Donington, France, and other notes

by Peter Henderson

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John Smith and I had a great week at Castle Donington Model Engineering Exhibition with newly made organs.  John Smith's fine home built 20-note organ plans and videos have encouraged Engineers to turn to our hobby. I played several new organs and no end of modellers came to me to say how far they had got with their constructing. Next year will really show some new talent I am sure.

Rosie has had some 10 months work without a problem, the original bellows material was still intact though showing signs of wearing at the creased corners where all the movement takes place. I have now re-covered the bellows in the correct leather, this is actually easier to work with and plays with a better feel.

Having Piranha Pine Pipes I was able to use the same leather on the stops using Cyano glue which was very quick, they are stiffer to move and allowed a fancy top to the stoppers. The organ has stayed in tune.

I played at the Devizes ‘French Market’ weekend. This is akin to what I love to do in France. Melvyn Wright supplied me with 16 French tunes, boy do they get the best out of the Frenchies, they come out singing and dancing, strange words!  But they give it everything!

Thanks to Peter Churchard whose tunes these were, and to Melvyn Wright. The first tune had no title. An elderly German gentleman came up to me in near tears, said he used to sing this tune when he was young, unable to see or write he dictated ‘Com Zurukk’. This translates to ‘Come Back’ an old love song. (The title is 'J'attendrai, now on my music list. The piece is also on my French Medley, which is full of other romantic French tunes. Click Here for a list - MW)

Little girl at Llandudno Victorian Event

Enthralled German organ builders at Castle Donington!

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