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Council destroys pipe organ

Peter the Squeezer 06 Apr 19 - 06:07 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 06 Apr 19 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Peter 06 Apr 19 - 06:56 AM
GUEST 06 Apr 19 - 06:58 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 06 Apr 19 - 07:22 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Apr 19 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 06 Apr 19 - 11:48 AM
punkfolkrocker 06 Apr 19 - 12:09 PM
Peter the Squeezer 07 Apr 19 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,SB 07 Apr 19 - 04:32 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 04:14 AM
Jack Campin 08 Apr 19 - 04:30 AM
Jos 08 Apr 19 - 04:46 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 04:48 AM
Jack Campin 08 Apr 19 - 04:49 AM
Jos 08 Apr 19 - 05:06 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,SB 08 Apr 19 - 06:03 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 06:11 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 06:27 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 06:34 AM
Jack Campin 08 Apr 19 - 08:18 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 10:04 AM
leeneia 08 Apr 19 - 12:31 PM
leeneia 08 Apr 19 - 12:34 PM
Jack Campin 08 Apr 19 - 12:56 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 12:56 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 12:57 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 08 Apr 19 - 12:58 PM
Peter the Squeezer 08 Apr 19 - 02:12 PM
leeneia 09 Apr 19 - 11:24 AM
punkfolkrocker 09 Apr 19 - 11:34 AM
leeneia 09 Apr 19 - 11:34 AM
FreddyHeadey 09 Apr 19 - 04:36 PM
Mo the caller 11 Apr 19 - 06:56 AM
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Subject: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 06:07 AM

Wolverhampton (UK) Council dumps 'priceless' organ at landfill site.

From Express & Star

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2019/02/08/wolverhampton-council-dumps-priceless-organ-at-landfill-

This begs the question as to what they are planning to do with the organ console, now there are no pipes connected to it.

It can only be described as vandalism.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 06:44 AM

That link is invalid. Story been taken down, maybe?


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 06:56 AM

Found the link on Google

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2019/02/08/wolverhampton-council-dumps-priceless-organ-at-landfill-site/


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 06:58 AM

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/2019/02/14/revealed-wolverhampton-council-dumped-civic-hall-organ-pipes-without-carrying-out-full-asbestos-checks/


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 07:22 AM

A Compton! And paid for by the taxpayers too. Those utter, bollocking idiots (with apologies for the insult to idiots and bollocks...)

Just when you think that governing bureaucrats large & small cannot possibly get any stupider or more wilfully blind.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 11:17 AM

Heartbreaking foolishness.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 11:48 AM

The idiocy of claiming asbestos fears and then dumping the lot in landfill. When did the requirement for specialist asbestos removal cease to apply?

Sounds more like a lame excuse to just get rid of it and save the cost of restoration.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 12:09 PM

Tragic... That's another good reason never to travel anywhere near Wolverhampton..

I'm actually just trying to install a Church Pipe Organ
on my laptop...
It was on sale for less than 25 quid last year, and I forgot I had it...


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 03:06 PM

I was speaking this afternoon with one of the people who looked after the Wolverhampton organ up until its removal. The first they knew about it was the day the pipework was removed.
It appears that the City Council are spending £millions refurbishing the Civic Hall, whilst the City centre is in a state of severe decline. Sounds a bit like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic!


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: GUEST,SB
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 04:32 PM

This whole affair needs wider publicity.

I suppose the pipes cannot be retrieved from the dump and cleaned out of asbestos?

Seems like as well as destroying quality workmanship they have also dumped precious metal - like the planet isn't running out of resources is it?

Surely Wolverhampton Council has a complaints process? Maybe inundating it with letters of protest or even a petition might highlight the stupidity of their actions.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 04:14 AM

I second this suggestion, ESPECIALLY since the taxpayers footed the bill and I'll bet weren't consulted. Now the council is merrily spending a gazillion on tarting up (from what I can see) the rest of the bloody building instead!!! I'm sure some concentrated local indignation would get their attention. Are the bureaucrats who carried out this desecration elected? Even if not, no public official likes being embarrassed. Even worse is being embarrassed on the internet. Could be awkward next time voting or appointment time comes around.

From the link above:

The organ, the largest of its kind built by British firm John Compton and Company, had been in-situ at the Civic Hall since 1938 but is no more after the 6,241 pipes, paid for by taxpayers eight decades ago, were taken to a landfill site over asbestos fears.

Wolverhampton Council insist the organ has not technically been scrapped as the console has been preserved, but experts say it is the pipes that are at the heart of an organ and make it what it is – adding that a console makes up less than five per cent of an organ.

One expert said: "It is like a priceless, rare car has been sent to the scrapyard, and they've offered the steering wheel in return.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 04:30 AM

Did it have a Compton Cube? They invented that for the very lowest register - it was a gigantic ocarina with linked keyed flaps. The trick worked because you only ever need to play one note at a time down there. I've got the patent drawing on my ocarina webpage. The ocarina museum in Budrio would want it if it can be rescued.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Jos
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 04:46 AM

If the pipes contain asbestos, surely they shouldn't just be sent to landfill?
If it was found that I had sent asbestos to landfill I would expect to be in trouble with the authorities.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 04:48 AM

Good point, Jos!


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 04:49 AM

Organ pipes are made of tin-based alloy or wood. There's no earthly reason to use asbestos in them.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Jos
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 05:06 AM

Perhaps they had been contaminated with asbestos from the surrounding building.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 06:00 AM

Well, they're managing to fix up the surrounding building all right. If they could handle that, they could handle cleaning the Compton - IF it needed it. I'd been wondering the same thing as Jack - asbestos in organ pipes??? - but I don't know enough about wind-driven instruments to feel sure. Sounds like asbestos is not an intrinsic part of their makeup. That makes it easier to remove.

But if the Compton didn't need repair, why was it sacrificed? To free up space in their shiny new civic centre? Consoles are easily moved. That's only speculation, though. Bottom line, the council went ahead and dumped the pipes, which the taxpayers had bought, without consulting anyone. And they only learn about it after it's a fait accompli. It's outrageous.

I hope local people can form a committee or something, and get this looked into, based on hard, verifiable facts. Jos's asbestos-in-landfill question is especially troubling. Is it definitely too late to save those pipes?


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: GUEST,SB
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 06:03 AM

Ensure massive embarrassment for the Council.

Name names.

Put the matter onto social media with contact email addresses for complaints.

Get people to flood the Council with complaints.

Get the local press involved.

Attend Council meetings and raise questions like who authorised the scrapping.

Demand copies of the environmental impact report of dumping the pipes in landfill.

Contact organ makers to assess the cost of the pipes that have been dumped, and broadcast this far and wide.

Etc.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 06:11 AM

HEAR, HEAR


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 06:27 AM

Also find out who the organ/organists' societies and forums are. You could get them involved - especially if they have Twitter/Facebook/Instagram accounts, as most do these days.

BUT:

Be sure to assemble all the hard, provable facts, and please get some baseline legal advice before unleashing what could end up being a cyber vigilante mob that does more harm than good. There are also defamation issues to consider. You really need to organise a committee - one with a music-loving lawyer on it if possible.

But this issue shouldn't just be allowed to (quite literally) get buried. And has asbestos been dumped into a public landfill?


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 06:34 AM

Jack's Compton Cube question should be raised too.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 08:18 AM

There are a lot of organists on the ABRSM forums. Including some very opinionated ones who aren't in the least inhibited about making waves publicly.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 10:04 AM

You should see the pianists!


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: leeneia
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 12:31 PM

Things to ask:

What's all this about asbestos?
What condition was the organ in? (An organ from 1938 is pretty old.)
How many people have been coming to organ concerts lately?

Whatever the answers, it sounds like the City Council erred in scrapping the organ without publicity. On the other hand, maybe they gave notice and nobody paid attention. It's not the sort of thing that pops up on an i-Phone.
==========================
My city has a brand-new pipe organ costing a million dollars or two, and I don't think anybody plays it. Nobody's interested. Well, a few people are interested, but there are already plenty of pipe organs around to meet their needs.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: leeneia
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 12:34 PM

Click to see our new organ. It is referred to locally as 'the French-fry organ'.


pic


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 12:56 PM

There really isn't such a thing as an old organ - they get regular maintenance. It would be interesting to see the maintenance logbook for the Wolverhampton one (FOI request?) to see how much has been spent on it recently.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 12:56 PM

Nice - it has a sort of art-deco look to it.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 12:57 PM

Sorry - cross posted. I was replying to Leeneia.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 12:58 PM

That question about maintenance is a good one. How well was it looked after? Curiouser and curiouser...


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 08 Apr 19 - 02:12 PM

Thanks to all - especially Bonnie & Jack.

The asbestos was in he building - NOT the organ pipes.

The instrument was being looked after by enthusiasts, who are knowledgeable about such things. They were putting on concerts in the hall, up until it closed for refurbishment. These people have an extensive experience of looking after organs, in Churches, halls, and cinemas, in the area. I was told that they (temporarily) sealed over the shutters with tape before the building work started, to prevent dust getting in to the pipe chambers and damaging the pipes - seems a bit of a pointless exercise, with hindsight. They have been presenting organ concerts in this hall for some years, so any asbestos dust would have been blown out in to the auditorium during these events. The council didn't seem to mind about it then. If they had been informed, they could have gone into the pipe chambers and removed the pipes to a safe place, for re-use later.

Jack - I have heard about the Compton "cube" for the bass end, but never actually seen one in the flesh. Those clever people at Compton's put some strange devices on to their organs! One such was known as a "Solo Cello" - a single steel string, with a tensioning device at one end for tuning, and an electormagnetic pick-up, with a resin coated wheel, at the other. Steel fingers were positioned along the string, to stop the string off - a bit like an electric hurdy-gurdy. They fell out of use pretty quickly, due to their tendency to go out of tune - just like the "normal hurdy-gurdys we sometimes see in folk clubs.

John Compton was perhaps the most innovative English organ builder of the 20th century.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: leeneia
Date: 09 Apr 19 - 11:24 AM

"
There really isn't such a thing as an old organ - they get regular maintenance."

Not at my church, for one place. Most of us are hoping it dies a peaceful death.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Apr 19 - 11:34 AM

"There really isn't such a thing as an old organ - they get regular maintenance"

In a nation raised on cultural greats like Carry On films, Benny Hill, and Frankie Howard,
there really isn't a better feed line to ponder..

All the more appropriate for an aging demographic at mudcat...


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: leeneia
Date: 09 Apr 19 - 11:34 AM

That said, it sounds like the Council's deed in Wolverhampton was a real act of vandalism. They won't be forgiven.


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 09 Apr 19 - 04:36 PM

Here's the web page for the organ on the
Cannock Chase Organ Club website.
There is a short video by Steve Tovey who was the mainstay of keeping the organ operating, till his death in 2016.
https://www.tccoc.co.uk/installations/wolverhampton-civic-hall/ 


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Subject: RE: Council destroys pipe organ
From: Mo the caller
Date: 11 Apr 19 - 06:56 AM

Another act of municipal vandalism was the destruction of the sprung dance floor in Bromyard leisure centre.


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