The Organ

Star Organs of Britain 2008; photographed by Andrew Hayden

Star Organs of Britain 2008; photographed by Andrew Hayden
available from the author at: 79, The Common, Freethorpe, Norwich, Norfolk NR13 3LX. Tel: 01493 700258.
£13.75 including post and packing within the UK

Andrew Hayden has done it again. Here we have an excellent collection of superb photographs of organs (a number already featured in this magazine’s ‘Star Organ’ series) in calendar format. The front cover is the Ashridge organ, and how resplendent it is, in glorious colour! January is St James, Kinnersley, whose Bodley case clothes a small two-manual and pedal Wordsworth & Maskell organ of 1888. February gives us much more of a case front, with the 1903 Forster & Andrews at the John Robinson Memorial United Reformed Church at Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. March brings us a more classical design: the Thomas Jackson case in Giggleswick School Chapel – a marvelous example, it seems from the photograph, where case and building fit each other ‘hand in glove’. April returns us to the late medieval period, with the case (believed to be by Elizabeth Walker) on the 1889 JW Walker organ at St Michael & All Angels at Tatenhill, Staffordshire. What a splendidly simply yet effective piece of work this is. We go back to Bodley for May, with a more ornate case at All Saints, Cawthorne, South Yorkshire, clothing yet another Wordsworth & Maskell instrument. Wesley Methodist Church in Harrogate provides us with June’s case – a fine classical front by an unknown designer. Bodley returns for July, with the imposing, if somewhat flawed cases for St Michael & All Angels, Croydon. Italian Renaissance influences are evident in Temple Moore’s case for the one manual and pedal Isaac Abbott organ at St Michael, Barton-le-Street, North Yorkshire, while September’s Snetzler at St Mary the Virgin, Hillington, Norfolk, looks remarkably Victorian, perhaps because of the pipe decoration. John Oldrid Scott’s chancel case at Halifax Parish Church takes us through October; it has many imposing aspects, though the upper parts seem weak. Did Arthur Harrison alter the case when he rebuilt the instrument in 1929? Simple Gothick is the offering for November, with the chamber organ built by JW Walker now in the (redundant) church of St Mary, Hardmead, Buckinghamshire. The year closes with St Mary Magdalene, Melchbourne, Bedfordshire, a classic Holdich case and organ. As always, and not surprisingly, many of the instruments featured in the Calendar have already been listed as heritage instruments by being awarded a Historic Organ Certificate by the British Institute of Organ Studies. Andrew’s Calendar has already become a firm favourite with readers and I once again recommend the publication to lovers of the organ.