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Hill, Norman and Beard brochures search

Paul Isom

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I deputised recently at the methodist church that my grandparents attended for many years.  I grew up knowing this organ, but simply not appreciating just how good it was.  The poor instrument had been moved three times, the church having been compulsory purchased twice.  Remarkably the instrument remains in fine fettle in it's new home, albeit with pond-scum coloured front pipes instead of a rather imaginative display.  The organ is a rebuild of a Forster and Andrews, and what struck me what the cunning way the organ has a total unity, despite having had modern additions (Quintaten 16’ on the Great etc). 


I'm curious to find out more about the H,N&B organs of the 1960 - 1975 era. There were some rather interesting designs, some based on American classic ideals, others having quirky, but nevertheless very useful and economic ideas.  There were also very interesting case designs as well, including one in Portsmouth possibly based around the organ at Freiburg (Rieger?). I understand that the style/design of the organs was mocked by one builder, calling them 'John Norman's bass-less organs' because of the cunning use of basses to complete other ranks.  We also had a small two manual in Orpington which came from the Spurgeon's homes in Birchington, which eventually moved to Dover College.  Sadly this organ is no more as Dover College threw the organ out.   See:


This organ seemed to have everything wrong with the stoplist - lack of a 4' and 2' Principals, no Mixture, yet everything worked.

There are a number of this kind of instrument out there and I am keen to learn more about them.  I have a very small collection of Hill, Norman and Beard brochures which cover a few of the organs, but not all of them.  I would really like to add to the collection, especially between the years 1960 - 1975, or at least until John Norman ceased his association with the company.  Does anyone out there have any brochure that they can spare (I'm happy to pay for them, within reason)?  Please message me if you are able to help.

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