artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
Could people please proofread the following and add suggestions/comments/etc?


The Lewis Organ

The present organ is the second to serve St Andrew's. Built in 1914 by Lewis and Co. Ltd. of Brixton, it contains a number of pipes from the earlier organ, possibly by Gray and Davison. It remains, however, distinctly in the character of Lewis organs and is one of the last unaltered examples of the company's work before its amalgamation with Henry Willis and Sons in 1919.

A three-manual instrument, its reed, string and diapason stops are particularly notable. It gives a rich and firm brilliance, perfectly controlled and informed. With this expertise in reaching precisely the right output from the given scaling, this powerful organ is manageable in the foreshortened building.

This organ is an important and increasingly rare survival of its period and infinitely more impressive than many of the instruments which were to follow during the next forty years. It counts as a most valuable possession and part of the heritage of the parish, and it is central to the musical tradition at St Andrew's.

The Repairs

The organ is now showing signs of its age. Several years ago an appeal was run to make repairs; it was decided to do these in two stages. The first stage was completed successfully, and the second stage deferred. The work entailed in the second stage is as follows:

“The four remaining bellows up in the main organ chamber are very awkward to access (being sited on floor level) and require dismantling/removal of the Choir division (i.e. pipework and soundboard mechanisms) to facilitate their removal. The six case pipes on the right hand side would need to be removed and a small tower scaffold erected in order to safely extract the bellows from the organ. It could be possible to undertake the re-leathering of these bellows one at a time, but for practical and financial purposes, it would be more economic to restore these in one operation.”

At the moment the organ is severely limited by lack of air pressure due to failing bellows, with 13 of the 33 ranks of pipes unplayable, and the others only working in limited combinations. Eventually deterioration of the leather bellows will cause it to fail entirely. Once that happens, other parts will deteriorate very quickly due to lack of use, and the whole instrument could become much more expensive to repair.

The current estimate for the cost of the work is £21000 plus VAT at 20%. This means we need to raise £25000.

How You Can Help

Could you sponsor some pipes? The organ has around 1714 pipes, each representing £15 of the estimated cost of repairs.

[donation form and Gift Aid form, as at my blog]


1) I know, I need pictures, and preferably shiny diagrams. I can't do this by tomorrow.

2) I know, there are online crowdfunding things available. Getting the PCC to agree to a pledge system (where we only get the money if the full amount is raised) rather than incremental, donations add-up-as-you-go system will be difficult. If you know of any of the latter do let me know.

3) I've stalled at the "asking people for money" bit, as predicted. Sigh. £15/pipe is great, but it's going to take a long time to get to £25000 that way. We're looking at £116.30 for a note, or £760 for an entire rank of pipes (a stop). Should I offer these as sponsorship options too?

4) I'd like to get the steam stuff in there somehow but I'm not sure where it fits.



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