The Organ

Star Organs of Britain 2006; photographed by Andrew Hayden

Star Organs of Britain 2006; photographed by Andrew Hayden
available from the author at 5, Pound Lane, Blofield, Norwich, Norfolk, NR13 4NB
£13.50 including post and packing within the UK

This is the second calendar that Andrew Hayden has produced, and what a (Christmas) cracker it is! Twelve superb colour photographs, together with a thirteenth on the front cover, packaged as an A3, spiral bound calendar. Readers of The Organ will of course already be aware of Andrew’s work through the Star Organ series and this publication confirms his ability as a photographer of organs. We begin with the Comper case at St Mary-the-Virgin, Wellingborough, followed by the wonderful early Bishop (?) chamber organ at Gooderstone in Norfolk. Then we leap to the 21st century with Kenneth Tickell’s 2004 instrument at St Laurence, Upminster. Sadly, the wonderful Bodley/Sutton case at the Church of the Holy Angels, Hoar Cross, Staffordshire is not matched by its insides, though there are the remains of Samuel Green work; not to worry, for it is a gorgeous thing to look at. Inside and outside are more congruent when it comes to the 1860 Miller organ at St Mary the Virgin, Great Bardfield, and the 1848 Gray and Davison barrel organ at St Peter and Paul, Muchelney, Somerset. June and July are both devoted to St James’s, Bermondsey – case then console – and what a lovely piece of work it all is, complete with separate keyboard for the pedal stops. Vincent Woodstock’s two-manual organ for St Mary and All Saints, Fotheringay, Northamptonshire graces the month of August; by way of a complete contrast, the next month’s illustration is of the console of a small Bevington instrument at Raynham in Norfolk – the only real disappointment for me for, though interesting, it does not have the hold that all these other stunning views – especially of cases – have. October, November and December are all grounded in the late 19th or early 20th centuries, with excellent essays in the Gothic style: St Nicholas, King’s Lynn (J.O. Scott); St Mary Magdalene, Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire (Sutton); St Michael the Archangel, Chagford, Devon (Stephen Dykes Bower).

The calendar is beautifully produced. Each ‘entry’ has full details of the organ, including the stoplist. Many of the instruments have already been recognised for their importance to the UK’s organ heritage by being award Historic Organ Certificates, so you have an important photographic record if you buy this work. I am usually suspicious of the label’ ideal Christmas gift’, but this is one for the discerning lover of the organ; so get your letter to Santa written now! This is well worth the money.