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Anthony Poole

Safeguard Your Pipes - Security!

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I've wanted to post this for a while, but was reluctant to do so as I did not want to give anyone ideas. However, with metals prices at, or close to record levels, including tin and lead on the London Metal Exchange, I strongly urge organists to make sure their churches beef up their security. It would be a tragedy to hear of organ pipes diesappearing to thieves intent on melting them down to make a quick, small fortune on the scrap market, but it is a sad and real possibility in today's environment of staggeringly high metals and commodity prices. Primary copper is worth well over $7,000 a tonne and has even been above $8,000 a tonne this year and it has an extraordinarily high value on the scrap market.

 

In the US thieves risk their lives regularly trying to steal copper wire from overhead telephone wires and it often ends in tragedy with people either falling, or being electrocuted by overhead power lines. Entire lamposts and traffic lights are regularly stolen for their aluminium and copper wire.

 

Earlier this year, a nickel producer in France had two full trucks of high purity nickel stolen which, at today's prices, the value of the two cargoes was approximately $1 million. Fortunately, nickel is not used in pipes.

 

Also at risk are the lead from stained glass windows and a church's silverware.

 

If you have a pipe organ under you care in a church, a concert hall or your home, please do all in your powers to make sure it is secure. Today's metals prices are unprecedented, but opportunistic thieves have probably been around for as long mankind. So please be on your guard.

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I've wanted to post this for a while, but was reluctant to do so as I did not want to give anyone ideas. However, with metals prices at, or close to record levels, including tin and lead on the London Metal Exchange, I strongly urge organists to make sure their churches beef up their security. It would be a tragedy to hear of organ pipes diesappearing to thieves intent on melting them down to make a quick, small fortune on the scrap market, but it is a sad and real possibility in today's environment of staggeringly high metals and commodity prices. Primary copper is worth well over $7,000 a tonne and has even been above $8,000 a tonne this year and it has an extraordinarily high value on the scrap market.

 

In the US thieves risk their lives regularly trying to steal copper wire from overhead telephone wires and it often ends in tragedy with people either falling, or being electrocuted by overhead power lines. Entire lamposts and traffic lights are regularly stolen for their aluminium and copper wire.

 

Earlier this year, a nickel producer in France had two full trucks of high purity nickel stolen which, at today's prices, the value of the two cargoes was approximately $1 million. Fortunately, nickel is not used in pipes.

 

Also at risk are the lead from stained glass windows and a church's silverware.

 

If you have a pipe organ under you care in a church, a concert hall or your home, please do all in your powers to make sure it is secure. Today's metals prices are unprecedented, but opportunistic thieves have probably been around for as long mankind. So please be on your guard.

 

 

Organ pipe metal, as most of us know, is not pure lead therefore the price normally offered by a scrap metal dealer for organ pipes, which are classed as `scrap' lead, is vastly lower than the prices normally offered for pure lead as quoted on the boards outside a scrap metal dealer's yard, as recovering pure lead from a tin and antimony alloy is costly.

 

Unfortunately lead theives do not realise this until the damage has been done, and are not paid what they are expecting, but to them any money is better than nothing. Tightening church security these days is both prudent and essential.

 

Good thinking Anthony!

 

FF

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Organ pipe metal, as most of us know, is not pure lead therefore the price normally offered by a scrap metal dealer for organ pipes, which are classed as `scrap' lead, is vastly lower than the prices normally offered for pure lead as quoted on the boards outside a scrap metal dealer's yard, as recovering pure lead from a tin and antimony alloy is costly.

 

Unfortunately lead theives do not realise this until the damage has been done, and are not paid what they are expecting, but to them any money is better than nothing. Tightening church security these days is both prudent and essential.

 

Good thinking Anthony!

 

FF

 

That's as maybe, but it is the high price of metals that are likely to attract the thieves and, while they may not make as much as they thought, in today's high-priced environment, they could still stand to gain considerably. Prices are at a level where it is substantially worth the cost of recovering lead from alloys. And I read a report yesterday, which was forecasting average tin prices at $8,500/tonne for the rest of this year and $9,000/tonne for the whole of 2007.

 

I shudder to think what today's metals prices are doing to organ builders' margins these days, or the cost of organ building. But that's another story!

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Guest Roffensis

I would consider organ pipes to be at far greater threat from organ builders than any scrap metal merchant. Furthermore the treatment is often the same for both type of person............

 

and seems destined to continue....... ;)

 

 

Richard

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Guest delvin146

In some cases, the theft of organ pipes would doubtless be a heaven sent blessing. Apparently there are thieves on the prowl in the Oxford area..

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Several years ago, our 1884 T.C Lewis was relieved of a number of spotted (Tin and Zinc mix I believe) pipes from its front. Many of which were non-speaking. They were replaced by plain "lead" pipes. Not sure why, as it was well before my time there, but maybe the insurance wasn't quite up to paying for new ones.

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Several years ago, our 1884 T.C Lewis was relieved of a number of spotted (Tin and Zinc mix I believe) pipes from its front. 

 

Spotted metal is about fifty-fifty tin and lead, no zinc.

According to their book, it seems Lewis used few zinc, if any.

 

Pierre

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Hi Pierre - what is the book that you refer to?  I ask, as I have always wondered about the history of our Lewis organ.  Does it mention specific jobs?

 

thanks,

BB

 

See the summary here, with the references:

 

http://z11.invisionfree.com/The_romantic_o...hp?showtopic=52

 

There are no specific jobs mentionned, but I think you should have it. It is one of the

best books about organ-building we have from that period, far better than Audsley

and Rupp.

It explains Lewis's high standards of construction, how they voiced, how they themselves described their stops etc.

The last edition deals with electric actions etc, so if your organ is a late one, go in search of that one (the third edition)

 

 

Pierre

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Guest Roffensis
In some cases, the theft of organ pipes would doubtless be a heaven sent blessing. Apparently there are thieves on the prowl in the Oxford area..

 

 

LOL!!.......... :mellow:

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I've wanted to post this for a while, but was reluctant to do so as I did not want to give anyone ideas. However, with metals prices at, or close to record levels, including tin and lead on the London Metal Exchange, I strongly urge organists to make sure their churches beef up their security. It would be a tragedy to hear of organ pipes diesappearing to thieves intent on melting them down to make a quick, small fortune on the scrap market, but it is a sad and real possibility in today's environment of staggeringly high metals and commodity prices. Primary copper is worth well over $7,000 a tonne and has even been above $8,000 a tonne this year and it has an extraordinarily high value on the scrap market.

 

SNIP!!

 

Also at risk are the lead from stained glass windows and a church's silverware.

 

If you have a pipe organ under you care in a church, a concert hall or your home, please do all in your powers to make sure it is secure. Today's metals prices are unprecedented, but opportunistic thieves have probably been around for as long mankind. So please be on your guard.

I have long been praying for such a miracle at our church :)

 

Have we any evidence of the pipes having been nicked from any churches in the UK?

 

With EIG our churches are covered for being open (not locked) during the day, as they prefer to replace candlesticks etc, nicked by person who walked in and took them, rather than who climbed in through a hole where stained glass once was.....

 

:)

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I have long been praying for such a miracle at our church :)

 

Have we any evidence of the pipes having been nicked from any churches in the UK?

 

With EIG our churches are covered for being open (not locked) during the day, as they prefer to replace candlesticks etc, nicked by person who walked in and took them, rather than who climbed in through a hole where stained glass once was.....

 

B)

 

Hi

 

A remote village church in Sussex lost most of the Great upperwork a few years ago - so it does happen. Maybe Quentin should leave the door to the organ chamber unlocked :) The organ in Sussex was rather more accessible.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

A remote village church in Sussex lost most of the Great upperwork a few years ago - so it does happen.  Maybe Quentin should leave the door to the organ chamber unlocked  :P  The organ in Sussex was rather more accessible.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Just so happens that the pipe theft from my church was also a church in Sussex - could be construed as fairly remote, being sat on it's own in the middle of no-where. Same one perhaps?!!

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I Thought that some months ago I recall reading somewhere that a few pipes had been stolen from the parish church organ at Wotton under Edge, Gloucestershire. I forget now where I read this.

 

This is the old old organ from St Martins in the Fields

 

Regards Michael Sullivan.

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Just so happens that the pipe theft from my church was also a church in Sussex - could be construed as fairly remote, being sat on it's own in the middle of no-where.  Same one perhaps?!!

 

Hi

 

IIRC the one I heard about was Peasmarsh, just North of Rye - but it was a fair while ago - we moved from that area 13 years ago.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I Thought that some months ago I recall reading somewhere that  a few pipes had been stolen from the parish church organ at Wotton under Edge, Gloucestershire.  I forget now where I read this.

 

This is the old old organ from St Martins in the Fields

 

Regards  Michael Sullivan.

My recollection, quite possibly wrong, is that it was the organ at nearby Berkley that suffered in this way

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