Posts

Keys

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KeysI have lots of keys.Each of my three keyboards has lots of keys each made of two thin strips of ivory, glued onto wood and carefully shaped around the sharp notes(There is also another key, which locks those big heavy sliding doors that Mr Colin has so carefully removed for restoration.That key is missing (I thought it might be found under my pedal notes or under the console, but no) but will be replaced)So there are lots of ivory keys, and after over 100 years of my organist friends making their lovely music, many of these keys are worn and all have changed colour.It is not a surprise that that the wear and change of colour is most pronounced in the middle of each keyboard, where most organists usually play.Less use has been made of the keys at the top and bottom of each keyboard, although if more of them had played more of that modern French music, maybe they would all have been the same colour!Mr Gary has been wondering whether I need to have new keys.Yes, new plastic keys woul…

Munchers

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MunchersNot teethBut live insects living in my nether regions and munching happily away.Probably they have been here since 1958, the last time anyone did a complete cleanEveryone suspected there would be woodworm in my timbers.But more than expected of these munchers have been foundThey have been in the timber frame behind Mr Peter’s hymn book storeThey have been found in the wood platform under the organ benchThey are in the end of one of my massive reservoirsThey are in some of the panels of Sir Charles’ 1937 caseThey had munched so much into the chest under some massive diapason pipes that a section is going to have to be remade-the screw holes had literally been munched awayThey have even had a go at munching into one of my large open wood pipesFortunately all that has been discovered by wonderful Mr Gary, and just in time too for otherwise the munchers could have caused havoc.Mr Gary has removed the worst affected of the panels and another gentleman came in mask and gown and spra…

Wind (not a repeat!)

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Wind (not a repeat!)I have already told you about wind, the sort that is used by my lovely pipes to make musicAnd I have told you about the massive reservoirs used to store wind before it flows through to my pipes.These huge heavy chests, with hinged sides and floating tops, were carefully built by Mr William in 1911 and have survived all these years, just getting dirtier every year that’s past, and with their leather hinges increasingly having to be patched upThree of the reservoirs are huge, and the fourth more of a baby size.They have all been lifted down, and all four have gone for restoration.This took a lot of heaving, and Mr Gary was fortunate to have such strong henchpeople on handTwo of the reservoirs went with Mr Edward to his workshop, and the other two have gone to Mr Dave in East London.Great progress is being made and soon these reservoirs will come back to my Abbey, to be hoisted high up into new positions, and the trunks from the blowers and to the windchests reconnect…

Gaunt?

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Gaunt?As you know dear friends, for the last few weeks I have been covered in poles and boards.This isn’t a new trend in organ design (although I know there are a lot of newfangled ideas around, but nice Mr Gary is going to keep all those modern ideas at bay) but was to give Mr Gary’s henchpeople access to the very highest of all my lovely featuresAnd to the surprise of many people, one of the new views has been of a hideaway, high up beyond my lovely large open wood pipes.Known only to me and to my organ playing friends, this spot has been an ideal place for passing away long sermons and avoiding some of the excesses of French choral musicThese high boards (not for diving) have given access to much of the high level stonework and to ledges and crevices in this ancient building.Henry has been very busy cleaning wherever he couldMr Gary and Mr Simon have been so busy polishing up my case, and cleaning my bonnet box, and everything is gleaming in the sunlightNow the boards and poles hav…

Diapason muddle

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Diapason muddle
Now which diapason is which?
My friends claim to know some facts about my lovely open diapasons, but seem to be totally confused about which one is which and from where
My friends, do try and keep up and remember I know the answers to all of this, but you have just got to try and work it out for yourselves
Fact 1. Mr William put an open diapason on the great (middle) keyboard in 1911.Fact 2.The second (smaller) diapason was not installed at that time-it was one of the stops left off because the money seemed to run out.Fact 3.A second diapason was eventually installed in 1937 (?) by Mr William’s successor company, Messrs HNB (Hill Norman and Beard)
Now that all sounds very straightforward doesn’t it
But this is where it gets complicated
A few years ago, a national organ expert working for a company with a name similar to a well-known sweet shop, spotted that one of the lovely diapason rank of pipes had been stamped with the job number 2369, not 2412 which is my signatu…

Dust!!

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Dust!!
Guess what I have been doing for the last 60 years
Whistling?Yes, occasionally Sounding wonderful?Yes, nearly always Looking forward to being finished?Yes, of course
But that’s not what I had in mind
Over the last 60 years I have been accumulating dust.Piles and piles of it!Yes, I am a truly filthy old lady!
Dust is everywhere.My upper and rack boards are covered in it.You can see layers of dust on all my lovely pipes.The sides of my lovely massive reservoirs are caked in it.It’s even spread to the ledges on the wall behind me
How does it get here?Well my friends have told me that dust is fine, dry particles of matter found in the air, typically consisting of soil lifted up by the wind, pollen, hair etc.That doesn’t answer my question, but as I’ve got plenty of wind (and sometimes it’s known to leak through the many cracks in my chests and trunks) maybe that’s part of the answer
But how it’s got here isn’t the important question.What does it matter?And what is Mr Gary going to…

More Secrets

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More Secrets
More about my secrets-remember they are for me to know, and for you to find out!
I thought you’d like to see a picture of the old pumping handle found in my nethermost regions.Do note, it’s not very clean but has lots of potential.Maybe I could have taken more of a close up shot (it really was quite dark down there) for more of the detail, but still visible are it’s pivot points and a rubber bung, so stop it banging too hard on the reservoir
And I’d like to reveal a little about my forebears.You probably know that I replaced an organ with over 100 years of use in the Abbey.This smaller instrument-too small for the greatly increased space following Mr John’s extension in the 1880s-was in exactly the same place as me, and therefore had to be dismantled and removed before I could be installed.The older organ, built by another famous Mr John (Gray) in 1806 and managed a cook’s tour of the Abbey, having been moved two or three times in its life before finally being placed her…