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Apparently, at last week's annual maintenance, the blower was found to be "on its last legs". I don't know, yet, exactly what this means, but given that it's the original blower that was installed in '56, and, knowing how the rest of the project was begged and borrowed from other sources, it wouldn't surprise me if the blower wasn't new when installed.

 

Is there a source for second hand blowers out there? I'm guessing that a new blower will be in the order of £10,000 + (for a large 3 manual instrument)...

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk

Apparently, at last week's annual maintenance, the blower was found to be "on its last legs". I don't know, yet, exactly what this means, but given that it's the original blower that was installed in '56, and, knowing how the rest of the project was begged and borrowed from other sources, it wouldn't surprise me if the blower wasn't new

 

 

Plan A

Quite often it is not so much the blower fan and installation that is the problem but the electric motor itself. It may well be worth getting a local motor specialist to look at it. Having this rewound with new bearings and brushes is the cheapest solution by far. You would be best to have your organ-builder on hand to supervise the removal.... folks not used to organ innards can do silly things at this stage! One thing to watch especially: make sure they get the direction of rotation right when they put it back. I could tell you of one or two classic cases where quite well-known intstallations were temporarily bu**ered up by careless electricians! You may be surprised to know that a blower wired to rotate backwards does not 'suck' (except in the Amerian sense) but it certainly does give off a heck of a lot less energy!

 

Plan B - if the whole thing genuinely is a write-off

I suggest you track down Stuart Fothergill and Associates in Wareham. They can supply reconditioned blowers at very competitive rates. I haven't got the address by me at the moment, but I imagine something will come up if you try a search engine.

 

Thoughts:

Do I remember you saying on a much earlier posting that the whole organ (St.Mary's Southampton) keeps running out of wind? This just prompts me to suggest that you may have a multi-stage fan where for some mechanical/electrical reason the blower doesn't currently reach its proper running stage at all. Having things properly inspected may reveal quite a bit, to your distinct advantage.

 

Being careful now - laws of libel etc. - I would warn you against assuming that big (i.e. nationally known) blower companies are still carrying out the sort of work they used to do (and for realistic/reasonable prices). Panic not, some still are - Allfab can be trusted IMHO, if you've got to go new. It's just that some famous blower company names are a bit like the AA - i.e. now owned by others and no longer exactly fulfilling the job that once they did.

 

Have fun!

P.

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Plan A

Quite often it is not so much the blower fan and installation that is the problem but the electric motor itself. It may well be worth getting a local motor specialist to look at it. Having this rewound with new bearings and brushes is the cheapest solution by far. You would be best to have your organ-builder on hand to supervise the removal.... folks not used to organ innards can do silly things at this stage!

 

Thanks for the long and helpful response!

 

I shall look into costs for getting new bearings etc - obviously I still need to find out specifics on what's wrong with it!

 

Fortunately, the blower room is completely separate from the main body of the church and thus the organ - unless you can crawl up through the blower output tube, the organ should be reasonably safe.

 

Plan B - if the whole thing genuinely is a write-off

I suggest you track down Stuart Fothergill and Associates in Wareham. They can supply reconditioned blowers at very competitive rates.  I haven't got the address by me at the moment, but I imagine something will come up if you try a search engine.

 

Thoughts:

Do I remember you saying on a much earlier posting that the whole organ (St.Mary's Southampton) keeps running out of wind?  This just prompts me to suggest that you may have a multi-stage fan where for some mechanical/electrical reason the blower doesn't currently reach its proper running stage at all. Having things properly inspected may reveal quite a bit, to your distinct advantage.

 

Stuart Fothergill is the current maintainer of both the blower and humidifer, and hence the person I need to track down to get specifics.

 

Yes, you are right - St. Mary's, Southampton, and yes, it runs out of wind. :D

 

Thanks again!

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Guest Lee Blick
You may be surprised to know that a blower wired to rotate backwards does not 'suck'

 

I have always wondered whether a blower job was about sucking air from the atmosphere around or blowing air into the organ.

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I have always wondered whether a blower job was about sucking air from the atmosphere around or blowing air into the organ.

 

 

=======================

 

I would have thought both, even if the device being blown is an "American Organ" working on suction.

 

Of course, if a blower can't get a supply of fresh-air, then problems can arise, and people have been known to keel over. :D

 

(I should stop at this point and let people guess the rest!)

 

At Bolton Priory in Yorkshire, they used to have an old internal combustion engine which powered the organ-blower fan; presumably before they had electricty.

 

One particular morning, the clouds were almost scraping the deck and the barometric pressure had reached rock-bottom; people arriving for the Morning Service almost requiring blind-dogs as they stumbled through the thick fog.

 

Morning Service commenced, but the old diesel-engine powering the blower fan was of the old type.....none of that emissions nonsense in those days.

 

The smoke bellowed out from the stack, turned through 180 degrees and made its' way to ground level, like all the other gases in the Yorkshire Dales that morning. Finding the most obvious route, it leapt at the opportunity to enter the blower-fan grate on the outside church-wall, and promptly filled the bellows of the organ.

 

Some say that blue-smoke could be seen egressing from the 1st Diapason case-pipes.......talk about "from the mouths of babes and sucklings!"

 

I think the story goes that "Choral Mattins" gave way to "Morning Prayer" during the second Canticle, when most of the choir had fled the scene and ladies started fainted in the congregation; the church smokier than an Anglo-Catholic convention on a high feast day.

 

Quite why they didn't have two boys in reserve, (as most churches had in those days), and a large blowing-handle, I do not know.

 

But even they could be perilous.

 

My late uncle used to tell the story of the fight he had with another boy as they pumped the organ at church; the organ dying a death during the singing of "Fight the good fight".

 

The organist made no more to do, but went round the back and clobbered both of them with the hymn book!!

 

MM

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=======================

 

I would have thought both, even if the device being blown is an "American Organ" working on suction.

 

Of course, if a blower can't get a supply of fresh-air, then problems can arise, and people have been known to keel over.  :blink:

 

(I should stop at this point and let people guess the rest!)

 

At Bolton Priory in Yorkshire, they used to have an old internal combustion engine which powered the organ-blower fan; presumably before they had electricty.

 

One particular morning, the clouds were almost scraping the deck and the barometric pressure had reached rock-bottom; people arriving for the Morning Service almost requiring blind-dogs as they stumbled through the thick fog.

 

Morning Service commenced, but the old diesel-engine powering the blower fan was of the old type.....none of that emissions nonsense in those days.

 

The smoke bellowed out from the stack, turned through 180 degrees and made its' way to ground level, like all the other gases in the Yorkshire Dales that morning. Finding the most obvious route, it leapt at the opportunity to enter the blower-fan grate on the outside church-wall, and promptly filled the bellows of the organ.

 

Some say that blue-smoke could be seen egressing from the 1st Diapason case-pipes.......talk about "from the mouths of babes and sucklings!"

 

I think the story goes that "Choral Mattins" gave way to "Morning Prayer" during the second Canticle, when most of the choir had fled the scene and ladies started fainted in the congregation; the church smokier than an Anglo-Catholic convention on a high feast day.

 

Quite why they didn't have two boys in reserve, (as most churches had in those days), and a large blowing-handle, I do not know. 

 

But even they could be perilous.

 

My late uncle used to tell the story of the fight he had with another boy as they pumped the organ at church; the organ dying a death during the singing of "Fight the good fight".

 

The organist made no more to do, but went round the back and clobbered both of them with the hymn book!!

 

MM

 

Hi

 

I think the organ at Bolton Abbey orriginally had a hydraulic blower, using waqter drawn from the enarby river, if that's the case, it may never have had hand-blowing feeders.

 

A number of Yorkshire organs had hydraulic blowers at one time - does anyone know of a complete example still in situ?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

I think the organ at Bolton Abbey orriginally had a hydraulic blower, using waqter drawn from the enarby river, if that's the case, it may never have had hand-blowing feeders.

 

A number of Yorkshire organs had hydraulic blowers at one time - does anyone know of a complete example still in situ?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

=====================

 

 

No, but the water-mains pipe was still visible at Keighley PC the last time I looked.

 

Water powered everything in Yorkshire for a long time.

 

We have lots of it!!

 

:D:P:P:P:P:P (That's the nearest I can get to a South of England "thirsty smiley")

 

:blink:

 

MM

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Hi

 

I think the organ at Bolton Abbey orriginally had a hydraulic blower, using waqter drawn from the enarby river, if that's the case, it may never have had hand-blowing feeders.

 

A number of Yorkshire organs had hydraulic blowers at one time - does anyone know of a complete example still in situ?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

=================

 

 

The following organ:-

 

St Munn's Church, Kilmun in the Shetlands, where a grant was awarded for the restoration of both organ (Norman & Beard Ltd) and the original hydraulic blower engine.

 

MM

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=================

The following organ:-

 

St Munn's Church, Kilmun in the Shetlands, where a grant was awarded for the restoration of both organ (Norman & Beard Ltd) and the original hydraulic blower engine.

 

MM

 

Many years ago a chapel in South Wales had the wind supplied by a hydraulic engine working the feeders. It was pretty ropey and hardly supplied enough wind. I was trying to get them to have an electric blower but they insisted on building a toilet first. To get the water supply to the toilet they elongated the supply feeding the hydraulic engine. The following poem was written - to be recited with a strong South Wales accent:

 

OUR CHAPEL ORGAN'S BLOWN BY WATER

HYDRAULIC PUMPS THE WIND DO RAISE

THE WATER PRESSURE, JUST SUFFICIENT,

KEEPS IT PLAYING HYMNS OF PRAISE.

 

IN DRY WEATHER - CONSTERNATION -

WORRIED FROWNS AND PRAYERS FOR RAIN.

WHEN PRESSURES LOW, THE MUSIC STOPS

IF SOMEONE PULLS THE TOILET CHAIN.

 

IEUAN PLAYS FOR MORNING SERVICE,

WYNFORD DOES THE TASK AT NIGHT,

EACH A MEMBER OF A FAMILY,

FLEXING MUSCLES FOR A FIGHT.

 

SABOTAGE IS NOT UNKNOWN,

IEUAN'S FAMILY WATCH WITH GLEE,

HALF AN HOUR BEFORE THE SERVICE,

GRANDMA DRINKING CUPS OF TEA.

 

WYNFORDS LOT ARE FAR MORE SUBTLE,

THEIR METHODS USED ARE ALMOST FAIR,

THEY SEE THE HYMNS FOR MORNING SERVICE

ARE ONES THAT USE UP ALL THE AIR.

 

THEN THE DEACONS, IN THEIR WISDOM,

SENSING WARFARE IN THE AIR,

TOOK DRASTIC STEPS TO STOP THE BATTLE,

AND PACIFY THE PLAYING PAIR.

 

NOW OUR ORGAN'S BLOWN BY 'LETRIC,

THERE'S AMPLE WIND - AND SOME TO SPARE,

AS USUAL TROUBLE'S BEEN DIVERTED,

BY DEACONS BLOWING LOTS OF AIR.

 

FF

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Guest Barry Oakley
Many years ago a chapel in South Wales had the wind supplied by a hydraulic engine working the feeders. It was pretty ropey and hardly supplied enough wind. I was trying to get them to have an electric blower but they insisted on building a toilet first. To get the water supply to the toilet they elongated the supply feeding the hydraulic engine. The following poem was written - to be recited with a strong South Wales accent:

 

OUR CHAPEL ORGAN'S BLOWN BY WATER

HYDRAULIC PUMPS THE WIND DO RAISE

THE WATER PRESSURE, JUST SUFFICIENT,

KEEPS IT PLAYING HYMNS OF PRAISE. 

 

IN DRY WEATHER - CONSTERNATION -

WORRIED FROWNS AND PRAYERS FOR RAIN.

WHEN PRESSURES LOW, THE MUSIC STOPS

IF SOMEONE PULLS THE TOILET CHAIN.

 

IEUAN PLAYS FOR MORNING SERVICE,

WYNFORD DOES THE TASK AT NIGHT,

EACH A MEMBER OF A FAMILY,

FLEXING MUSCLES FOR A FIGHT.

 

SABOTAGE IS NOT UNKNOWN,

IEUAN'S FAMILY WATCH WITH GLEE,

HALF AN HOUR BEFORE THE SERVICE,

GRANDMA DRINKING CUPS OF TEA.

 

WYNFORDS LOT ARE FAR MORE SUBTLE,

THEIR METHODS USED ARE ALMOST FAIR,

THEY SEE THE HYMNS FOR MORNING SERVICE

ARE ONES THAT USE UP ALL THE AIR.

 

THEN THE DEACONS, IN THEIR WISDOM,

SENSING WARFARE IN THE AIR,

TOOK DRASTIC STEPS TO STOP THE BATTLE,

AND PACIFY THE PLAYING PAIR.

 

NOW OUR ORGAN'S BLOWN BY 'LETRIC,

THERE'S AMPLE WIND - AND SOME TO SPARE,

AS USUAL TROUBLE'S BEEN DIVERTED,

BY DEACONS BLOWING LOTS OF AIR.

 

FF

 

Frank, There's a similar story, although no poem, which was told me by the late John Norris, the former organist at St Paul's, Newcastle-under-Lyme. The Hill/Sixsmith organ in the church was winded by an hydraulic system in its early days. On Monday mornings Newcastle High School held its weekly service in the church and such was the demand for water by housewives doing the customary weekly wash that it had dire consequences for the organ's wind supply.

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=================

The following organ:-

 

St Munn's Church, Kilmun in the Shetlands, where a grant was awarded for the restoration of both organ (Norman & Beard Ltd) and the original hydraulic blower engine.

 

MM

 

Thanks - I've passed that info to the person on another list who was asking.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

I think the organ at Bolton Abbey orriginally had a hydraulic blower, using waqter drawn from the enarby river, if that's the case, it may never have had hand-blowing feeders.

 

A number of Yorkshire organs had hydraulic blowers at one time - does anyone know of a complete example still in situ?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

There's a strange machine in the Rachel Fowler Centre, Melksham - not sure if it's on your register or not, but it certainly exists on the internet - the controls for the hydraulics are certainly still in situ.

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There's a strange machine in the Rachel Fowler Centre, Melksham - not sure if it's on your register or not, but it certainly exists on the internet - the controls for the hydraulics are certainly still in situ.

 

Hi

 

It is on NPOR - see http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=R01065. There's a picture of the hydraulic blower control, which is reported as present but not working in 2004.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Barry Williams
Hi

 

It is on NPOR - see http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=R01065.  There's a picture of the hydraulic blower control, which is reported as present but not working in 2004.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

The organ in Saint John the Baptist Shottesbrooke is hand-pumped every Sunday by David Tubb. The instrument has an electric blower in case of emergency i.e. when he is not available. I think that Mr Tubb has been blowing the organ for more than fifty years.

 

Barry Williams

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The organ in Saint John the Baptist Shottesbrooke is hand-pumped every Sunday by David Tubb.  The instrument has an electric blower in case of emergency i.e. when he is not available.  I think that Mr Tubb has been blowing the organ for more than fifty years.

 

Barry Williams

 

I was told about one church in Somerset that had employed a man to hand blow the organ for years. He became elderly and at the same time the church decided to have an electric blower. The pittance that the church paid the hand blower did buy him a couple of pints each week so the PCC in gratitude for all the years of service `employed' him to switch on the main switch for the electric organ blower on each week for the same fee. It could only happen in Britain.

 

FF

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Hi

 

I think the organ at Bolton Abbey orriginally had a hydraulic blower, using waqter drawn from the enarby river, if that's the case, it may never have had hand-blowing feeders.

 

A number of Yorkshire organs had hydraulic blowers at one time - does anyone know of a complete example still in situ?

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

The Walcker organ at Felixkirk (in the Hambleton Hills nr Ampleforth) was originally blown by a water engine, now restored and displayed in a glass case near the console.

 

JS

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Guest Barry Williams

Apparently, at last week's annual maintenance, the blower was found to be "on its last legs". I don't know, yet, exactly what this means, but given that it's the original blower that was installed in '56, and, knowing how the rest of the project was begged and borrowed from other sources, it wouldn't surprise me if the blower wasn't new

Plan A

Quite often it is not so much the blower fan and installation that is the problem but the electric motor itself. It may well be worth getting a local motor specialist to look at it. Having this rewound with new bearings and brushes is the cheapest solution by far. You would be best to have your organ-builder on hand to supervise the removal.... folks not used to organ innards can do silly things at this stage! One thing to watch especially: make sure they get the direction of rotation right when they put it back. I could tell you of one or two classic cases where quite well-known intstallations were temporarily bu**ered up by careless electricians! You may be surprised to know that a blower wired to rotate backwards does not 'suck' (except in the Amerian sense) but it certainly does give off a heck of a lot less energy!

 

Plan B - if the whole thing genuinely is a write-off

I suggest you track down Stuart Fothergill and Associates in Wareham. They can supply reconditioned blowers at very competitive rates. I haven't got the address by me at the moment, but I imagine something will come up if you try a search engine.

 

Thoughts:

Do I remember you saying on a much earlier posting that the whole organ (St.Mary's Southampton) keeps running out of wind? This just prompts me to suggest that you may have a multi-stage fan where for some mechanical/electrical reason the blower doesn't currently reach its proper running stage at all. Having things properly inspected may reveal quite a bit, to your distinct advantage.

 

Being careful now - laws of libel etc. - I would warn you against assuming that big (i.e. nationally known) blower companies are still carrying out the sort of work they used to do (and for realistic/reasonable prices). Panic not, some still are - Allfab can be trusted IMHO, if you've got to go new. It's just that some famous blower company names are a bit like the AA - i.e. now owned by others and no longer exactly fulfilling the job that once they did.

 

Have fun!

P.

 

 

I strongly recommend James Richardson-Jones for blowers. He is first-class.

 

Barry Williams

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I was told about one church in Somerset that had employed a man to hand blow the organ for years. He became elderly and at the same time the church decided to have an electric blower. The pittance that the church paid the hand blower did buy him a couple of pints each week so the PCC in gratitude for all the years of service `employed' him to switch on the main switch for the electric organ blower on each week for the same fee. It could only happen in Britain.

 

FF

 

 

======================

 

 

That's what I like to hear!

 

An inflation-linked job for life.

 

:)

 

MM

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  • 3 weeks later...
Anyone know what the blower arrangement might be here please?

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N03858

 

Description is new to me...

 

It sounds as if it might be a motor drive to a crankshaft operating a pair of feeders into the main bellows. I've never come across it on a church organ, but such systems are commonplace on fairground organs.

 

There does, of course, have to be some method of controlling the speed of the motor from the height of the bellows, somewhat similar to those used with hydraulic engines.

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