The Fair Organ Preservation Society Discussion Forum

Milton Keynes museum organ festival review.
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Author:  Rob Barker [ Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Milton Keynes museum organ festival review.

Hello everyone,

What a fantastic event! We went for the day on Sunday. The weather was great, there were twice as many organs as there were last year, & we actually got to see a part of the museum itself this time!

Larger organs included Duncan Mallow's magnificent 105k Leach, the Buckler's 41k Heesbeen, Keith Pinner's 68k DeCap, Ken Slow's 92k Mortier (playing some nice classical arrangements), Phil Radford's 52k Dean, Ernie Thomas, Tony Yorke, Graham Beck & Shon Gosling's 30k Pells. There were plenty of amateur built instruments of all sizes & lots of smaller hand turned instruments there as well, both professionally & amateur built. All of the instruments I heard were in tip top condition.

The museum itself is one of those gems which you stumble upon by chance, being far better than the leaflets describe. All of the exhibits are there to be handled which is a refreshing change from the sterile attitude encountered these days. The staff are very knowledgeable & encourage adults & children alike to have a go. The part we went in was a Victorian farmhouse with a pianola which our children pedalled, & a polyphon which they operated. We also played a game of puff billiards (which I'd never heard of before), had a look at some stereoscopic photos & toasted some bread in the hearth of the kitchen stove.

After that we went into the Victorian street of shops recreated in the adjacent building. Along the way we bumped into Kevin McElhone with his incredible stall of mechanical instrument goodies.

The Victorian street is done really well, although with more staff in the shops it would really come alive.

Whilst I was engaged in some very stimulating conversation with fellow organ nutters, Rachel took the children into the telephone museum where they were able to operate a switchboard & have conversations on vintage phones.

There are craft, transport, & farming sections which we didn't have time to patronise, as well as a cafe, shop & the farm courtyard with it's vintage machinery.

All in all, a cracking day especially suited to families. We enjoyed catching up with old friends, making new ones & listening to some great instruments. Well done Bob West & the museum staff who put a great show together. Hopefully next year we shall get to see the rest of the museum! Mark your calendars.


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