Posts

Image
Its happened again!
Oh dear.  My buttons have gone wrong again
These are the buttons that sit underneath my top two keyboards.  Push them in and out pop stops, and in go any stops not needed
But after 110 years, the pneumatic motors that make this happen are more than a little worn and it can be a little irritating for the people playing me. Remember I told you that Mr Brian got quite upset?  Well he wasn't playing on Easter Sunday afternoon, and it was another set of buttons this time  -  the ones under my middle keyboard  -  and at the moment it looks as if they don't work at all.
So on Easter Sunday Mr Nigel had to use his hands to pull out stops or push them in.
I must tell you that these buttons are of the highest quality.  Not for me the rows and rows of buttons doing all sort of fancy things, which is great for that modern French music.  No, I have two rows only of four very classy buttons under each of the top two keyboards, and I hope that's how it stays.  Mr Wil…
Image
Mr Gary comes to play
Three times a year that nice Mr Garycomes to tune my pipes, some of which do tend to go out of tune and start to sound very French
In his recent (pre-Easter) visit , Mr Gary discovered new problems
First, there was a new whooshing sound from the insides when he switched on those new-fangled electric blowers.He also realised that the lower half of notes on my smooth Double Open Diapason weren’t working.All this was because of new leaks on one of my two main reservoirs-caused I was told by dry air and age (really?). Some new leather strips and extra weight on the top of the reservoir sorted all of that out, for now
Then there were half a dozen top notes on my upper (swell) manual which were either not working at all, or making a very half-hearted attempt.Mr Gary had to remove small pneumatic motors, apply more new leather and then stick them back in
And then there was bottom D on the lowest of the three manuals (choir) sticking “on” occasionally.More motor repair…
Image
Easter again
I’ve lost count.My first Easter was in 1912, so I’ve had mmmm 108 Easters so far
This year’s Easter services have been special, but then they always are.I could see lots of people in the congregations, lots of loud hymn singing, lots of lovely choral music and even some completely new descants specially written for the Abbey
And it’s been a little poignant hearing all that lovely French organ music again, knowing that in Paris an organ that’s even older than me was so nearly lost to the musical world.I just hope that there is no irreparable damage
But do they really think that organ music by such as Tournemire and Langlais works on my pipes?!Despite the tuning and repairs by Mr Gary, I have to work so hard to keep up and even when I do, my reeds don’t sound much like those in the terrific organs by M. Cavaille Coll
Ah well, I just did my best.But once those missing pipes are installed, my innards restored and pipes cleaned, it will be a very different story……………….althoug…
Image
And the other day there was a real calamity 
I’ve already told you that in my tenth year, they replaced my choirboy wind pump with a large electric blower with a switch by someone called Bob.That worked well for over 90 years but the motor then had to be replaced with a new fangled one-in fact there are now two electric blowers doing the work of Bob
But the wind mechanisms were never removed and were left perilously close to the largest of my wind storage areas
Well, the other day when Mr Nigel came to try out some of that modern music he seems to like, these old redundant mechanisms fell onto the wind store, completely jamming it and making it impossible for me to draw breath
My Gary had to drive all the way here from Hereford and soon fixed me up, but it just goes to show that someone needs to get all of my insides sorted.We do not want a repeat of that episode-although it did mean that Mr Nigel couldn’t play any of that ghastly modern music for a while, for which much relief!


Image
The is one more problem to tell you about
Mr Gary comes regularly to try and keep me in tip top condition.To get to all my pipes and hinged motors, he has to crawl all round my insides, often in among all that dirt, and often having to squeeze into narrow spaces.To get up into my inside areas he has to climb a long ladder, which he now has hooked onto the side of my platform, but I do worry that it will eventually be too difficult for him-although at the moment he is still young enough for there to be no problem at all
But someone does need to improve access to my innards and pipes.I have seen pictures of new organs-looking clean and sparkly, with shiny new pipes, but also with walkways and built-in ladders to make it all so much easier 


Image
Over the years some very kind people have been very generous and given money to the Abbey for some of my missing pipes to be given to me
That happened in 1937 and some trumpety Posaune pipes were added to my middle keyboard.The Abbey also found a set of very fat metal pipes called diapason, also for my middle keyboard, and these were also added.But unfortunately they are not at all what Mr William had in mind so do not blend with the lovely pipes he made
Also in 1945, Sir Charles added casework to my front.This greatly improved my appearance and still looks magnificent
Then, in 1945, some missing pipes were added to the top keyboard.But at the same time, one of my most lovely sets of pipes, the oboe, was moved down the row to make them sound deeper, and 12 lovely little pipes were taken out and discarded.It is such a pity that this happened and I hope that someone will move the pipes back up the row


Image
There was a incident today and I’m afraid I upset Mr Brian
He was playing some very nice hymn tunes and getting all ready to play for the service on Sunday morning.But, by mistake, his fingers touched one of my buttons and all my stop heads shot out and jammed.I was telling you about my decaying hinges and this is one of the problems that occurs.Touch my buttons in the wrong way, and I jam-I really don’t want to do this, but it can happen
Anyway Mr Brian was all of a tizz, and wondered what had happened and what to do about it.He tried turning my electric power off, that didn’t work.He tried kicking me-that definitely didn’t work either.Then he looked at my buttons and realised one was pushed in too far.All it needed was a little turn to the left-simple when you know how.We are now friends again, fortunately
So all was now well again but this problem will happen again, when someone touches my buttons in the wrong way, and shows how delicate my leather hinges are these days