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  #31  
Old 13th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

Funny organ story for Nigel (I hope others enjoy it too!)

Some years back, I was asked if I would play the church organ. It had been refurbished, and just stood (shared parish). I said yes, and the asker said she would get permission. Nothing happened.

Three years later (!) an old lady up the road driving past, saw my wife, stopped and asked the same question. My wife told her I'd never got permission. She said, "You don't need permission, door's never locked." So the next Saturday, I went down the road to the church, went in and played for a while. Next Saturday, the same - but this time, someone came in "to lock up". A few days later I went down there one evening to play; door locked. Said to my wife, if i can't get in, I can't play it! Tried again a couple of days later, earlier in the afternoon. Door locked agin. i was fuming. My wife said, go and see Brenda up the road and see what she says. Brenda responded, "This I have to see - there isn't a key!" ME:"Yes, there is - Richard T came in to lock up!" Brenda,"What's HE doing with a key? I'm going to go and have a look!" She went for her car, but I said, no, we'll go in mine. (She was, er, a little bit Norfolk old lady at the wheel!) Got in, and I drove down the road, onto the main road, started to turn into the churchyard, and Brenda said, "Why are you turning in here? OMG! ! ! You didn't think I meant this church, did you? I WOULDN'T BE SEEN DEAD IN THERE! ! I go to the church in F-----!" So we carried on, and sure enough, THAT church was unlocked. There was a snag. It was a very strange organ, with a split keyboard. And it was on a raised plinth; when I tried to push the stool back enough, I and the stool nearly fell off the plinth. The upshot was, I was so embarrassed, I never went near either organ again! Village politics, eh?
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  #32  
Old 13th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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I used to listen to CFM quite a bit on a reasonable hi-fi system but I gave up because I got annoyed by the different volume levels and tone mix they used for the adverts.
Yes, that is irritating, especially when the tenor of advertisements consistently disrupt the enjoyment of music. I gave up on Spotify for the same reason.

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Not to mention the rubbish quality on DAB...
At least the BBC Third Programme broadcasts its output at a higher bit rate to provide a little better quality, although it is still very coarse compared to good FM reception.

Sadly, the advent of the Compact Disk, MP3 players and solid state electronics lowered the bar for audio quality.

However, my biggest gripe with CFM is the dreadful compression that they apply to music. I am told they do this to improve reception in cars, but I find it just as objectionable when driving as at home.
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  #33  
Old 13th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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Wash your mouth out after using the word DAB.
At least we waited a little longer & have DAB+.
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  #34  
Old 13th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
Funny organ story for Nigel (I hope others enjoy it too!)

Some years back, I was asked if I would play the church organ. It had been refurbished, and just stood (shared parish). I said yes, and the asker said she would get permission. Nothing happened.

Three years later (!) an old lady up the road driving past, saw my wife, stopped and asked the same question. My wife told her I'd never got permission. She said, "You don't need permission, door's never locked." So the next Saturday, I went down the road to the church, went in and played for a while. Next Saturday, the same - but this time, someone came in "to lock up". A few days later I went down there one evening to play; door locked. Said to my wife, if i can't get in, I can't play it! Tried again a couple of days later, earlier in the afternoon. Door locked agin. i was fuming. My wife said, go and see Brenda up the road and see what she says. Brenda responded, "This I have to see - there isn't a key!" ME:"Yes, there is - Richard T came in to lock up!" Brenda,"What's HE doing with a key? I'm going to go and have a look!" She went for her car, but I said, no, we'll go in mine. (She was, er, a little bit Norfolk old lady at the wheel!) Got in, and I drove down the road, onto the main road, started to turn into the churchyard, and Brenda said, "Why are you turning in here? OMG! ! ! You didn't think I meant this church, did you? I WOULDN'T BE SEEN DEAD IN THERE! ! I go to the church in F-----!" So we carried on, and sure enough, THAT church was unlocked. There was a snag. It was a very strange organ, with a split keyboard. And it was on a raised plinth; when I tried to push the stool back enough, I and the stool nearly fell off the plinth. The upshot was, I was so embarrassed, I never went near either organ again! Village politics, eh?

Thank you Keith. Not only is this very funny but also entirely believable. Nothing like village politics eh?

The irony is that it gets worse as the building gets bigger. Our son was due to play a service at a very large ecclesiastical building not far from here a few weeks ago. It was a big service with full mass setting, and a full house expected, so he wanted to get in to practice and set registration on the 100 or so stops there. You wouldn't believe the hurdles that he had to jump.

In the end we had to be there for 07.00 on the morning in question, but be finished by 08.30!

As for H&H, they are thriving and seem to have very full order books, including some very big projects. They recently completed work on a full rebuild at King's, and occasionally have open days which are well worth attending.

Harrison & Harrison Website
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  #35  
Old 13th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

NN Thanks for the pointer to the H&H website, a most interesting read.
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  #36  
Old 13th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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NN Thanks for the pointer to the H&H website, a most interesting read.
Pleased to have been of help Derek.

There are a few organ builders around the country, and all seem to be thriving.

Electronic instruments now fulfil the needs of many, especially where cost is an issue, leaving pipe organ builders to concentrate on the bespoke and higher cost end of the market.

Many have open days from time to time, usually when a big instrument is assembled for testing before being returned home, and these are well worth attending.

Whilst some modern materials and control systems are used, the art of organ building has changed little in hundreds of years, with leather, timber, and lead alloys being just as important now as ever.

The pipes are always hand made. Metal pipes are built from an alloy of soft metal cast out into sheets and allowed to mature for months or years before it can be used.

There are many similarities between pipe organs and steam trains, and the latter seem to be common interest (obsession even) amongst the organ fraternity.
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  #37  
Old 14th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
Pleased to have been of help Derek.

There are a few organ builders around the country, and all seem to be thriving.

Electronic instruments now fulfil the needs of many, especially where cost is an issue, leaving pipe organ builders to concentrate on the bespoke and higher cost end of the market.

Many have open days from time to time, usually when a big instrument is assembled for testing before being returned home, and these are well worth attending.

Whilst some modern materials and control systems are used, the art of organ building has changed little in hundreds of years, with leather, timber, and lead alloys being just as important now as ever.

The pipes are always hand made. Metal pipes are built from an alloy of soft metal cast out into sheets and allowed to mature for months or years before it can be used.

There are many similarities between pipe organs and steam trains, and the latter seem to be common interest (obsession even) amongst the organ fraternity.
There is another famous organ builder in East Anglia - J W Walker Limited of Brandon (formerly London) http://www.jwwalker.co.uk

Walker's have installed a new organ in St Chad's cathedral in Birmingham: http://www.jwwalker.co.uk/newBuilt/u...edKingdom.html

Norman and Beard of Norwich, sadly, are no longer in business. They supplied the organ in Norwich cathedral, also Lichfield cathedral.

Nigel, they aren't referred to as 'steam organs' for nothing! Maybe something to do with a vapor at pressure moving along pipes.... Nothing as stirring of the soul as sitting in a great cathedral listening to a good organ recital, IMHO.

Incidentally, a few years ago, I discovered that Germans don't do irony! When I told a German lady that Handel had played the organ in the old Coventry cathedral, so the Luftwaffe had to come along and destroy it, she couldn't see the irony at all. How culture divides us!
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  #38  
Old 14th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

@N N

Not sure if you are aware, but there is a small group of enthusiasts based at The New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Weir, near Crook. They have a Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ.

Here's the link if you're interested? http://www.netoa.org.uk/
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  #39  
Old 14th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

I'm sure I saw a guy featured on TV some years ago who had a Mighty Wurlitzer built into his house!
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Old 14th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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I'm sure I saw a guy featured on TV some years ago who had a Mighty Wurlitzer built into his house!
Friend of my father-in-law nearly four decades ago had a Compton in a specially designed building at the bottom of his garden. He couldn't even play it - got well known organists to come and give concerts, for which he charged.

Always packed when he put one on!

The MG Rover dealers in Diss, Norfolk, (Kitchen Bros) used to have one in their showroom, about 40 years ago. I think that was a Compton, too. Don't know if it helped sell cars, though....
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  #41  
Old 14th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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I'm sure I saw a guy featured on TV some years ago who had a Mighty Wurlitzer built into his house!
IIRC it was John Betjeman's 'Metroland'. The house was in Loudwater, which is a very posh area a few miles away from us.

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  #42  
Old 15th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

That rings a bell Jim, thanks. I have that programme on an old VHS tape somewhere I think but as my VCR hasn't been used since before I moved here eleven years ago I doubt it will ever play again!
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Old 15th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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That rings a bell Jim, thanks. I have that programme on an old VHS tape somewhere I think but as my VCR hasn't been used since before I moved here eleven years ago I doubt it will ever play again!
I've got it as an mp4 file if you'd like it, Otto. Also 'Return to Metroland'. PM me and I'll burn them onto a disk and send it to you.

Jim
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  #44  
Old 15th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post

As for H&H, they are thriving and seem to have very full order books, including some very big projects. They recently completed work on a full rebuild at King's, and occasionally have open days which are well worth attending.

Harrison & Harrison Website
There's an H&H in Tamworth church, which I'd hoped to play once, but a notice on it made it clear that permission was not going to be forthcoming. One bit I liked was another notice that said, as near as I can remember, "Please do NOT use the brass stops, as they cause pieces of the roof to fall into the church." I had this mental image of a piece of fan vault landing on the organist's head.... I guess indicative of the state of many of our churches.
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Old 16th October 2017
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Re: Another big loss to the UK

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There's an H&H in Tamworth church, which I'd hoped to play once, but a notice on it made it clear that permission was not going to be forthcoming. One bit I liked was another notice that said, as near as I can remember, "Please do NOT use the brass stops, as they cause pieces of the roof to fall into the church." I had this mental image of a piece of fan vault landing on the organist's head.... I guess indicative of the state of many of our churches.
As you will have learned by now, the older they are (organists that is) the worse they get!

Some seem to cling to the bench for dear life; and usually well past their 'best before' date. The thought of some young upstart playing their organ is too much to bear, especially if that upstart can actually use the pedals!

On the subject of organ builders, Manders, based in London, do a lot of the bigger builds and rebuilds in the UK, including the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago. I went on a tour of their works, which being in an old building was very different to H&H's new workshops, but the work going on inside was very similar.
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