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St.Bavo, Haarlem has resident bats, which fly around the church with impunity in the middle of orgel concerten. They seem to get very excited when the mixtures are drawn; flying at full throttle towards the instrument and only back-pedalling when they're a few feet away from the organ-case.

It is an unpleasant, but well-known fact that bats urinate whilst flying. It is also a sad fact that pipe metal and bat urine don't mix. Scrub as you might, you can't get the marks off. Bill Drake showed me this organ recently. You can just about see what the bats have done in the photo: it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase spotted metal. Nice instrument though.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest Barry Williams
Don't forget that dogs have owners but cats have staff

--

Bruce Fletcher

Stronsay, Orkney

<www.stronsay.co.uk/claremont>

 

 

Maurice Forsyth-Grant had a cat. He also had a large house organ in Hawthorne Lodge. On that organ was a wierd mixture that even the great John Degens found tricky to tune. The said cat had a habit of wandering amongst the pipework after tuning, thus undoing difficult and excellent work. As the offending creature was a cat, M F-G would not remonstrate with it. He merely regretted the damage to the tuning. Yes, cats have staff not owners.

 

Barry Williams

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It is an unpleasant, but well-known fact that bats urinate whilst flying. It is also a sad fact that pipe metal and bat urine don't mix. Scrub as you might, you can't get the marks off. Bill Drake showed me this organ recently. You can just about see what the bats have done in the photo: it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase spotted metal. Nice instrument though.

 

I can recommend taking metal pipes to acid-dipping firms (the sort that strip pine doors) - have had some very good results this way.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Maurice Forsyth-Grant had a cat. He also had a large house organ in Hawthorne Lodge. On that organ was a wierd mixture that even the great John Degens found tricky to tune. The said cat had a habit of wandering amongst the pipework after tuning, thus undoing difficult and excellent work. As the offending creature was a cat, M F-G would not remonstrate with it. He merely regretted the damage to the tuning. Yes, cats have staff not owners.

 

Barry Williams

 

On several occasions after I have tuned the organ in a certain well known 'Royal' venue, the organist has remarked that many pipes (particularly the 2' Great) have been badly out of tune. This was extremely puzzling to me as the organ is very stable. It was later discovered that this offence was caused not by a cat, but a dog! Apparently, before a royal visit, the building is thoroughly searched by security Police and a 'sniffer' dog is let into the organ and up onto the main passage board! Of couse, if the pipes were cone-tuned they would be ok.

 

Knowing that dogs go into the organ I now tread very carefully on a tuning visit!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Blimey, just how soft was the metal? You can post two Robins (or one sparrow) first class for 32p. Would even a 100g Blackbird have much impact?

 

Wouldn't they be classed as a small package, and thereby incur a higher charge!

 

Jonathan

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