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Manders closing?

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Having seen multiple situations of companies in administration professionally, the outcome generally comes down to some very blunt almost obvious financial factors including debt, assets, revenue opportunities, cost base and who might buy a going concern. All of those can only very difficult for a builder of new organs or significant rebuilds in the current climate unless they had a stack of long contracts on the books before this pandemic situation. It is probably less financially acute for those dominated by tuning rounds and regular small maintenance. The revenue streams are inevitably dominated by the church, which is itself unlikely to want to embark on capital projects that could be postponed especially if they foresee a rationalisation of buildings. Unless organ builders can attract philanthropic angel investors, with an emotional outlook, like football clubs and refurbishment of steam trains seem to, it is hard to see a business case for an acquisition or merger. A very sad outlook indeed.

For the part of this forum and its members; if anyone is aware of ringfenced funds, perhaps bequests, or individuals with the cash but dithering on a decision to instruct a home organ (I'm probably 3 years away from this!) then we should do what we can to unblock and jolly along the decision processes to help retain the organ building companies that remain or to give a lift to a skilled person unexpectedly out of work.

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Crumbs..........what next?................. can life generally get any worse??

 

The passing of so many organists of late is bad enough, but organ firms  as well ?

 

There is less and less worth getting up for in the mornings now; well nigh that this lump of spinning rock was nudged by an asteroid.

I am not being facetious either.

 

 

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I would have to echo my personal sadness here too. I doubt I will ever be counted amongst the rare numbers of people privileged enough to be able to sign the contract for a new or even rebuilt or restored pipe organ, much of my early wonder at the instrument came about through exposure to the work of Manders, including the organs of Adlington Hall, St Paul's Cathedral and Birmingham Town Hall. I used to joke that I hoped someone had kept the blueprints for St Ignatius Loyola since the first thing I would do if I ever won the Euromillions would be to order an exact copy for myself. I hope and expect the legacy of Manders will be around for a few hundred years yet, just as some of the organs they have restored are centuries old. They, and those who preceded them have only been their custodians for a few blinks of an eye in those organs' lifetimes.

We are at a rare moment of global crisis with all sorts of hidden consequences we could not have envisaged only six months ago. At present there is no end date in sight for restarting church worship and concerts in the way we were used to, and with many of the institutions that are the custodians of pipe organs facing financial ruin through the loss of income, the next few months, possibly the next few years could be perilous times for some of the businesses who work with them and supply them. My heart goes out to those who are being badly affected while we battle what is proving to be probably the most serious global health crisis for over a century. And I do wonder whether there is any more we as organists and organ lovers could do to support one another and especially to support those in the professional organ playing and organ building trades whose lives and livelihoods have been turned upside down as a result of the pandemic.

 

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Just signing in to say  " au revoir ".   I have just joined   the New Forum and am glad to report that its title does include the name " Mander ", so your  name will live on in spirit as well as with the countless instruments with  which you and your team have been involved with over many years.

It is to be hoped that your craftsmen/technicians will be able to either re-locate within this endangered industry or transfer their existing skills into new ventures.

One particular craftsmen out of many, I have to mention is Eric Bell who did some excellent work on the tuba on Liverpoo lCathedral organ some years ago.

                                                                                                  " sic et transit gloria "

 

 

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