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Regulation


Guest delvin146

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I remember once politely making that offer to one of Percy Daniel's men who was clearly struggling with someone downstairs who couldn't find Middle C, and being basically told they didn't want any interference thank you very much and please would I leave the building!  Nice chap - always oiled the blower...

 

.....but were you the incumbent organist of that church when you offered your help - or a stranger who had just wandered in?

 

FF

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Guest Barry Williams
.........then I can only apologise on behalf of organbuilders in general and tuners in particular. We are not all that ill mannered.

 

FF

 

 

I understand that Daniels subcontracted much of their tuning to others. These people may not have been employees of Percy Daniel & Co Ltd.

 

I understand the company is no more.

 

Barry Williams

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I remember once politely making that offer to one of Percy Daniel's men who was clearly struggling with someone downstairs who couldn't find Middle C, and being basically told they didn't want any interference thank you very much and please would I leave the building! Nice chap - always oiled the blower...

 

How long did they continue to hold on to the contract? I think that if I was ever in your position, the firm would be in recipt of a notice of termination the within two working days of the next PCC meeting.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
I remember once politely making that offer to one of Percy Daniel's men who was clearly struggling with someone downstairs who couldn't find Middle C, and being basically told they didn't want any interference thank you very much and please would I leave the building!  Nice chap - always oiled the blower...

 

How long did they continue to hold on to the contract?  I think that if I was ever in your position, the firm would be in recipt of a notice of termination the within two working days of the next PCC meeting.

 

 

I remember having had to dismiss two major firms from tuning contracts:

 

The first had better not be named because they are still in business. Their man was an excellent tuner, but he told me that he was under strict instructions not to do any running repairs. I tackled the eponymous (illustrious and now deceased) organ builder back at his works. To my consternation he told me straight out that since the organ was overdue for a rebuild all his men had been firmly told not to put the date of any future rebuild off further! I sacked them - with the church's agreement, of course.

 

The second was the late HN&B who sent only one man (a lovely old boy called Bert Mears) on his own. When I discovered that in order to maintain and tune our three-manual Lewis he had been forced to climb back in and out of the organ repeatedly, wedging notes down each time (thereby 'tidying up' what he could not have had time to go right through) I thought that this was no way to treat either our contract or a decent man.

 

In both cases, the maintenance agreement went to my friends the Shepherd Brothers.

 

Please do not think that I needlessly dismiss good tuners - I heartily disapproved of Alastair Rushworth, but his man in Cheltenham was good so in that instance we ignored 'Head Office' and arranged things quite happily for ourselves.

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Guest delvin146
I remember having had to dismiss two major firms from tuning contracts:

 

The first had better not be named because they are still in business. Their man was an excellent tuner, but he told me that he was under strict instructions not to do any running repairs. I tackled the eponymous (illustrious and now deceased) organ builder back at his works. To my consternation he told me straight out that since the organ was overdue for a rebuild all his men had been firmly told not to put the date of any future rebuild off further!  I sacked them - with the church's agreement, of course.

 

The second was the late HN&B who sent only one man (a lovely old boy called Bert Mears) on his own. When I discovered that in order to maintain and tune our three-manual Lewis he had been forced to climb back in and out of the organ repeatedly, wedging notes down each time (thereby 'tidying up' what he could not have had time to go right through) I thought that this was no way to treat either our contract or a decent man.

 

In both cases, the maintenance agreement went to my friends the Shepherd Brothers.

 

Please do not think that I needlessly dismiss good tuners - I heartily disapproved of Alastair Rushworth, but his man in Cheltenham was good so in that instance we ignored 'Head Office' and arranged things quite happily for ourselves.

 

I've never had any qualms about dismissing tuners if they're simply no good. I dismissed pronto Rushworth's at Catford when their tuner left tubes hanging off the back with wind leaking everywhere . (I suppose I can say that now technically they're no longer in business).

 

If a tuner won't do as they're asked (within reason), they're shown the door as Alistair Rushworth found out much to his annoyance. I will not tolerate poor care of a pipe organ, I never have and I never will. Some people might think I'm over-fussy. That's really not the case, I like things to be as good as they can within the overall condition of the instrument.

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I've never had any qualms about dismissing tuners if they're simply no good. I dismissed pronto Rushworth's at Catford when their tuner left tubes hanging off the back with wind leaking everywhere . (I suppose I can say that now technically they're no longer in business).

 

If a tuner won't do as they're asked (within reason), they're shown the door as Alistair Rushworth found out much to his annoyance. I will not tolerate poor care of a pipe organ, I never have and I never will. Some people might think I'm over-fussy. That's really not the case, I like things to be as good as they can within the overall condition of the instrument.

 

As long as "the sack" isn't the default answer the instant you find something wrong. Discussion with the person who actually does the work can do a lot to set perceptions, and nine times out of ten you'll find that the person concerned will be delighted to at last be working for someone who notices and cares; all too often (especially with what some people refer to as "the big boys" of yore) the instruction goes out to visit 3 or 4 instruments a day, and nine and a half times out of ten the incumbent probably doesn't notice whether anything's been tuned or not, so long as there's a calling card on the console reassuring that the blower's been oiled. No, it shouldn't be like that, but pressures on the tuner come from his employers, as well as the customer, and the tuner will probably be over the moon that he's required to do a good job, not just a quick one.

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As long as "the sack" isn't the default answer the instant you find something wrong.  Discussion with the person who actually does the work can do a lot to set perceptions, and nine times out of ten you'll find that the person concerned will be delighted to at last be working for someone who notices and cares;

 

Hi

 

I've always made it a policy to meet the tuner, both when I was an organist, and now as a Minister - a little appreciation (and a realistic attitude of what's possible in a tuning visit) go a long way, and with one exception (again, no name as the firm is still in business) I've had very good service.

 

The exception actually mended his ways, as on one occaision when he was off sick, a colleague came out and sorted the problems the regular chap said couldn't be done! (Mainly a reed needing cleaning & a touch of regulating). He also showed me how to clean and re-tune them when the problem re-occured (as tends to happen with vertical trumpet pipes open to the roof).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest delvin146
As long as "the sack" isn't the default answer the instant you find something wrong.  Discussion with the person who actually does the work can do a lot to set perceptions, and nine times out of ten you'll find that the person concerned will be delighted to at last be working for someone who notices and cares; all too often (especially with what some people refer to as "the big boys" of yore) the instruction goes out to visit 3 or 4 instruments a day, and nine and a half times out of ten the incumbent probably doesn't notice whether anything's been tuned or not, so long as there's a calling card on the console reassuring that the blower's been oiled.  No, it shouldn't be like that, but pressures on the tuner come from his employers, as well as the customer, and the tuner will probably be over the moon that he's required to do a good job, not just a quick one.

 

I agree, "the sack" isn't the default answer. I also agree that it does much to meet the tuner which I usually do whenever possible. Well I suppose in fairness I sit there to make sure he's doing what he's meant to be doing. Sad one should have to do that, but that's what I do anyway. Yes, I am fussy when it comes to tuning and reg.

 

"The sack" applies to people who are either incapable of telling if a pipe's in tune or not, especaially the ones that don't wait long enough to hear slow beats before they shout "next". Also the ones that try to tell you the organ's out of reg because it's dirty when the truth of the matter is more that they just haven't bothered. I know there are arguments to say that organs can be too well in tune, and a a perfectly tuned organ sounds dull. Well, maybe, I prefer it perfectly in tune anyway.

 

I'm trying to get the point across that there's a fine line between an organ builder giving genuine solid advice about why something can't be done, and an organ builder that just can't be bothered doing anything about it. Only organists who are a little more clued up on these things are going to know when someone's trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

 

It's very sad, but there are builders out there who overcharge and give very poor service, even though they might be quite capable themselves. There are others who do their best but arn't very good, but there are also those who do a very good and honest job. Just because someone is a member of the IBO it does not necessarily follow that their staff will be well trained and capable, or that the company itself is going to give an acceptable standard of service to its clients.

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Guest delvin146
I agree, "the sack" isn't the default answer. I also agree that it does much to meet the tuner which I usually do whenever possible. Well I suppose in fairness I sit there to make sure he's doing what he's meant to be doing. Sad one should have to do that, but that's what I do anyway. Yes, I am fussy when it comes to tuning and reg.

 

"The sack" applies to people who are either incapable of telling if a pipe's in tune or not, especaially the ones that don't wait long enough to hear slow beats before they shout "next". Also the ones that try to tell you the organ's out of reg because it's dirty when the truth of the matter is more that they just haven't bothered. I know there are arguments to say that organs can be too well in tune, and a a perfectly tuned organ sounds dull. Well, maybe, I prefer it perfectly in tune anyway.

 

I'm trying to get the point across that there's a fine line between an organ builder giving genuine solid advice about why something can't be done, and an organ builder that just can't be bothered doing anything about it. Only organists who are a little more clued up on these things are going to know when someone's trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

 

It's very sad, but there are builders out there who overcharge and give very poor service, even though they might be quite capable themselves. There are others who do their best but arn't very good, but there are also those who do a very good and honest job. Just because someone is a member of the IBO it does not necessarily follow that their staff will be well trained and capable, or that the company itself is going to give an acceptable standard of service to its clients. At the end of the day the organ builder is giving their services to the church or wherever through their organist. I'm not saying for one moment that organ builders should not voice their opinion where they totally disagree, but where issues are more a matter of personal taste e.g. regulation of one stop on the louder or softer side against another, or a trumpet rather than a mixture to draw on piston 8 for example, the choice should rest with the organist and the organ builder should be expected to do it the organist's way.

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