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From a couple of posts on Facebook:
 

"Mander Organs Ltd profoundly regrets to announce that, owing to cashflow difficulties and the inability to secure sufficient work, the company has ceased trading as of Monday 27.vii.2020. The management and staff would like to express their gratitude to our clients and friends for the loyalty and support they have given over the years, and particularly in the last few difficult months. Our affairs have been placed in the hands of an independent insolvency practitioner, Insolve Plus Ltd, to whom all enquiries should be addressed."


I dearly hope that this isn’t true, but if it is, I offer my condolences to all of the Mander staff.  What terrible news.

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This is really very sad. Manders led the way through the second half of the Twentieth century with restorations of war damage and then some very fine new organs across the world.  

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I am very sad indeed to hear this.  As others have pointed, out under Noel Mander they did some splendid post-war restorations under very difficult conditions.

Indeed, they have built many very fine organs in the last 20-30 years both here and abroad.

Like other contributors i feel very sorry for their workforce, some of whom I know well.

Martin

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Very sad to hear this- end of a long and illustrious period for one of the most respected names in British Organ building. 
Manders  have also been very gracious and generous in hosting this forum, for which our thanks are due  

It does occurs to me that this forum might disappear rather suddenly as a result. Do we have a ‘Plan B’ as to where to relocate this valuable and interesting online community for those interested in the organ and its music?
 

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As the forum is hosted externally, it would probably not be hard to arrange for control of it to be moved by arrangement with the insolvency practitioners.  But someone would have to be prepared to stump up $45 (probably plus VAT) a month for it (or more, but I suspect that the minimum plan would cover our usage).

I run a couple of small forums on my home server, but using different software.  It would probably be possible to transfer old messages to a newly set up forum, but the details can be a bit tricky, and of course different software gives a different feel to the forum.

Paul

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Terrible news.  Let's hope that somebody, somewhere can come up with the goods.

Covid cannot last for ever, and when the problem is past we shall, once again need organs building and maintaining.

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Wonder what the score is here - I just checked the website and it is still live with no news of closure. The same goes for the company's FB page. However if this is true - and I join everyone else here in hoping that it most definitely isn't - then it is be very sad news indeed and my thoughts are with the workforce.

Dave

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I note that the first post in this topic contains no link, and that checking the Mander facebook page there appears to be no such post; nor is there any such information on the web site.

I'm embarrassed not to have checked for myself earlier.

Paul.

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I too am much saddened by this news. Manders not just one of the finest British Organ Builders, but on a world standing also. Australia, and American come to mind immediately.

I was much honored to preside for about 10 years at one of their early (1956-58) three manual organs at Walcot Parish Church, Bath in the 1970s. A delight in all aspects.

My thoughts go to all members of the Mander Team, as they grapple with this tragic event.

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This is terribly sad, and I can only echo John Robinson’s hope that some kind of rescue will be possible.  I think tribute is due to John Pike Mander personally, not only for his great achievements in organbuilding but his generosity in providing this discussion board and sharing his expert knowledge with such patience and courtesy.

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12 hours ago, John Robinson said:

Covid cannot last for ever, and when the problem is past we shall ............................ 

I think that we will be living with Covid for much longer than any of us realise.

It is very sad news that a firm of such distinction should be in the hands of an insolvency practitioner - but, I'm afraid, given the present economic circumstances, they won't be the only, highly skilled and highly specialised, firm that finds itself in this situation.  

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Does anyone know how this forum will be effected by this? Possibly too early to say...
 

A

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What a shocking thing it is whenever a source of any ancient craft disappears.  Apart from anything else, its practitioners thereafter can rapidly cease to exist.  Voicers and their incomparably skilled colleagues cannot just be brought off the street when required by placing ads in a local job centre.  It's not unlike the almost complete disappearance of mechanical (clockwork) timepieces.  Politely disregarding the output of the Beijing watch factory, a few of these are still made commercially at enormous cost for the more discerning super-wealthy, but mostly the art is kept alive within the wider horological community which still pursues things like ever more accurate pendulum clocks as a subject with its own fascination.  The late mathematician Philip Woodward with his W5 clock was a leading light in this activity, whom I was privileged to know in the early stages of my scientific career (and he was  an organist too, playing at places like Malvern Priory from time to time).  But a big difference between mechanical horology and organs is that the latter are still broadly useful to the wider community and they serve a purpose as well as bringing a lot of pleasure to a lot of people (not that I'm for a moment decrying the pursuit of clockwork as a beautiful intellectual activity with roots in pre-Galileo days).

Like others who have posted above, I hope that a positive solution might emerge to rescue the firm.

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I am afraid this is so. There seems no chance of saving the company as things have gone too far for that to be possible. The workforce is in total shock, having had very little indication (if any) of the way things were going. In time, I am sure lessons will be learned by others from this experience. As to the discussion board, my hope is that another host will be found, but I suspect that is something for others to sort out. I am pretty sure that most, if not all of my erstwhile colleagues will find employment with other builders, I certainly hope so. I have no idea if the directors have any intention of offering support for previous clients. Let me say here that if there were any who wanted support, virtual or practical, that they were not able to find from the late directors, I would be prepared to step up to the plate as long as I am able, wherever in the world that might be necessary. Enough people know how to get in touch with me and you can communicate that to each other privately. I would prefer not to broadcast that here for obvious reasons. Very sad outcome indeed. My thoughts are with old and recent clients, obviously, but even more so with my old colleagues. To me they are family. We have been through so much together and done so many fun things together that it saddens me that the family will now be split up, at least as far as work is concerned. However, I have a suspicion that they will all stay in touch with each other and with me. I certainly hope so.

John

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