church at Twatt, Orkney (it was an easy job - take out and wrap the pipes, wheel the rest of it onto a van - they're on castors, wheel it out at the other end, put the pipes back and tune it).  The church is closed now, but the organ went to a local house.

There were, however, a number of standard case designs which appear in various places. Norfolk has a lot of Cassons - some thirty of them - reflecting the fact that the county had a lot of large estates with a high proportion of tenant farmers.  In Suffolk, there were more well-off farmers, as opposed to estate-owners, so the organs there tend to be a little more ambitious, but there are about twenty Cassons.

Weybourne, Norfolk, is an example of one type of case:



and another at Wramplingham:



and Knapton:



Kimberley has a Casson with another type of stock case, sitting back to back with an electronic which came from the local "big house" when the owner, an organ enthusiast, upgraded.  You can see the top of the electronic console in the picture.



At Thompson, Norfolk, a similar case led Pevsner to guess that it might be by Pugin, since Thompson is on the edge of the Stanford Battle Training Area, near to West Tofts.  The Thompson Casson was nicely rebuilt by Richard Bower in 1995, but has since been replaced by a slightly larger instrument.  This picture from Simon Knott's Norfolk Churches website shows the Casson, albeit side on and from a distance:


There were similar examples at Boxted, Suffolk and Berechurch, Essex.

Redgrave, Suffolk, has an elaborate two-manual Casson, but without the elaborate decoration of Thorpe Malsor.  I think (but I could be mistaken) that its present appearance is the result of building a case around a rather bare pipe-rack.



Bacton, Norfolk has a fairly elaborate scheme of decoration:



One could go on (and on), but the above at least give some idea of typical designs.

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Not all Norfolk estate-owners forked out for Casson organs.  There is a clutch of Walkers around Sandringham, reflecting Royal patronage, and a great many ex-chamber organs.  However, at Scottow, the local squire, Sir Henry Durrant, was an organ enthusiast and built (or caused to be built, possibly by Ben Collins of Lamas) a large three-manual organ, complete with west and south facing cases, incorporating a carved Jacobean fire-place.  Durrant was his own organist and, when the occasion merited, would put up a notice in the porch:

"Next Sunday, Sir Henry Durrant, Bart., will use the big pedal stop."  This was a set of open wood pedal pipes. 

This is the stop-list of Durrant's monster:


In 1934, Cedric Arnold rebuilt the organ to its present form, discarding the pedal pipes with which Durrant had been wont to frighten his tenantry, but keeping the old cases. The first picture is from NPOR, the rest from Simon Knott's Norfolk Churches website.



organ in the north aisle chapel

17th century organ case

organ case: detail

organ case: detail

organ case: detail

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Among the chamber organs, one of the poshest is the Snetzler at Hillington, which was apparently built for the Duke of Bedford and later purchased and erected here by Holdich:



And another at Sculthorpe, installed in 1860 and restored by Noel Mander in person in 1950:






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This impromptu graphical tour of Suffolk's organs is simply wonderful. Thank you David for downloading your considerable memory like this. I've also found a website about Suffolk's many hundreds of churches, it's really far too much of a good thing.

Despite my surname, I have no links at all with Suffolk and, even though I was higher-educated over the border in Colchester, I have barely set foot in the county. In fact, I'm ashamed to say that I have never even been to Flatford Mill, even though you can practically see it from Essex University library. More recent academic activities had me regularly tearing along the A12 and A14 between Harwich and Leicester (within the speed limit, of course...), but I only managed to fit in St Edmundsbury one Sunday before the H&H rebuild, when I think the hiss from all the leaks was louder than some of the strings.

So next time I roll off the ferry, I shall take a download of this thread, a good map, my good wife, and plenty more time than before. You never know, it might sow the seeds of somewhere nice to retire to, if one can ever tempt a northerner away from their home turf. She'll have finished her reader training by then, and apparently has already mentioned her USP as "Have organist, will travel" ? I think she means me ...

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3 hours ago, David Drinkell said:

 There is a clutch of Walkers around Sandringham, reflecting Royal patronage, and a great many ex-chamber organs. 

David, you may be interested to know that the Walker organ presented to St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham by Queen Victoria in 1880 (NPOR RO1398), which was removed in 1909 when King Edward VII presented the church with a newer and larger Walker organ, was installed in All Saints Parish Church, Goodmayes, Essex in 1919 (NPOR N18541), having been stored for ten years in Walker’s Tottenham Court Road premises. It is still in good condition and used regularly for worship. 

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There are a huge number of lovely cases reflected in this thread on beautiful English organs, but let me throw in an instrument without a case that is undoubtedly a beautiful sounding instrument in a beautiful Pearson church: 

St George's Church Cullercoats

St George's Church CullercoatsSt George's Church Cullercoats

The TC Lewis ‘multum in parvo’ II/26 of St George’s Cullercoats. NPOR

Many a time back in the years when I played this regularly I looked up from this view and wondered what a case might look like, though it was generally considered that its special sound was in fact helped by being ‘au naturel’. 

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