The Fair Organ Preservation Society Discussion Forum

Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold
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Author:  steamytuba [ Tue May 17, 2011 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Tomorrow will be the day we pick up The Chanctonbury to move to its new home in Stotfold where we will be spending the next 12 months or so on an
overhaul of the one off organ by Colthard and Sheapherd from the Chanctonbury Ring area of Sussex. At present in the capable hands of MR R Burt.

We hope to have the Organ out late next year 2012 after an overhaul to both the organ truck and the organ itself.

Regards Alan & Paul

Author:  steamytuba [ Wed May 18, 2011 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Had a great run home with the old leyland did not miss a beat all the way home appox 115 miles in 4 hrs with out any problems.

The organ and leyland are now parked in the shed awaiting our attention over the next few months

Regards Alan & Paul

Author:  Dave Stubbs [ Thu May 19, 2011 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hi Alan & Paul.

Thanks for the information.

Please keep us updated with the overhaul as I am sure all the enthusiasts will be interested to see how it goes :twothumbsup

Author:  organeer [ Thu May 19, 2011 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hi, Will you keep a photographic record of the work as it progresses. Whenever I do a job, I always mean to take photos, but only remember at the end. Some before & after pictures would be great if you were ok with it. Thanks in advance.

Author:  steamytuba [ Thu May 19, 2011 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

we will keep all updated on how the work progresses and yes we aim to photograph the work in progress as it will aid us when we put the instrument back together, was the same way I used to work with my engine rebuilds.

We had it playing in the yard yesterday afternoon about 30 mins after we landed just to check it rode well in the organ box on the journey home and nothing seemed to have got damaged on route

Regards Alan & Paul

Author:  Rob Barker [ Fri May 20, 2011 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hello Alan & Paul,

Welcome to the forum & congratulations on your new toy. So it plays then? I remember seeing it at Ardingly rally in 1985. It played well but was hoplessly out of tune! I remember being told that the action was electric. It would be nice to see a video of it as it stands. How much work do you think it needs?


Author:  steamytuba [ Fri May 20, 2011 7:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hi Rob

The organ is a traditional 89 key gavi key frame prity much of traditional construction as is all the guts of the organ.

there is quite a lot of work, we are hoping it wont take more than 12 months to sort

most of the ranks of pipes are leaking which we believe to be the tuning issues with the organ as the pipes are not being fed there fair share of air to make them sound
and voice properly. most of the work will be re-leathering and then re-voicing and finally tuning. also polishing of the pipe work too. The key frame will also be stripped
and overhauled

The front needs very little work apart from cleaning and securing to the new casing We are considering making as we intend to travel the organ in the old Leyland lorry which also we have to sort and repaint but is running well as we drove it home with no issues at all.

the organ has lots of potential and hopefully will be a very nice instrument once the work has been completed, once all the pipes are voicing and tuned properly I think it will be quite a powerful Organ. As with all types of orchestras once playing in tune the sound can easily double in tone and volume.

At least having played in Brass Bands at a top level in the UK as a tuba player this will hopefully help in getting the Instrument to sound at least nice.

Also we have to go through all the many many books of music and check all of them out for operating and re-cut some of the real old black mouldy ones that we have with the organ.

I don't think we will be adding any extra pipes as this may detract from the quality of the overall balance of the instrument as once its overhauled we feel it will sound well as is as at the moment having listened to it a few times now I can see there is a good orchestra waiting to break out and has a real nice balance and tone.

Regards Alan & Paul

Author:  Rob Harris [ Fri May 20, 2011 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hi there, I can remember the chanctonbury organ very well, my grandfather knew the old chaps who originally built it in the late 1970s & I remember going in the back of the organ at one of the Ardingly rallys in the early 1980s, I guess I would have been about 9 or 10 years old at the time & I remember my nan saying it sounded flat! the next time I saw it was at Parham steam rally in 1986 by this time it had been completely rebuilt by Ken Botting of Lindfield nr Haywards Heath. Ken made all new pipes for it & although it played a bit better it was still way out of tune! I made a tape recording of it & I may still have it somewhere. It will almost certainly need a whole load of re-voicing if not a lot of new pipes etc. reguards, Rob Harris, organ builder, Weymouth.

Author:  steamytuba [ Sat May 21, 2011 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hi Rob

Its great to get all the feed back on the history of the organ good or bad as it will help us in the overhaul knowing a little more of the history

I would be very interested in hearing the recording of the Organ you may still have

I am still convinced we can make a good instrument from what we have without the
need for major pipe renewal, Although always willing to listen to the experience and
thoughts of others. It all helps to build up a picture of where to head in any rebuild/overhaul

Regards Alan & Paul

Author:  Rob Harris [ Sat May 21, 2011 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hi Alan & Paul, it was only a short mono recording of it playing veterans of variety if i recall, I think the tape is in my old workshop at my mothers house, I'l try to find it next week. From memory I think the two old boys that originally made it using old church organ pipes/actions were called Dick Cothard & Ted Shepheard but when Ken Botting rebuilt it sometime in the early/mid 1980s he replaced just about everything in it, pipes, chests, keyframe etc, the only thing he did'nt renew was the case/frame. I assume its playing from the 89 key VB scale (violin-baritone) as it has baritone reed pipes in the lower front, looking at the pics of it on the sellers website I would say that it has'nt got any saxophone/trumpet pipes which should be in the counter melody section these pipes make up a vital musical part in the 89 key scale wether its an 87 or 89 key G4 Gavioli type or 89 VB Marenghi type organ, if there are no reed pipes in the counter melody it will sound thin/weak against the melody baritone, clarinet mixture. I hope this info is of use to you both, reguards Rob Harris, Weymouth.

Author:  steamytuba [ Sat May 21, 2011 10:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

hi Rob

all input is valued and as we get into the overhaul I am sure we will find many points
to address to improve the instrument and the way it plays

there are a lot of skilled people with such instruments and only a fool would ignore any such input of help and advice, knowing more about the organ and its origins will greatly
help us along the way such as the information offered above

Its really nice to have people offering there knowledge and memory as this helps to build the bigger picture.

Regards Alan & Paul

Author:  Rob Harris [ Sun May 22, 2011 9:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hi Alan & Paul. Just a thought for you to consider. Also another 89 key home made organ is I still believe for sale in the same area of Sussex for not to much money. This 89 key was made in the 1980s by Norman Hobbs of Haywards Heath, again Norman used Ken Botting to make most of the parts, pipes etc. Through my grandfather I knew both Ken & Norman well. Before Norman died about 20 years ago he took delivery I believe of some new pipes for his 89 key organ from Deans, he also had quite a lot of new music cut for him by Watts/Clarke. If you had both 89 key organs you may well have enough parts to make a fairly decent organ & possibaly enough bits left over to make a smaller organ of say 46/48 scale? Reguards, Rob Harris, Weymouth.

Author:  steamytuba [ Sun May 22, 2011 9:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hi Rob

sounds interesting do you know where the other one is advertised at all as i have not seen one in that area other than the one we have now

Regards Alan & Paul

Author:  Rob Harris [ Sun May 22, 2011 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Hi Alan & Paul, Although Norman Hobbs died about 20 years ago his business "Norman Hobbs electrical" is still in business being run by Normans nephew Marcus, its an electrical hi-fi retailer shop in Haywards Heath. If you google them you will find them along with their website & contact details. The organ was in store in a garage behind the shop although they may well have moved it now. It would be worth your while making enquiries with them as I'm sure they still have it. Reguards Rob Harris.

Author:  steamytuba [ Fri May 27, 2011 4:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chanctonbury Moves to Stotfold

Thanks for the info rob will check it out

Finally got the workshop cleared ready for the organ to go into after two
hard days moving stuff about to make some space.

Had to knock out some of the concrete floor to allow the hight under the
shed doors but got it in in the end.

Think the first job is to hover out the inside of the casing first so we dont get too dirty and loose the cobwebs other wise paul wont go near the organ

Hope to have some pictures soon as we should be starting now were in the workshop

Regards Alan & Paul

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