- 1 January 1978
No. 41 Golden Notes
Dear Members and Friends, What a hectic time it has been since the Nigel Ogden Concert. Those of you who attended the Christmas Concert on the 13th of December will have realised that a tremendous amount of activity had taken p1ace. I think almost every-body was taken by surprise to see the curtains drawn, the lights switched on and no console to be seen, followed by strains of the signature tune of our President Arnold Loxam â€œCome back to Sorrentoâ€? and the console coming up from below the stage on the lift. More about this later in this issue by our Secretary Mick Mason. I am sure you will enjoy reading it. Needless to say the Christmas Concert was a most enjoyable occasion one that we will not forget, nor do I think Arnold will either, having the honour of bringing the Christie Console up on the lift for its first public appearance. Arnold s very apt remarks about it on the Thursday following in his Broadcast from Radio Leeds. Frank Hare remarked that it must be the joke of the year, Arno1d reassured Frank that it was no joke but a reality and congratulations followed No doubt many of you will have heard that Broadcast. More about the Concert from Dorothy Robinson. It would be very remiss of me not to mention the Annual Dinner Dance and our invited "Guests". What a splendid evenings meal and entertainment we had I have noticed that ln the report by Ron Morley he does not mention what I thought was one of the highlights of the evening, seeing our former Secretary Stan Morris on the floor doing the Jive to the strains of the Vaughan Williams sound I was so pleased to see Stan really enjoying himself as I am sure everyone else did Very few left before midnight. Later in this issue there will be a few notes in new items that I think will be of interest to your which brings us up to Christmas Eve. I sincerely hope each and everyone of you had a very enjoyable Christmas. From what I can gather the order of the day seemed to be quiet, but enjoyable. There is no doubt, that young children appreciate the joys of Christmas presents etc. We were fortunate to have all our family at home with the grandchildren to liven up the situation - no time to be melancholy. Christmas Eve while out doing the last minute shopping with the family, I had the misfortune to blow a cylinder head gasket and finished up with a sump full of water. What a job to tackle over the Holidays, with no garages open to get the parts. This presented some problems but we won in the end I am thankful that this did not happen during the time we were installing the lift and lengthening the main
- 2cable from console to relay chamber, or it would have created a real problem. As it was we were fighting to achieve completion in time for the concert.
I often wonder how people manage without a car or some means of transport other than Public transport. During this period we had to decline invitations at the very last moment due to no Pub1ic Service being available. The New Year is the time our Scottish members and friends have their celebrations. In past years we have been to many of their parties and what parties they have turned out to be. I would love the opportunity to attend such a party in Scotland We have had the privilege of being at parties at the turn of the year over in Holland, where eating and drinking is much the same as we do, except that it is traditional for the letting off of fireworks at the stroke of midnight to herald in the new year. What a sight to see and what a noise. May I now wish you all, Our Members, Friends, Organists and Societies A Happy and Prosperous New Year and may all the Pipe 0rgan concerts give you immense pleasure. Yours sincerely, Wilf Barber. Ed ********************* DINNER DANCE REPORT by Ron Morley Although our annual "Do" seemed a little early this year, everyone was looking forward to it just the same and the Hall was quite full when I rolled up at 6.45 pm. The Vaughan Wi11iams Sound had been engaged for the occasion and the committee had done a great job with the stage decor, so all was set fair for a great evening. The proceedings began with our Chairman asking the Rev Briggs colloquially known as "Mick the Vic" to say grace for us. After a first class meal with all the trimmings provided by that catering wonder Ann Warrior and her team of experts, (thank you all f or preparing this meal LADIES, a great job well done). Our Chairman Stuart Warrior introduced our Guests, Doreen and Guy Crossley and mentioned that they gave commission from the sale of Records sold at our Concerts which helped enormously with the cost of maintaining the Organ and were duly thanked Gwen and the Hall and sometimes at concerts and
Carl Favill, who have put in many hours as caretakers of let us in and out of the Hall to work on the Organ, inconvenient times and helped in setting out for our never a complaint about our late nights.
A Happy Retirement to you both.
- 3Mr & Mrs John Proctor (Scunthorpe) who have so willingly loaned us Electronic Organs and equipment on several occasions, the Chairman expressed his thanks.
Finally he introduced our Principal Guests Mr and Mrs Nev Hawkins. Nev Hawkins is the Vice Chairman of the Harworth Miners Welfare Scheme, who rose to reply to our Chairman's words of welcome. Nev opened by recalling the time some years ago when he and the committee were being pestered by Stan Morris to be allowed to put Organ Concerts on in the Institute. Stans tenacity bore fruits. So was born the H. O. E. one of the most progressive societies in the land. Mr Hawkins marvelled at our great success since then, with the fine Theatre Organ now installed in the Hall and with the best Organists in the land coming to Harworth to entertain our large Membership. Nev emphasised that all this had been achieved without any help from the Welfare Scheme, other than the purchase of the Christie. A cheque for ÂŁ100 was then presented to Mr Hawkins as the Societies contribution to the We1fare Funds by our Chairman Stuart Warrior, after exchanges of appreciation brought the speeches to a close. Then onto the Dancing after the tables had been quickly clearer1. The floor was soon filled with revellers who were obviously enjoying themselves and the evening ended all too soon as we reached the midnight hour. Everyone seemed to have had a great time. May I say to the Committee and all who helped to make such a grand evening, Thank you very much. Ron Morley. ********************* Thanks Ron for your report. There is no doubt that this was another of the highlights of the H O. E. social calendar. Many people have remarked that it was a memorable night. Ed. ********************* IMPORTANT NOTICE The committee have received complaints from the nearby residents regarding the indiscriminate parking of cars, i.e. blocking driveways to residents homes and also parking on the causeways, again impeding entry with prams etc. In the past we have had a good relationship with the residents and it is the wish of the Chairman and Committee that this remains so in the future. They have been good enough to inform us instead of asking the Police to deal with the matter. PLEASE CO-OPERATE by parking at the rear of the Hall, The Welfare Car
- 4Park may also be used after 2pm at Sunday Concerts.
If the Car Parks are full please be CONSIDERATE. ********************* The Irishman Thought that Sheffield Wednesday was a new Holiday Resort. ********************* CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND 1977 One of the most memorable concerts since the opening of the Christie Organ. It was full of surprises and a night some of us will never forget. The popularity of Arnold Loxam is abundantly evident wherever he goes, and all seats had been taken very early in the evening. Our Chairman welcomed a number of guests from the Harworth Area of the National Coal Board. It was encouraging to see such a large party taking an interest in the Society. Strains of "Sorrento" came forth, the curtains opened and it seemed as if a miracle was happening the organ and Arnold came up from out of the floor. What an achievement for all. Everyone was just spel1 bound. Congratulations to all concerned, thats all one can say, and how proud Arnold our President was, but then who else could the honour have been given to, the first organist to rise on the Christie, a sight never to be forgotten. The stage was set for Christmas, with Christmas trees each side of the organ, with Snowmen sitting on top of each one and a Merry Christmas right across the top of the stage. "Thank You" to all who put so much hard work into the setting, it gave the audience much, joy and pleasure to }look at. The Organ was in good voice and much improved over the last few months, Ted must have given it an extra Christmas gift as it played very well. As is Arnolds way, a bright rousing start with "Happy Days Medley", and most fitting this was for this evening. The next item held the audience rather sad, "Remembering Bing Crosby" at Christmas we shall always think of Bing and his famous song "White Christmas". Arnold gave a wonderful tribute to a great singer as we heard such tunes as "Blue of the Night", "Pennies from Heaven", and of course "White Christmas". Novelty Tunes came next - what else but the "Floral Dance", an old tune by Katie Morris, made popular at present by Brighouse and Rastrlck Band. The big Bass drum came into its own, some people wondered if it was coming out of the organ chamber O, then followed "Trudie", and "Magic Moments". We then had our first taste of the delightful voice of EVE BARON, charmingly dressed in black. Her first item was the "Waltz Song", from Tom Jones, then "April Sings", giving us hope for the Spring to look forward to, then a selection from the
famous Ivor Nove1lo. Arnold then treated us with “Oldies that will never Die”, some very contrasting tempos and registrations were beautifully used to bring out the best from the Christie, "March Militaire" and other Franz Schubert music, finishing with the "Can Can" which set our feet tapping. We just wanted some lady dancers to complete the scene thoughts for next year may be. "Looking forward to Christmas", lots of old favourites, (we noticed Arnold has a new 'red' car - maybe he has called it "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" when coming up the hill to Harworth) "Mary's Boy Child", "Snow Bird", and of course "Jingle Bells". To finish the first half , "Dance Tunes for A11", "Alice Blue Gown", "The lady is a Tramp", "I got Rhythm", "Carolina Moon" and so ended the first half. Customers hurrying for their ‘cuppa’ and raffle tickets, also stronger liquid refreshments doing a good trade, lots of talking was done, and greetings passed on. It was a pleasure to see Stan Morris looking so much better again. The raffle took place with a tremendous selection of prizes, also words of thanks to Doreen and Guy Crossley for the donations from the sale of records. We would like to congratulate them on the excellent selection of records they present at each concert. A record can always be found to suit all tastes. Back to the Organ and Arnolds "Bransome March", which he composed for Ray and Vera Booth of Mansfield, who have a very fine Compton in their home at Mansfield. Don’t Cry for ne Argentina" was Arno1ds next tune. Our President used registration changes with most telling effects in this delightful piece. A return to Christmas Music we all love so well, "God Rest you Merry, Gentlemen", "The Holly and the Ivy", "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In", and "Twelve Days of Christmas". Congratulations to the G.P.0. on the Christmas selection of stamps on this song. Eve Baron returned to delight us with more songs. Her charming personality makes listening to her singing a pleasure. She sang "Waltzing in the Clouds", "The litt1e Road to Bethlehem", and finished with the tremendous favourite "Nuns Chorus". The audience showed their appreciation with prolonged applause and shouts of more. A spot of Rhythm, Arno1d comes to life, he was enjoying himself. The organ also rocked as we had a selection of our best loved tunes, "China Town", "Sweet Georgia Brown", and others. And so we came to our audience participation. Eve came on stage
- 6once more to lead us all in singing carols, with the help of carol sheet s printed by Stan Morris. We all sang well. The most authentic part was the snow falling. Mick Mason and Harry Cheadle must get a prize for the stage lighting and effects, Arno1d looked up in wonder wondering what damage he had done to the roof!! as the snow fel1. The singing of "We wish you a Merry Christmas" brought the night to a close with Eve Baron's stimulating performance and Arnolds playing. The applause shown by all was obvious that the entertainment value was terrific and enjoyed by all. D.W. Robinson.
Thank you Dorothy for doing the report of our Christmas Concert, I am most grateful to you. I am afraid that I overlooked the fact when I begged you to do this for me, that as a Housewife, 1et alone your Charity work with the Fairground Organ (Gavioli) you would have enough to do without me placing an extra burden on your shoulders. Nevertheless I am sure our readers will appreciate your writing of the event. ********************* NEW MEMBERS We have the pleasure of giving a cordial welcome to our new members. Mr & Mrs Ellis, Auckley; Mr D.A.Rayson, Bottesford; Mr T.Clarke, Balderton; Mr & Mrs Bean, Harworth; Mr & Mrs Howadine, Bircotes; Mr & Mrs Nev.Hawkins, Bircotes; Mr E.Watts, Sheffield; Mrs G. Woolward, Auckley; Mr & Mrs John Marsden, Mexborough; also to Mr & Mrs M.Cowley and Heather who have rejoined after a spel1 of absence. We hope all of you will enjoy your membership.
********************* RECORD NEWS No further information has come to hand regarding the Records expected to be released in December except that the problem is the Record Sleeves. It would appear that the printing cannot be done on time for release. DON'T BE DISC0URAGED, for Doreen and Guy will have them at Harworth as soon as they are available, along with all the other Organ Records they have for sale at our Concerts. A splendid Variety. For the Brass Band enthusiasts, there is of course the Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band Recording of the "The Floral Dance" at No 2 with Silver and Gold Discs to their credit. A marvellous achievement. Anyone got any views on this I would be pleased to hear them. ********************* How do you tell an Irishman in Holland. He's the only one with the wooden Wellies. *********************
PHILIP KELSALL This month it is our pleaslr.re to welcome to Harworth Philip Kelsall, a young man who is making quite a name for himself in the cinema organ world and as these Biographical notes unfurl you w111 see why. Philip was born at Warrington, Cheshire in 1956 and started piano lessons at 11 years of age, moved on to the Church 0rgan 3 years later at 14 years. . He used to travel once every week to hear Reginald Dixon and Ernest Broadbent until his parents moved to Blackpool when it became possible for him to visit the Tower Ballroom nearly every night. (lucky young man). It was in 1973 that Ernest Broadbent introduced him to the Tower Wurlitzer. He says that he rcil1 always be grateful to Ernest for this. 1974 saw him being employed by the Tower Company, as organist in the Tower Circus Orchestra, which proved to be an invaluable experience to him being so young (18 years old). Since then Philip has played all over the Tower and Winter Garden complexes for Labour and Conservative Party Conferences, International Dance Festivals, and hundreds of Mayoral Banquets and Masonic Dinners etc. The 1977 summer season at the Tower Ballroom, Philip was playing anything up to 6 separate hour sessions, seven days a week for Dancing, also Concerts on Sundays. During the 1977 season Philip was featured on Television (B.B.C.) and also made recordings on the B.B.C. Wurlitzer for broadcasting on Robin Richmonds programme The Organist Entertains. Many of you will know that the above Wurlitzer was of course the 0rgan originally installed in the Empress Ballroom, hence its name the B.B.C. Empress Ballroom. You will be interested to know that Philip is the youngest full time professional organist ever to play for the Tower Co. At the present time he is engaged as resident organist in the Planet Room of the Winter Gardens where he plays for private functions nearly every night of the week. Philip ls looking forward to another successful summer season in the Tower Ballroom. Philip tells me that beside his work, he goes to Church every day for practice on the Church Organ, and in April he is scheduled to take the A.L.C.M. Diploma on the Classical Organ. We eagerly await to hear this young man from Blackpoo1 on our Christie and I earnestly believe we are in for a real feast of music. We sincerely hope that his visit to Harworth will be a memorable occasion for him. *********************
Waltz Time Selection
Tunes in Contrast
Sigmund Romberg Melodies
The Music of Latin America
INTERVAL Now is the time to enjoy a Cup of Tea or Coffee at 7p and 10p respectively with Biscuits Have you made your purchase of Raffle Tickets, if so please have them ready. Tea and Raffle Tickets are available at the side tables.
Marching in 6/8 time
Overture - "Orpheus in the Underworld."
Symphonic Foxtrot - "Samum"
Jerome Kern Melodies
Dance Time. (Selection of Tower Ballroom Favourites)
Jolson Melodies Ă few Words from our Chairman. *********************
Stage lighting by Mick Mason and Harry Cheadle Floral Decorations Mrs Peat IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY A responsible person should. CALL OUT LOUDLY FOR LIGHTS. St John's Ambulance Ladies and Gentlemen are in attendance and are always ready to assist should the occasion arises
DIARY DATES Jan 8th
Miners Welfare Club, Swallownest, Nr. Sheffield, a 3pm. Ken Outram will present Glyn Madden on the Hammond Pheonix
West View Leisure Centre, Gommersal. Ben Willis will present Norman Scott @ 7pm. Organ concerts every Saturday evening, no list of Organists available to quote.
Sheffield Theatre Organ Enthusiasts present Nigel Ogden on the Compton at City School, Stradbrook Road, Sheffield, at 2.30 pm.
At "Branksome", Litchfield Lane, Mansfield. Ray and Vera Booth present Arnold Loxam, as the guest Organist for a Charity Concert in aid of "All Saints Church Organ Fund".
Nigel Ogden in Concert
Charity Concert in aid of the "Cantamus Choir' who hope to compete in the Swiss Music Festival in 1978. Organists for this occasion are Tony Herrod, John Dunn, Charles Hooton, and Chris Barber. 7.30 pm. Please ring Ray or Vera at Mansfield 25352 for tickets.
Rotherham Organ Society present Len Rawle on the Conacher Organ, the only one left in a Cinema in this Country. Please give your support to help keep this fine instrument in a playing condition.
Forward Booking may now be made for the Organ Lovers Gala Weekend March 10-12, organised by that popular lady Organist Molly Forbes. Reservations direct from St Anns Hotel, Buxton. Jan 19th Feb 13th
York Hammond Society present Bernard Firth at the C.3. at the Bishopthorpe Social Club at 7.45 pm and also on William Davis with guests at the Rowntree Theatre, York at 7.30pm
Nottingham Organ society present Gerry Allen on the C.3. at the Carlton Forum Theatre, 8pm.
Town Hall Ossett, The N.T.O.T. present John Madin at the Compton/Christie Organ.
at 7.30 pm. Sheffield City (Memorial) Hall. Cranes of Sheffield present Len Rawle in concert on Yamaha Organs, admission free, tickets from Cranes, The Moor.
Jan 9 & 20th at the Organ Loft, Test St., Sheffield. Brian Lake will be playing National Organs from 2pm to 9pm each day.
- 7NEWS ITEMS
An Invitation from Molly Forbes who is holding another of her Organ Lovers weekends at the St Ann's Hotel, Buxton, from Friday March 10th l978 until tea time on Sunday, March 12th l978. Last October, when the last one was held, many would-be guests were unable to get accommodation, which proves that these Gala weekends are becoming increasingly popular. May I suggest that would-be 'Gala Weekenders' make your reservations now or you could be disappointed again. ********************* It is with sincere regret that we have to record the death of yet another Cinema Organist of those bygone days when daily Broadcasts were made of one or more Cinema Organs from the actual Cinemas. I refer on this occasion to Sidney Gustard who passed away on Nov. l4th last, in his 85th year. He will be remembered for his broadcasts, especially from Chester. He also had some 30 recordings to his credit on H.M.V. labels and one of the earliest was Grasshoppers Dance and Teddy Bears Picnic. We offer our condolences to his relatives. ********************* May I take this opportunity to express to Fox's Keyboard Centre, Doncaster Manager Phil Grant & Staff, sincere thanks for having a years supply of outer covers for our Golden Notes printed for us. We are very grateful for their interest in the H.O.E. ********************* You Will recall in the last issue I mentioned that Ernest Broadbent had been ordered 6 months rest and therefore would not be able to play for us in April. However the show goes on. We have been able to secure the services of yet another of our former secretary's Wartime friends to come and play the Christie. A very well known gentleman, who has just recently returned from Australia and taken up residence near Bristol. HUBERT SELBY. We look forward to his visit. *********************
Friday Dec. 16th our young member Chris Barber presented a concert at the United Reformed Church Hall, Worksop, together with a number of his friends with additional lighting to that which existed by our own member Mick Mason. I am pleased to relate this was a well presented show and the lighting effects gave a desirable effect to complete the efforts of these young people. A cheque for ÂŁ30 was presented to the Cheshire Home at Retford who are endeavouring to purchase a suitable vehicle for the conveyance of the residents.
- 6Sunday Dec. 18th as the Children's Carol Service at the Welfare Hall, Mick Mason was the Organist for the service and he told me that to accommodate the number of children on stage he had to play the Christie with only the centre section of the covers removed. I am sure that the conditions were not ideal for Mick, but knowing him he would overcome the difficulty. ********************* Tuesday Dec. 20th The Welfare Committee entertained its Senior Citizens to a tea with professional entertainment including our Vice President Geoff Stephenson playing the Christie. I also understand that free drinks were on hand. 3 or 4 of us were there in the morning to help get the Christie ready and we also gave assistance in decorating the stage. When we left the tables had been laid and with the decorations up it really looked fantastic, to cater for approx. 700. Congratulations to the Welfare Committee, it is heart warming to know that at least some people care for the Senior Citizens. ********************* Thursday Dec. 22nd. The Harworth branch of the Aged Concern also entertained its Senior Citizens to tea with entertainment following, which included items from members of the local Church Choir and Concert Party, Mrs Gear singer, and Chris Barber accompanied. He also gave solo items, which included Carols and a Blackpool type sing song. ********************* By and large Harworth has been full of activity prior to Christmas and I think that the organisers should be thanked for all the efforts that had been put in to make these undertakings so successful. Thanks to each and every one of you. Ed. ********************* Sunday Dec. 18th. We witnessed a very fine performance on the
Conacher Organ of the Scala Cinema Rotherham by our good friend John Mann. John said that it was his first time of playing a Conacher Organ. No doubt that he will be invited to entertain again, if so, don't miss it. ********************* Saturday Dec. 17th. Our President Arnold Loxam gave a Christmas
Concert at "Branksome", Litchfield Lane, Mansfield. Our members who attended reported that they had a most enjoyable evening. ********************* Christmas and New Year greetings have been received from other Organ societies which of course includes all our members, and many kind remarks from visitors to our Christmas Concert. *********************
- 9Arnold Loxams programme from Radio Leeds. Arnold Loxam Invites, will now be heard from 3.15 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Thursdays and his - Sit Down and Sing Programme on Sundays at 1.O2 p.m.
********************* We are very distressed to hear that Molly Cleaver, wife of that popular Broadcasting and recording star Robinson Cleaver, has passed away in Hospital after a long trying illness. We offer to Robbie and the Family our sincere condolences. ********************* Continuation of our Chairman's Notes from last month. Frankly I was sceptical. I knew from experience being a Methodist Church Trustee that Pipe Organs need maintenance, and I did not think we could pull in enough people to make the project viable. Incidentally the Methodist Church I refer to was the one where Al Bollington first learnt to play the organ. I did however agree that the Hammond Organ in the Colliery Institute was not used as well as it could be. Donald Thorne was the resident organist for the last few years of his life and listening to Donald gave some idea of what the instrument was capable. I put to the Welfare Committee that we would like to use the Concert Room and Organ to present some of the top Organists in the Country. Permission was given and Stan immediately contacted Hubert Selby who was demonstrating for Hammond U.K. at that time. First problem - Hubert could only come in the few days between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, not an ideal time to try out a venture like this. We did try it and over a 100 people supported us. This gave us encouragement to organise a second concert - Arnold Loxam and thus was born Harworth Organ Enthusiasts. Little did I think that in a few years we should have purchased a Cinema Organ, re-installed it, had over 600 to the opening concert, use the instrument for monthly concerts and Dances, been featured on B.B.C. Radio The Organist Entertains and B.B.C. T.V. Omnibus. All this has been done by a loyal bunch of workers led very ably by Ted Aistrup, and backed to the hilt by the Welfare Committee who financed the installation and then said to us "We've provided the facilities, now show us what you can do". We've tried and tried hard, and I think we have succeeded despite some set backs. With your support we shall continue to work hard to give you the entertainment you desire. From this you will realise why Christmas always reminds me of the formation of the Society. Stuart Warrior.
- 10THE HARWORTH LIFT
As with all good fairy tales, I shall begin the story with "Once upon a Time", there was a great big heap of dirty heavy, rusty and greasy metal. This was that was to become the magnificent addition that we now have on Our Organ installation. The story begins all of three years ago when Stan Morris saw a lift advertised in an organ journal. He approached Mr Grainger at the Welfare for the necessary finances, and eventually journeyed down to London with my late brother Ken driving the van to collect it. The lift made a very inconspicuous entry into Harworth, going straight into store in the timber shed behind the Colliery Joiners shop. There it remained until the late summer of '77. My foreman decided that we would have a clear out in the timber shed, whereupon the virtually forgotten lift came to light. Its next temporary resting place was to be in the disused Canary breeding shed at the colliery, until I could negotiate with Mr. Burgess (The Manager) a place at the Colliery big enough to attempt the job of building it. I found Mr Burgess very sympathetic to my request and was told we could use the old pit pony stables, therefore another temporary resting place. By this time it was getting to the stage of "Have Lift will travel", and it was also getting rather cold at night so it was with some apprehension that a team of our committee men began the task of rebuilding. I must say, we are really very proud of ourselves when we think, that our only source of light was provided by two hand lamps and our only power tool was a ten year old "Wolf Drill". These were coupled into the garage electric supply by means of two extension leads run across the yard. As I have said the nights were cold, but there was a very warm team spirit to keep us cheerful. We had some good laughs in that stable during the four or five weeks we were there. More so, looking back, when you think of some of the things that were said about the metal. If you think of a length of 2x2 angle iron, a drive chain, or possibly a nut and bolt, all described at sometime in the job as having a 'mother and father with doubtful marriage lines", you will see what I mean. However, with all the trials and tribulations, we eventually sorted it all out, made a completely new framework for the organ to stand on shortened the job down from 11 feet to 9 feet, and after checking and re-checking measurements between the stables and the stage of the Welfare Hall, we shortened the corner posts of the lift. We were then ready for what turned out to be the most frustrating few days of the whole job. Waiting to see if the Welfare Committee would give permission to install it. I am sure you can imagine, it would have been nothing short of disaster if they had refused.
- 10However, back came a letter instructing Arthur Peat and myself to meet a deputation from the Welfare Committee on Monday at l2 noon. After explaining what we had in mind Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Grainger said that "We seemed quite confident about the job in hand. Get on with it lads, and the best of luck". I don't mind telling you, those few words made my week, never mind about my day.
In true tradition of the H.O.E. we struck while the iron was hot. Permission was granted on the Monday, and the whole lot, barring the motor and gearing was under the stage on the Tuesday and building commenced. The rebuilding was a piece of cake compared with the stables at the colliery and warmer too. You might think that is the story complete, but not a bit of it, in fact, its only about half way. The engineering side was complete, but this still left the console wiring, the three phase electric supply to the motor, and my baby, the hole to be cut in the stage. Wilf Barber started the morning after Nigel Ogdens concert disconnecting the main cables from the console. This involved unsoldering approx. 580 wires no thicker than 15 amp fuse wire. I arrived in the afternoon straight from work and bored the holes to get the cables under the stage, this enabled Wilf to carry on with wiring the looms. The original looms were soldered to one side of a pin board, leaving the other side for the extension cables to the console. Where we were going to obtain these cables was presenting a problem until one day Wilf went to relations in Lincolnshire, decided to come home via Horncastle, visiting our organ builder Ted Aistrup on the way, and came back with all the cable we should need. The next stage was to solder these to the other side of the pin board and start testing them through to the console. This is a very time consuming job, and I am sure Wilf would be the first to praise the time and work put in by our newest committee member Frank Lewin, in assisting him in this job. If anyone had stood on the stage and listened to Frank shouting the colour codes out to Wilf, e.g. Green and Red With Grey dots, Red White and Green with Blue stripes or Yellow etc. followed by three rings on the testing bell, provided the bell rung. If it didn't, it would be instantly blessed with doubtful parentage and another wire tried. As I say anyone standing listening would think Frank and Wilf were "round the bend" or playing a very strange game of "Bingo". These two have spent every day for a fortnight in cramped conditions under the stage making in the region of 1800 soldiered joints. While this was going on I had come into my own, making the frames for the Three doors required in the stage. Then I borrowed a portable saw and transformer from the colliery and cut the hole in the stage. When it
was cut out everyone remarked 'my agree, but when the organ console was just right,(another medal for
11isn't it big', it was, I must was placed on the lift platform, it me).
We shall be eternally grateful to Mr G. Smith, the Electrical Engineer at the Colliery. He helped in every way possible to provide three phase electricity to the motor, the contractor, isolator, trips and control buttons. Also Mr J Beamish who carried out the work in a most professional way. Thank you 'Sparks'. Before I finish the story I must express my appreciation to every one who has helped to install the lift in such a short period of time. I don't intend to mention everyones names, as everyone has played their part. The lift came into operation on December 13th. Two days later would have been my brother “Ken's” birthday. Those of you who knew Ken, know what the organ meant to him, and he left us the dream that the organ should one day rise out of the stage. So it is especially fitting that it should come into operation so near his birthday. Thank you all once again for making this time of the year so memorable for me. I hope you the members, get as much enjoyment Out of watching it, as we have had Working on it. Yours sincerely, Mick (Mason) ********************* Thank you Mick for this write up of our latest achievement (the lift). I feel that I would like to add a little more to your well written story. There is no doubt that we have achieved a long desired ambition to bring the Christie from below up to stage level. I must confess that when I saw it come up for the first time playing, tears rolled down my face with the excitement. À lot of hard and exacting work has gone into this venture plus heartache when things have not gone to order. The pin board has connections for 630 lines, every pin cut to length from copper wire, 2290 holes drilled with a 3/64 dri11 in ¼” sq hard wood and ½" Mahogany and many many yards of waxed thread lacings to hold the cable forms together. Ted, Frank and I were very glad to be associated with getting the lift installed for Ken's birthday. I think that this should be recorded as a memorial to him. I think that it was the last time I was speaking to him that the lift came up as a topic for future development. He would have loved to have seen it brought into regular use. Ed.
January 1978 edition of Golden Notes