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Worcester Cathedral.


undamaris
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I am certain that the Tickell organ on both sides of the quire internally occupies the triforium and consequently at least part of the aisle roofspace behind it, with the clerestory windows wholly above.   From the photographs, it seems that the fallen pinnacle has extensively damaged the outer roof and internal stone vault of the aisle in the first bay of the quire on the north side.  The organ is wholly within the second bay, and I suspect that it would have suffered significantly if this damage had occurred only a matter of feet further east.  It’s by no means uncertain that necessary repairs to the roof and vault so close to the organ might have some impact.  Doubtless we can expect further information about this from Worcester.
 

The second photograph here, courtesy of the BBC shows the internal damage and the near proximity of the pipes in the north case.  You can get an idea of the respective positions internally and externally from the situation of the apex of the aisle window which is the same one at the left in both photographs.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-59463928

 

 

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As Rowland has already said the damage is in the bay immediately next to the north organ case which contains great, choir & solo divisions. Even if there is no direct damage to the organ, it is likely that any equipment outside of the case (e.g. blowing plant, wind trunking & electrics) could be affected.

I would also imagine that, until the damaged vault has been assessed and stabilised, engineers will probably ask for the organ to remain silent for fear of vibration making the damage worse. 

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The Cathedral website indicates that services and visiting have resumed, but confined to the nave and cloister only.  Certainly for the time being there is no question of the Tickell organ being playable.

Very close examination of the photographs shows how close to the organ the damage has been.  The external photograph shows a small-bore copper pipe (no idea what this might have been) passing from the first bay into the second now severed.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sad news but in some ways it is fortunate that the damage wasn't worse.

As for the organ, it seems to have been slightly ill fated since it was built with the ventilation system not being fit for purpose, some serious electrical problems as I understand and now being out of action due to this incident. 

I wonder if they will ever get the Transept in action, let alone the much talked about West end instrument?

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"The organ was not damaged during the incident, however we must safeguard and clean the instrument during the period of ongoing work, so we are disappointed to report that it too will be out of action for some time. We will continue to use our electric organ in the meantime." (Cathedral website)

Pity to learn that the very fine Tickell will not be in use this Christmas but it is good to know that the situation is much better than it could have been.

Dave

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On 19/12/2021 at 21:59, DaveHarries said:

"The organ was not damaged during the incident, however we must safeguard and clean the instrument during the period of ongoing work, so we are disappointed to report that it too will be out of action for some time. We will continue to use our electric organ in the meantime." (Cathedral website)

Pity to learn that the very fine Tickell will not be in use this Christmas but it is good to know that the situation is much better than it could have been.

Dave

The question seems to me to be... "IS it a very fine organ?" It has to be a matter of concern to the cathedral authorities that something so new and so important a part of the cathedral's entire operation should have proved to be out of action for a considerable period of time. Or is it actually a very fine organ which has been plagued by third party issues encroaching upon it and putting it out of action? Despite so many folk vilifying the digital organ world, it seems to me a mighty good thing that they have such an instrument installed there that they can fall back on. 

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20 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

The question seems to me to be... "IS it a very fine organ?" It has to be a matter of concern to the cathedral authorities that something so new and so important a part of the cathedral's entire operation should have proved to be out of action for a considerable period of time. Or is it actually a very fine organ which has been plagued by third party issues encroaching upon it and putting it out of action? Despite so many folk vilifying the digital organ world, it seems to me a mighty good thing that they have such an instrument installed there that they can fall back on. 

Well, personal opinion I know but it's never done very much for me. I do think it has been the recipient of more than it's fair share of circumstances conspiring against it, but it's a well made modern organ.

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Just stepping around S_L's question... I suppose I find myself wondering, when I think of the huge success of rebuilds over the years at, for example, St Paul's, and more recently at Canterbury and York, are these, 'throwing the baby out with the bath water' schemes as at Worcester and Manchester worthwhile and successful? (Stand by for Magdalen, Oxford.) I have absolutely NO knowledge of either of these new-ish instruments but I know that I have heard virtually nothing about them (apart from the problems at Worcester) since they were completed. OK, the musical status of Manchester cathedral isn't, maybe, on the same level at York and Canterbury, but they do have a brand new organ, so you would think some news of it would leak out! 

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6 hours ago, Martin Cooke said:

OK, the musical status of Manchester cathedral isn't, maybe, on the same level at York and Canterbury, but they do have a brand new organ, so you would think some news of it would leak out! 

I heard something a couple of months ago about Manchester but, whether it was reliable, I don't know which is why I wouldn't repeat it publicly here.

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  • 5 months later...

Nicolson's have some photos of the work on their "smaller projects" page: http://www.nicholsonorgans.co.uk/pf/smaller-projects-2022/

It looks like the organ has escaped significant physical damage, however it looks like all the pipework has been removed from the north side for cleaning. I wonder if they are taking the opportunity to fix the other problems that have been mentioned?

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2 hours ago, Choir Man said:

Nicolson's have some photos of the work on their "smaller projects" page: http://www.nicholsonorgans.co.uk/pf/smaller-projects-2022/

It looks like the organ has escaped significant physical damage, however it looks like all the pipework has been removed from the north side for cleaning. I wonder if they are taking the opportunity to fix the other problems that have been mentioned?

Some of the pipework appears to have been damaged too going by the last few photos. I wasn't aware of any other problems though.

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dunno, looks to me like the bent metal is just a brace for the mitre.

Is the previous photo the famous  Hope Jones Viol de gamba that was so thin, the pipes had to be boxed in by a wooden frame?

[img]http://www.nicholsonorgans.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/WhatsApp-Image-2022-02-15-at-14.53.57.jpg[/img]

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1 hour ago, Contrabombarde said:

Dunno, looks to me like the bent metal is just a brace for the mitre.

Agreed - but one of those pipes has a sharper bend at the mitre, and the support piece has a bulge visible as a result, so I suspect that one pipe is a bit out of sorts.

Paul

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