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The Friends of All Saints' Music (FASM) tonight hosted a meeting at which Simon Lawford and Simon Tayton proposed an exciting project to restore part of the All Saints' organ, which would increase its capacity by a further 20%. Former and current organists from All Saints' and the local area were invited to share their views on the project.
Simply by connecting up an old and forgotten "solo division", the organ would become even more effective when accompanying the choir as well as improving the traditional English sound which would have filled the church before changes made in 1982. Other easily-restored stops include pipework for the Vox Humana and Tuba.
The All Saints' organ is already a grand instrument (read more about the organ specification), but recent investigations have revealed that only modest investment could improve it to a standard which would rival some cathedral organs. Indeed, the proposed changes would go a long way to restoring the sound to that of its original specification in 1925.
In 1982, urgent refurbishment of the organ was needed when the old pneumatic action began to fail. A modern electrical action was installed alongside several changes to the pipes, according to the prevailing fashions of the day. Unfortunately several of these changes are now considered to be detrimental and the current plan is to reverse some of them. Such restoration work would usually cost tens of thousands of pounds. Fortunately, the pipework was left inside the organ loft and simply requires re-connecting to allow the pipes to sound once again.
You can read more about the history of All Saints' organ in the organ pages.
The next step will be to discuss these proposals at the church's next PCC meeting and obtain an independent report on the current state of the organ. We then need to begin fundraising for this exciting project, which should benefit audiences and congregations at All Saints' for many years to come.
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