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Mander Organs
Colin Harvey

Defending The Pipe Organ

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I've just been informed by my organbuilder that new EU Directives, which come into force on 1st July 2006, could ban the construction and installation of pipe organs.

 

More information can be found at www.pipes4organs.org

 

Please would you all contact your MPs and join the protest movement.

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For goodness sake sign the petition and/or get us out of Europe.

 

Frank Fowler

 

Well, be assured "Europe" votes too. Some comments may be in

french, tough (I allowed it to my members in order to have more

people voting)

Pierre

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Guest Lee Blick

Personally I don't think petitions achieve anything. What it needs is effective, organised campaign involving the media and effective lobbying of the people involved in making these decisions.

 

Im going to be writing to my MEP (they forgot to put that in the website, which is IMPORTANT), MP and writing letters to newspapers, if everyone within the organ/music and church world does that then our small voices will come together to form a big voice.

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

Won't the organs be ruined once the lead comes off the church roofs? What a daft world we live in. What will the criminals do if their 'bank' of lead is lost? If you are a Graded place you must replace like for like. How do you get around the silly proposals in that case? I think that this will not succeed but just in case ....

I will today think of pertinent ways of making a protest.

NJA

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Well, there is a petition, launched by extremely serious people,

let us concentrate on that one in order to give these people

the more weight that we can.

Pierre

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
Well, there is a petition, launched by extremely serious people,

let us concentrate on that one in order to give these people

the more weight that we can.

Pierre

 

Indeed it is serious (and I am - even though I might suggest otherwise here through my impish comments!) - but this sort of proposal is laughable as it is totally unworkable. Such proposals are daft when one considers the places in which most organs are placed. Politicians and European Parliament folk need to understand the difference between domestic water pipes (still very much in evidence thoughout Europe - mine in France coming in from the road, for instance) and organ trunking and organ pipes. Of course we must fight as hard as we can to educate these people. That, I suggest is what needs to be done first. I complete knee-jerk reaction might just produce the opposite result. Those who represent the building trade need to find the best way to approach the situation. Handled in the best possible way, the whole dreadful vision could be turned very much to the advantage of The Organ. A good, combined and co-ordinated approach at European level needs to be formed. But of course proper contact with MP's and MEP's can only do good and bring the situation to their attention. Are Archbishops and Bishops involved? Is the Church? Concert Halls? Blowing hot air here on this disscussion board can fuel the engine a little, and get much off the (wind)chest, but every little helps of course.

 

I have already spoken on the telephone last night to a number of my playing colleagues about it - not least two international organ builders. (One has been told to drink a lot a milk when in the voicing shop dealing with pipes. He asks me if the Health and Safety will get on to him for having a cow tethered there! He's an organic sort of fella, you see.)

 

Rest assured, my profound friend from Belgium, I do all I can. But much I do not disclose here.

Best wishes,

NJA

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Rest assured we in Belgium are as far from Brussel's bureaucrats as

any englishman !

These guys live among themselves on their planet, and look at the

belgians with the deepest disdain.

(If you want them I'd suggest to relocalize the whole stuff at St-Helena

island, still an UK's Dominion, isn't it?)

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
I have just e-mailed all seven MEP's representing the West Midlands region.

 

If you wish to contact your MEP's you will probably find the following website very useful. http://www.europarl.org.uk/office/WelcomeMain.htm

 

Excellent - just the job. But writers must remember, no more than 4 pertinent sentences. It will never get read if longwinded. 3 is best (I am told). Go for it!

 

NJA

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Hi Everybody,

 

I notice that the proposal here is described as a DIRECTIVE. This is significant because whereas EU Regulations are centrally made and apply automatically throughout Member States directives as their name implies are instructions addressed to member states to introduce a law within that state to implement the objectives of the directive within the state. In other words there will be an Act of Parliament passed at Westminster for the UK, a measure of the French National Assembley., and so on. This indicates two things, it seems to me, at the moment, though I do need to do more work on this since until yesterday I was completely unaware of this operation of the law of unintended consequences ....

 

Lobbying activity should for those in the UK be focussed on Westminster and not Brussels since it is at Westminster that the legislation to implement the Directive will be made and it is there that it can be amended

 

Since I retired I am not as up to date with proposed legislation as I once was BUT if this legislation is actually to come into effect on 1 July then there must be either a provision for this to happen in an Act already passed or there must be a Bill currently going through Parliament. I have as yet discovered no reference to either so it is entirely possible that this legislation does not as yet exist. That said there do exist fast track procedures for handling the implementation of stuff coming from Europe. However, it is not all that unusual for Europe to set a target date for implementation of a directive and for some member states not to get round to doing it or in some cases to ignore it. So it is not necessarily the case that 1 July brings the world crashing down around our ears...

 

If anyone knows, and those in the organ building fraternity are most likely to, the title/SI Number of the legislation by which the directive is to be carried into effect it would be helpful if they could post that information here. While it is possible to find it out, being given a head start is always a help.

 

Brian Childs

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Well, be assured "Europe" votes too. Some comments may be in

french, tough (I allowed it to my members in order to have more

people voting)

Pierre

 

Europe, on many occasions, seems to have adopted a very successful tactic of ignoring Directives. Here we seem to have to follow them to the letter or end up in court. As an example, a market trader nicked for still using lbs and oz's as weight measures - who really cares?

 

When one sees the stringent health requirements (not a bad thing I agree) enforced in this country and then see what happens in Europe.............!!!!

 

Frank Fowler

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Europe, on many occasions, seems to have adopted a very successful tactic of ignoring Directives. Here we seem to have to follow them to the letter or end up in court. As an example, a market trader nicked for still using lbs and oz's as weight measures - who really cares?

 

When one sees the stringent health requirements (not a bad thing I agree) enforced in this country and then see what happens in Europe.............!!!!

 

Frank Fowler

 

Absolutely correct!

 

Our surrealist Belgium should, if EC-regulations were followed, ban any

motor vehicle from the cities of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Liège and Charleroi

at least three quarters of the time, so often are the pollution limits widely

overtaken!

But mind you, the people here did not even ear about it. It's deep, deep Province here...

When I tell friends you have to pay a fee to drive into inner London, they laugh at me, it's simply not conceivable (London is not 100 Miles from here, tough).

Pierre

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If anyone knows, and those in the organ building fraternity are most likely to, the title/SI Number of the legislation by which the directive is to be carried into effect it would be helpful if they could post that information here. While it is possible to find it out, being given a head start is always a help.

 

Brian Childs

Hi Brian,

 

Thanks for your note. The best I can find is the following document to implement the directive:

 

http://www.dti.gov.uk/sustainability/weee/...tionpartiii.pdf

 

All the published documentation can be found from here:

 

http://www.pipes4organs.org/directiveDocs.html

 

It appears to be in a consultation stage at present.

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Guest Barry Oakley

I have already received a response to my e-mail from one of the West Midlands' MEP's, stating that he has forwarded it to the Commission and will in turn inform me of their response.

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Hi Brian,

 

Thanks for your note. The best I can find is the following document to implement the directive:

 

http://www.dti.gov.uk/sustainability/weee/...tionpartiii.pdf

 

All the published documentation can be found from here:

 

http://www.pipes4organs.org/directiveDocs.html

 

It appears to be in a consultation stage at present.

 

 

From exchanges I have seen elsewhere, the villain of the piece (or one of them) seems to our own DTI, which is bent on over-interpreting the directives (which,

as writ, are actually quite reasonable) and on adding all sorts of catch-alls, for example by adding categories which were never intended to be included. Other European governments seem to be less literalist and lees bureaucratic in their interpretation.

 

JS

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"Over-interpreting" is probably not the word to use. These are EU directives. The DTI cannot add things to EU directives, or interpret them as they see fit (or even unfit, for that matter). When asked for advice, all they can do is to anticipate and explain how the EC will - or could - interpret their own directives. And that appears to have been what they have been doing (as the small print at the end of that long explanation on pipes4organs acknowledges). Naturally, in doing this they will tend to be ultra-cautious, take the worst-case scenario, etc. I daresay to do more than this could potentially leave themselves open to legal action if action taken on their interpretation leads to someone or something going belly up.

 

Now, as to what may be happening behind the scenes, one would like to imagine that they are negotiating with the EC about pipe organs and also planning to exempt them from any UK legislation. That is where the pressure needs to bear. It would be nice if they would tell us what they are doing too.

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more at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,...2091756,00.html.

 

At first I thought it was just April 1st. But the EU seem to have surpassed themselves.

 

And I don't say that as a standard hang 'em and flog 'em, oak-panelled Tory.

 

The purpose of this directive is to prevent the release of lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and a few other nasty things into the environments of third-world countries, where old electrical equipment is often dumped. This is a laudable objective.

 

I cannot imagine what it has to do with organs. I am sure that the matter will be resolved. I cannot imagine the organs of St Sulpice, or the Grote of St Bavo, or Passau being silenced, for instance.

 

Perhaps the presumably lowly DTI spokesperson, insistent that the UK must 'harmonise', is not quite aware of what is at stake here, and gave the press a stock answer, without clearance. Surely just a case of sloppy legislation?

 

But a raw deal if you are waiting, or are currently having your instrument restored, and you get caught up in the whole sorry mess.

 

Pass the sick bag, Alice.

 

DWL.

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Guest Barry Oakley
more at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,...2091756,00.html.

 

At first I thought it was just April 1st. But the EU seem to have surpassed themselves.

 

And I don't say that as a standard hang 'em and flog 'em, oak-panelled Tory.

 

The purpose of this directive is to prevent the release of lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and a few other nasty things into the environments of third-world countries, where old electrical equipment is often dumped. This is a laudable objective.

 

I cannot imagine what it has to do with organs. I am sure that the matter will be resolved. I cannot imagine the organs of St Sulpice, or the Grote of St Bavo, or Passau being silenced, for instance.

 

Perhaps the presumably lowly DTI spokesperson, insistent that the UK must 'harmonise', is not quite aware of what is at stake here, and gave the press a stock answer, without clearance. Surely just a case of sloppy legislation?

 

But a raw deal if you are waiting, or are currently having your instrument restored, and you get caught up in the whole sorry mess.

 

Pass the sick bag, Alice.

 

DWL.

 

I just wonder how the French are viewing this EU nonsense? I think we should take a leaf out of the French a la carte book of attitudes to EU directives and have two fingers at the ready.

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I just wonder how the French are viewing this EU nonsense? I think we should take a leaf out of the French a la carte book of attitudes to EU directives and have two fingers at the ready.

 

 

The attitude in France you can have an idea of here:

 

http://forum.aceboard.net/18898-3344-22237...UILLET-2006.htm

 

Pierre

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I just wonder how the French are viewing this EU nonsense? I think we should take a leaf out of the French a la carte book of attitudes to EU directives and have two fingers at the ready.

 

 

====================

 

;)

 

It's a nice idea, but is it really nonsense?

 

It really isn't a good idea to have heavy-metals dumped in landfills, any more than it is to similarly dispose of toxic chemicals and weapons grade plutonium.

We simply don't want such things leeching into the water courses.

 

IF an exception is made for the organ (which seems quite likely as a matter of expediency, and to correct an oversight), then I wouldn't think that any such exception would sensibly exclude the circuit-boards and computing power now used in action control systems, which is what the directive is all about.

 

There is a positive aspect to all this of course, because those who make purely digital organs (especially those who build-up their own circuit-boards) will have greater costs imposed upon them. :o

 

So make no mistake, this aspect of the directive WILL be implemeted, and rightly so, if only out of fairness and even-handed justice.

 

I guess no-one in the EU ever contemplated the possibility that SOME devices which include circuit-boards, might conceivably amount to 50% lead, 40% Brazilian rain-forest and possibly 1% elephant ivory (if it is a re-build)!!

 

Be careful when rattling cages or calling EU polticians and legisaltors names!

 

 

MM

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Guest Barry Oakley

What is this EU Directive really about? Is about the use of lead or the disposal of lead? If it is about the use of lead then Katherine Venning, on behalf of the IBO, points out that pipe makers and sheet lead casters are noted for their longevity of life. From my own father's involvement in the former letterpress-based printing industry, I know that many of his friends who were directly involved in the processing of molten (hot) metal, machine compositors and stereotypers, went on to live long and healthy lives well beyond retirement.

 

If it is about the disposal of heavy metals then I am all for control. But society in the UK increasingly takes a responsible attitude to the disposal of electronic devices containing printed circuitry. Indeed, local authorities in general have set up dumpit sites where items such as computers, refrigerators, television sets, etc., containing printed circuitry and other hazardous substances, are segregated. From my knowledge they are not all buried in the ground but are processed by specialist organisations who extract the microprocessors (they contain gold) and melt off the solder. Like many other waste products which councils collect, they are probably making some money from their efforts.

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Guest Roffensis

I have always considered that the lamentable vandalism of some very fine organs in the UK, and the cavalier attitudes of some builders to older or other work, should warrant some strong regulation. I personally am delighted to see a (any)restriction placed, as we have enough fine pipe organs , loads begging for homes, and do not need more, or to have another with that new console and flashing lights not to mention array of new gimmicky stops....you get my point? yes I thought you all would!! But the new law will stop even a organ being moved to a new home.....

Ulimatately we have probably earned such a restriction bt being so blase with our heritage, and the sad thing is that the new law is really based on a completely unrealistic reason. Lead? oh come on!!!!

 

There was me finally rejoicing, no more tweakings, no more outings, and....... if it saves poor Worcester....

 

GOOD

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