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SteveHB

Brindley & Foster Organ Builders

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I wonder how many organs they made or renovated, not only locally, as it appears that some went a lot further afield.

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Renovation to St. Paul's, Pinstone Street, published on the 10th of October 1871.

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I wonder how many organs they made or renovated, not only locally, as it appears that some went a lot further afield.

 

 

 

According to J.R Knott in his "A Study of Brindley and Foster - organbuilders of Sheffield 1854 - 1939" - their pneumatic control system was "the greatest fraud ever attempted to be foisted on the musical public"

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Regarding the quote from J R Knott's book about "the greatest fraud etc...". As an owner of the said book, Mr Knott was quoting statements made at the time bot for & against the work of B & F. I am a church organ builder. At the time we are talking about c1900, you could order an organ from Brindle & Foster exactly as you wanted it & although they were obviously keen on pushing their "Metacotic" multi-Pallet pneumatic action, you could also have ordered an organ with traditional mechanical tracker action & also with 'conventional' pneumatic action. I have a 1911 'conventional' B&F organ in stock here for workshop restoration/rebuilding & everything about it is of the highest quality, the swell box is a ridiculous overkill & could have been much thinner & lighter. We will be putting the organ on electric action & just retain the main pneumatic motors within the conventional slider soundboards.

I think what the person was saying who said "the greatest fraud etc" was that he had seen the console of on of B&F's Metacotic pneumatic nightmare actions & no doubt spotted a row of stops labelled 'transformers'. When these were selected, the organ could do things that the 'normal' drawstops couldn't including shifting the odd stop from it's normal manual (keyboard) to another & even shifting another rank of pipes up an octave from normal. These pneumatic 'extra features' were simply that. I reckon he thought that these were being sold by B&F as extra stops...more bang for your buck, but they weren't being sold like that at all. If one opted to buy an organ on their metacotic system you could opt for a whole host of accessories, the 'Brindgradus' general crescendo pedal, the blind toe pistons, the transformers I've just mentioned, and much much more. You could end up with a pneumatic flight deck of an organ. Conversely, you could also have their nightmare multi-pallet pneumatic action without any accessories whatsoever. I've seen & worked on plenty in my 38 year career. 

Other makes also build organs with multi-pallet action & I have one here, again for restoration & rebuild from Lidiatt & Sons from the south coast. we are going to have to rebuild it on multi-magnet direct electric action & it will be a very expensive project, but will result in a lovely instrument worth doing...the cost will be around 20% of building that organ from new, so not that scarey. 

The mechanical tracker action  B&F organs just need normal restoration work, the pneumatic ones need rebuilding on electric action, but the man saying "the greatest fraud etc" all those years ago had the wrong end of the stick and or lacked real knowledge.

 

Richard

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Organ maker...another trade/industry to add to the long list of trades we once had in this fair city of ours.

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3 hours ago, lysander said:

Organ maker...another trade/industry to add to the long list of trades we once had in this fair city of ours.

Some of my ancestors list their occupation as 'organ pipe maker'. One member actually lived on Suffolk road which is the same road that Brindley and Fosters operated from (Columbia Place). I've long theorised that he worked for them. They actually made the pipes that were used in the organs.

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