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| ||'The Alexandra Palace Organ Appeal exists to raise funds towards the ongoing restoration of the Alexandra Palace Organ, which is generally recognised to be one of the masterpieces of its original builder, 'Father' Henry Willis, and its rebuilder, Henry Willis III.|
'The aim of the current restoration is to return the organ to largely its 1929 state - from which the legendary EMI recordings and sound samples date and when it was heralded as "The Finest Concert Organ in Europe", reversing the extensive damage caused during World War II and the great fire of 1980. For more details see a brief summary of the instrument's chequered history, and also a more detailed account in Ivan Barwell's famed book, available here to view online for the first time.'
Checked on 23/03/2009
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| ||'We are an independent group of music and organ enthusiasts, who are currently working to promote our city's rich heritage in the magnificent Ashton Hall (inside Lancaster Town Hall), where the organ is located ... The organ was installed in 1909 by Norman & Beard of Norwich. At the time, the company was one of the largest in the UK both during the Edwardian period and for some time thereafter. The organ was one of the first, if not the first, to benefit from electrically blown wind ... '
Checked on 06/04/2009
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| ||'The Berwick Parish Church Trust ... is supporting the Parochial Church Council of Holy Trinity and St Mary, Berwick upon Tweed, in its plan to expand the role in the community of the Parish Church by creating an enhanced venue for the arts, particularly music, and by attracting more local organisations to take advantage of the excellent meeting and function facilities in the Parish Centre. The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is determined to restore the magnificent Harrison pipe organ which was originally installed in 1869 and moved to its present position in the specially built organ chamber in 1905. This organ was third in the line of fine organs installed since 1773 and the PCC consider it their duty to continue this musical tradition for future generations.|
'Berwick Parish Church has particularly good acoustics and has been the venue for many excellent concerts and recitals over the years. Local choirs and travelling chamber music groups regularly perform in the church with soloists of international standing. Audiences are drawn widely from North Northumberland, the Scottish Borders and further afield. The lack of a fine pipe organ on these occasions restricts the range of musical options ...'
'The Organ Fund – is growing, thanks to YOUR generosity ... in these trying financial times, with £110.250.37p already raised we are still £49.749.63p! short of our target... Work begins early 2010, perhaps even earlier – indeed the main cables are already being prepared!
Checked on 27/03/2009
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| ||'... To this end, we started getting estimates from organ-builders and began to seek historic organs which would fit.
We were fortunate to have Paul Tindall on the committee. He discovered, in St Mary Magdalene, Manningham in the diocese of Bradford, a Hill organ comprising three manuals and pedals which had been built in 1878. This was a fine, historic organ and, even better, had not been subjected to the sort of unsympathetic renovation that used to be so prevalent. The parish’s organ adviser, Ian Bell, inspected it and was impressed with it: it made a good sound, was built of good materials and could be restored to its former glory. Most importantly, it would fit into Christ Church.
The parish then entered into long but eventually successful negotiations with the diocese of Bradford to buy it and it was brought to Christ Church and stacked in pieces behind a hoarding. An application was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to fund the renovations ...|
'It will be readily appreciated that this stage could not have been reached without the generosity and goodwill of so many people in the parish raising a lot of money ... In March 2007, the parish was thrilled to discover that the HLF had awarded a grant of up to £261,000 to the parish to restore the organ. By doing so, the HLF recognised the historic and musical qualities of the instrument as well as the parish’s foresight and commitment in acquiring it ... With their award (and, if I might say so, their wisdom in recognising our enthusiasm for this project) we will be able to bring this historic organ back to life and make it an asset for the whole community.'
Checked on 27/03/2009
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| ||'We are already fortunate to have a musical instrument of great character and versatility. It would be difficult to imagine the excitement of Christmas Eve without its accompaniment, or a joyous wedding, or a solemn funeral. It is an instrument for all our lives, and it speaks to us whether we are students of the organ or simply those who delight in listening.|
'Our organ, built in 1986, is a flexible instrument that can play music across the whole repertoire - from the earliest to the most modern. It is fully mechanical, which means that the player is in direct contact with the pipes through the keyboards and a system of levers. As such it is an excellent instrument for us and future generations.
'Now work is needed – not just any old maintenance, but £40,000 worth of it. Those of you attending church or concerts recently will have noticed strange noises - from full squawks to a quietly piercing and annoying ringing-in-the-ears sound. These 'aviary' moments are the occasions when the organist has failed to overcome the problems, or is suddenly confronted with a new one. It is like having a washing machine that malfunctions on several cycles. It is not always easy to avoid the problem. Although in its design, the organ is a fine instrument, the way it was built has meant that the infrastructure has deteriorated - rather earlier than should have happened. The result is unreliability ...'
'So far we have raised £32,000 out of £40,000' [22 August 2008]
Checked on 03/04/2009
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| ||'The original organ was built about the year 1750, either by the firm of Jordan or England, both famous organ builders of the early 18th century, and was erected in a gallery at the west end of the church. It was probably a two manual instrument, without pedals, and for that period, was a good one. It remained as such in the gallery until 1850 (the period of Victorian restoration) when it was removed to the Lady Chapel, rebuilt and enlarged by Wm. Hedgeland of London, a third manual being added.|
'In 1895 further rebuilding and enlarging were carried out by Henry Willis, a master of his craft who designed and built organs in cathedrals from Truro to Aberdeen, as well as for the Royal Albert Hall and St Paul’s Cathedral. His work on the Westbury organ at this time included a new pneumatic action, new pedal board, and manuals. It is not known how much new pipework was added at this stage. In the dismantling of the organ in 1965, some details of the work carried out by Willis were found pencilled on a part of the timber frame, as follows: "This organ was made tubular by W. Stiles and R. Simpson and finished by A. Deeks, August, 1895".
'In 1933 the organ was under the care of Griffin and Stroud of Bath, who installed electric blowing apparatus. Tuning and maintenance were subsequently taken over by Rushworth and Dreaper, who cleaned and overhauled it in 1948.
'The last renovation took place in 1965 ...'
Checked on 19/03/2009
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| ||'The Original instrument in this church was built by J.C. Bishop of London. It had been built for the Catholic Chapel in Dalton Square, Lancaster in 1841 at the cost of £290! When the new church of St Peter's was opened this organ was dismantled and rebuilt in the new church in 1859, temporarily in the South Transept, until being moved into the North Transept where it remained until 1888. At this point it was sold to St Sylvester's Church, Liverpool.|
'It was sold because a benefactor - Mr Richard Lemeing of Geaves House, Lancaster - had given a new 'Grand Organ' to be built on the West Gallery. Unfortunately Mr Leeming lived only a few months after the new instrument was installed. The organ was blessed and opened on 6th January 1889.
'This was to be the greatest achievement of and finest instrument built by Henry Ainscough of Preston. The case is divided over the two sides of the West Window: to the North side; the Choir and the Great divisions, to the South the Swell. The Pedal organ is divided between the two sides. The bellows were originally blown by an hydraulic engine, which was replaced in 1905 by an electric motor. Ainscough's did some work to the instrument in the 1950s, although there is no record of the nature of the restoration. The only evidence of this work comes from a programme of an organ recital given by Sir William Harris on Wednesday 3rd October 1956; the recital was described as 'the re-opening of the restored organ.' The specification appears the same as it was in 1889. In 1975 Pendlebury of Cleveleys electrified the action and built a new console. No tonal alterations were made.
'Extensive restoration work is currently being carried out by Henry Willis and Sons (Liverpool). The work involves the cleaning of all 1886 pipes, the restoration of the soundboards, replacement of the bellows, a new console and some tonal improvements.'
2007-2008 Restoration Work pictures and updates available on the Site; the Cathedral Blog carries a number of postings about the restoration work; more pictures can be found on the Willis and Sons website.
Checked on 06/04/2009
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| ||'It is widely acknowledged that the time has come to address the problems of the present organ ... In 1977, Dr Michael Smith [then Cathedral Organist] made representations to the Chapter that the time had come for a new organ, or at least a thorough rebuild, removing the worst stops and making the most of the remainder. Cecil Clutton was appointed to advise the Chapter, and four notable organ-builders came to inspect the organ, two of them providing interesting and far-reaching specifications.|
'Alas, the Chapter adopted a negative approach and settled instead for the introduction of a solid-state action and a repair of the wind supply, thereby perpetuating a basically poor instrument for a few more decades ...
'If a new organ was provided at Llandaff, this would be the first wholly new British built Cathedral organ to be built since the opening of Coventry Cathedral. To date the appeal, yet to be officially launched, has got off to a good start with a legacy of £5,000 and a donation of £10,000 ...'
Checked on 27/03/2009
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| ||'The Paisley Abbey organ owes its pedigree to the renowned French organ builder, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, who built a two manual and pedal instrument in the nave in 1872. In 1928 the organ was moved and enlarged whilst retaining all of the Cavaillé-Coll pipework. In 1968 the organ was again rebuilt under the supervision of Ralph Downes, recognised as one of the greatest British organ architects of the 20th century.|
'The project is to clean, overhaul and renovate the organ. After nearly 40 years of constant use, the pipework is very dirty and this has considerably affected the speech of the flute and reed stops. The performance of the actions is inadequate due to the normal process of ageing. The present wind system has deteriorated to the extent that it now constitutes a major defect which is unsatisfactory, troublesome and costly to maintain. During the 1968 rebuild the Pedal Bombarde 16 ft stop was voiced to allow for the later addition of the 12 notes of a 32ft bottom octave. The addition of this 32 ft Pedal Contre Bombarde, together with the installation of a traditional wind system will complete the specification as conceived by Ralph Downes.'
Checked on 06/04/2009
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| ||'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to help save the Cavaillé-Coll organ in the Parr Hall, Warrington.'|
'The Cavaillé-Coll organ has been in the Parr Hall since the 1920's and it is an important, mostly unaltered instrument, one of the few outside of France, and one of the only Cavaillé-Coll concert organs anywhere. Its removal from the Parr Hall to create more space is a mistake which future generations will regret: it will devalue the Parr Hall as a concert venue. It is an important part of Warrington's cultural heritage.'
Checked on 27/03/2009