Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The organ installation is complete

John Budgen completed the installation today – in spite of visits by a number of organists and parishioners. The verdict from all these seems to be very positive and I think John was pleased that so many people looked in and were obviously excited about the new organ. So we seem to be all set for the wedding on 27th August and the dedication on Sunday evening, 29th.

History of the organ

John left a note to be put inside the organ – I think this is traditional for organ builders.

This little organ served for many years in the church at Charlton Musgrove, near Wincanton, a long narrow building; it stood in a small transept near the chancel. In those days it had two 8ft stops, open diapason and salicional, both poorly voiced. When in 2008 it was superseded by an electronic instrument, we rescued it and stood it in the English Organ School at Milborne Port. Liam Cartwright, a pupil of Margaret Phillips, noticed it and brought about its purchase for Little Hampden church.

John Budgen exchanged the pipework for a Gedact and Principal, which he had done with two similar Casson organs quite successfully. In this instance, the channels of the soundboard are routered out and very shallow (not the full depth suggestee by the top and bottom veneers). The result is a tendency to 'rob' and makes for difficult tuning, but it is at least more tuneful than when it had two 8fts, and. Hopefully, an improvement on the 'keyboard' in use up till now.

The original builder Thomas Casson is a the father of Lewis Casson, the actor and husband of Sybil Thorndyke. Sir Hugh Casson was Lewis Casson's nephew.

I hope this is the start if a new phase for this organ, bringing beautiful music to the worship at Little Hampden.

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