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Dizzy

Warrington named the worst place in Britain for culture

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Is there possibly an opening for advertising within the network of churches HCW which is after all where most people hear organ music ,or even a facebook campaign ?

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Is there possibly an opening for advertising within the network of churches HCW which is after all where most people hear organ music ,or even a facebook campaign ?

I don't know of one Davy51, but in the past, I have given leaflets about a forthcoming Parr Hall recital to several Warrington Churches eg. Latchford, Grappenhall and Stockton Heath. 

Is there a link for the network of churches HCW ?

 

This is the link to the 'Warrington Cavaillé-Coll Organ' group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/660405240701596/

on which I have recently advertised a forthcoming CD of the Parr Hall's organ, and can say with confidence that it will be worth waiting for !!

         ANNOUNCING THE RELEASE OF A NEW

CD OF THE WARRINGTON

CAVAILLÉ-COLL ORGAN

 

THE CD INCLUDES SELECTED ITEMS FROM

ROGER FISHER’S 1984 LP RECORDING OF THE ORGAN,

PLUS A RECORDING OF ROGER’S PARR HALL RECITAL

 IN JUNE 2011, WHICH CELEBRATED THE BI-CENTENARY

OF THE BIRTH OF ARISTIDE CAVAILLÉ-COLL.

 

                          Roger Fisher Plays the Cavaillé-Coll Organ in The Parr Hall, Warrington

 

                     1 – Grand Choeur in D – Félix Alexandre Guilmant

 

                     2 – Fantaisie in E flat – Charles-Camille Saint - Saëns (Live Rec.)

 

                    3 – Andante cantabile – Charles-Marie Widor (from Symphonie 1V) (Live Rec.)

 

                                 4 - Fantaisie in A – César Franck

 

                                 5 – Pastorale - César Franck (Live Rec.)

 

                                 6 – Choral No. 3 in A minor - César Franck (Live Rec.)

 

                    7 – Naïades – Louis Vierne (Live Rec.)

 

                    8 – March on a Theme of Handel – F. A. Guilmant (Live Rec.)

 

                    9 - Prelude & Fugue on the name Alain - Maurice Duruflé

 

 

                      THIS NEW CD WILL SHORTLY BE AVAILABLE AT    

                                       A COST OF £10 PLUS £2 p&p

 

               By Post from Roger Fisher, The Old Chapel, Trelogan, Holywell,   

                        Flintshire, CH8 9BD   or by e-mail   m@rfisher.me

                              Roger Fisher’s web-site is http://rfisher.me

 

     The CD is 81 minutes long and will be added to Roger's web-site when it is ready.

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You mention recitalists fees not being affordable with low ticket prices, I can't see anything that shows their actual fee, how much do they charge and was that in addition to the costs you mentioned for 2014 and did you have to pay for this weeks recitalist too.

 

Did this weeks event run at a loss too ? I presume it must have :(

 

 

Their actual fee is between themselves and Culture Warrington, and I don't know what they are, but what I do know is that organists are expected to play for a reduced fee when they come to Warrington.

 

Last year, there was an agreement between Warrington Borough Council and Culture Warrington to share the expected loss before one of the recitals.   Organ recitals will always make a loss.

 

I imagine that the cost of hiring the Parr Hall for the shows and 'gigs' is a lot of money - and there is always reliance on the revenue from the sale of alcohol in the hall's two bars.

 

These other events are always well advertised - but recitals are never been adequately advertised by the Parr Hall.

 

Culture Warrington is sustained by a combination of external funding and income generation. The charitable trust is a company limited by guarantee, and any surplus income generated is reinvested in improving facilities and services of Culture Warrington.

 

If the Warrington Borough Council Executive are still keen to dispose of the organ, they will face renewed oposition from

the Warrington Male Voice Choir, unless St Mary's Church in Buttermarket Street decide that they want the organ in their Church.

 

At the end of 2011, the Borough Council received a report on the condition of the organ from Ian Bell, Independent Organ Advisor. In his report, he recommended that a contract of maintenance should be put in place, and just having the organ tuned before a recital or Male Voice Choir concert was not adequate.

 

It has been suggested that this report is yet to be read.

But I think that the mood at WBC is definitely that the organ has no future in the Parr Hall –

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Is this the kind of elitist pastime that the Council Tax should be funding to the tune of many thousands of pounds a year?  95 tickets sold is frankly dire, takings of less than £500.  If the organ needs a contract of maintenance that's going to cost a lot.  This is probably why the Council want rid.  I hate being negative about a part of Warrington history and culture so I reckon we should look into ways to fund it.  I just wish I could abide the sound of it so that I could support the recitals.

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There is the British Organ Society (BIOS) , but i can't post links although it can be googled among organ societies.

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There is the British Organ Society (BIOS) , but i can't post links although it can be googled among organ societies.

Thank you for looking, Davy51.

I have had contact with the British Instute of Organ Studies earlier in the year, when I asked them to consider the Warrington organ for an Historical Organ Certificate. I am pleased to say that they did just that, and awarded this certificate to the instrument.

When I received it, they suggested that it could be framed and put somewhere near the organ.

I decided against this, as I was sure that if I did this, we would never see it again.

 

The following is that which I posted on 28th August, 2015, in the forum's Topic 'Re launch of Warrington Civic Society.'

 

The 1870 Cavaillé-Coll Organ in the Parr Hall has recently been awarded an Historic Organ Certificate and listed as Grade 1 by the British Institute of Organ Studies.

Unfortunately, this may raise the profile of this important instrument, but will make no difference to the attention it receives from Warrington Borough Council.

There is still no money to maintain or regularly tune this instrument.

http://www.bios.org....urces/hocs2.php

It is number 4 on this list.

This Historic Organ Certificate reads as follows -

 

The organ in the Parr Hall, Warrington, Cheshire has been awarded a certificate Grade 1 for the case, console and surviving original C-C soundboards and pipework.

 

The organ by Cavaillé-Coll (1870) is a rare remaining example of a large organ by this firm in this country and the award is made in recognition of the historic importance of the case, console, survivng original C-C soundboards and pipework.

 

It is therefore listed in the Institute's Register of Historic Pipe Organs as being an instrument of importance to the national heritage and one deserving careful preservation for the benefit of future generations.

 

This certificate is held in trust for the British Institute of Organ Studies while ever the instrument is maintained in a manner consistent with its historical significance.

(End of BIOS notes)

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At least various Warrington councils have a proud history of disposing of the town's history.

In the case of the Parr Hall Organ, they almost got their own way when behind closed doors, the Warrington Corporation had negotiated a scrap value figure of £105 for the organ in 1968/9.

It was spotted on the agenda by Councillor Harold Edwards, and the proverbial balloon went up.

This resulted in the forming of the Cavaille-Coll Organ Retention Committee, which raised £9,000 towards the renovation of the organ.

 

The Inaugural Concert following renovation of the organ took place in the Parr Hall on 23rd November 1972. Those who took part were Nicolas Kynaston, Gilbert Kennedy and Massed Choirs Trumpets and Drums, conducted by J. N. Padmore.

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I hate being negative about a part of Warrington history and culture so I reckon we should look into ways to fund it. 

Culture Warrington was formed in May, 2012 and is a charitable trust delivering arts, heritage and events across Warrington.

 

As Custodian of the Parr Hall organ, Warrington Borough Council would be the only body able to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which may insist on a costly historic renovation, and assurance that the organ would be used much more than it is at present.

 

In 2011 the Heritage Lottery Fund granted £672,500 to WBC to transform the old Bird Room in the Warrington Museum.

The whole of the museum is freely accessible to the public.

 

In 2012 The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded a grant of £961,000 to regenerate the large run of derelict Foster & Pearson glasshouses at Grappenhall Heys Walled Garden, Warrington.

 

Grappenhall Heys was the home of Joseph Charlton Parr - the man who generously gifted the Parr Hall to the people of Warrington.

 

A tongue-in-cheek suggestion was that the Organ in the Parr Hall would fair better as a museum piece, if it was to be moved there.

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In my opinion there have been and still are far more deserving uses for our money than the organ.  The only reason it is still here is because it would cost too much to move.  You are clearly devoted to this instrument yet can't seem to get anywhere near enough interest in it to justify opening the Parr Hall for a recital.  It is far too niche an interest to garner enough support to truly justify its being in the Parr Hall.  Hats off to you for trying but you are clearly flogging a dead horse.  As an aficionado wouldn't you rather it was sited and played, by good musicians, in a beautiful home such as a Cathedral rather than as a curiosity in a small theatre? 

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I do have to admit that as much as I'd hate to see such a valuable and irreplaceable part of our towns heritage go reading all of the above has started to make me think that maybe it's present location (in the dated Par Hall)
is the problem and it does need to move somewhere else.  What are the chances realistically of it being moved to St Marys especially as that church is soon to be taken over as the benedictine monks have had to relinquish it  (news article about that a few weeks back) .  That would be a great place for it though but I guess removal costs alone would be very prohibitive.

Perhaps lottery funding WOULD be available for that though if it could be shown that it would somehow be used more as many other church organs have received heritage funding.  It's a stunning church and the acoustics in there are amazing too and wow imagine just how it would sound especially at xmas recitals and services. Down side is that you have previously mentioned that not many people can actually play it ...bugger that's maybe that idea out of the window. 

With the huge effort you and others have clearly put in to raise it's profile, draw people to recitals and even get the Historical Organ Certificate for it...if all that still only resulted in less than 100 people going this week, less that half of the number who went last year, then maybe it's time to look into alternatives :(

Just out of interest is our organ Grade II listed through English Heritage?  I know you say you have recently got the Grade 1 certificate listing from the British Institute of Organ Studies but does that give the same protection and value as EH listing?  Anyone could apply for that (if it hasn't already got it) and if successful wouldn't it open the doors to more funding opportunities too.....but then again it may also hinder any possible move to another location within Warrington.

I'm not sure I'm actually making any sense now....sorry... it's very late :oops::lol:

 

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In my opinion there have been and still are far more deserving uses for our money than the organ.  The only reason it is still here is because it would cost too much to move.  You are clearly devoted to this instrument yet can't seem to get anywhere near enough interest in it to justify opening the Parr Hall for a recital.  It is far too niche an interest to garner enough support to truly justify its being in the Parr Hall.  Hats off to you for trying but you are clearly flogging a dead horse.  As an aficionado wouldn't you rather it was sited and played, by good musicians, in a beautiful home such as a Cathedral rather than as a curiosity in a small theatre? 

My answer to your question is Yes, I would rather it was sited and played, by good musicians, in a beautiful home such as a Cathedral.

But, with the exception of St Mary's Church in Buttermarket Street, there are no takers, and I understand that the new order now responsible for St Mary's is looking into whether or not they wish to acquire it.

 

I have been aware for some time now that I may be 'flogging a dead horse', as you put it - but in the mean time, I am learning more about this instrument all the time, and have a good many International Organists and Organ Builders, and others in the Facebook group who are keen to know what will become of this organ.

 

It could be that interest may come from beyond these shores - who knows !!  The French may even be interested in it.

And, for those of you who don't have access to Facebook, this is the 'Pinned post' of the C-C Organ's group -

 

'When it was first built for John Turner Hopwood's home, Bracewell Hall in 1870, the Cavaillé-Coll Organ which is now in the Parr Hall, Warrington, Cheshire, England was to indirectly lead to other signficant organs by A C-C, namely

Sheffield's Albert Hall, Manchester Town Hall, the Palais du Trocadéro and the Chateaux d'IlBiarritz.

The great hall of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll at avenue du Maine, Paris lent itself to displaying Cavaillé-Coll’s biggest instruments, like the one built for Mr John Turner Hopwood of London, a rich music publisher, which was installed at his home Bracewell Hall near Skipton in Yorkshire.

It was a three-manual of 41 stops, with two enclosed divisions. Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens, Camille Saint-Saens and Charles-Marie Widor shared the first two performances on this instrument on 6th March, 1870. A third programme was given soon after by Alexandre Guilmant.

Following its installation in England, the organ was inaugurated by William Spark, on November 7th 1870. It was to be in Bracewell Hall for about five years, and in 1875, J T Hopwood had it moved to his newly built home, Ketton Hall, Near Stamford, Rutland.

In 1873, Cavaillé-Coll completed a large organ for Albert Hall, Sheffield, England. For French people - to see such masterpieces of workmanship installed elsewhere than in a church, it was necessary to travel to England at that time.

 

As a result of Sheffield having a concert organ, there was considerable interest in having one built in France.

In 1875, a large Cavaillé-Coll organ was purchased for the Amsterdam Palace of Industry.

In 1877, a three-manual Cavaillé-Coll Organ was installed in Manchester Town Hall.

In 1878, a four-manual Cavaillé-Coll Organ was installed in the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris.

In 1898, a large Cavaillé-Coll Organ was built for le baron Albert de l’Espee at his chateaux d’ilBiarritz, Southern France. He wanted this to be a copy of the 1873 Sheffield Albert Hall Cavaillé-Coll Organ.

Of these these six organs, the 1870 was moved twice, its third home was the Parr Hall in Warrington, England, having been bought by the Warrington Corporation in 1925 and installed the following year.

The Sheffield Albert Hall organ was lost in a fire in 1937.

The Amsterdam organ was bought by two wealthy art lovers in 1916, and in 1924 it was moved to the Haarlem music hall – the Philharmonie. From 2004 to 2006, Flentrop Orgelbouw restored the instrument to its original state.

The Chateaux d’ilBiarritz Organ was installed in the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur, Montmatre, Paris in 1907 by Charles Mutin.

 

The Manchester Town Hall Organ has been modernised and enlarged, and in 1970, the original console was replaced. This organ is now said to be unplayable. The Trocadéro organ has been moved and rebuilt several times and is now in Auditorium Maurice Ravel, Lyons. Little of Cavaillé-Coll remains.

In spite of its lack of maintenance and regular tuning, Warrington’s Cavaillé-Coll Organ is still a remarkable instrument. Unfortunately, and because of financial restraints, Warrington Borough Council has been unable to implement Ian Bell’s recommendations in his last report on the condition of the instrument. So the only attention the organ receives, is when it is tuned by David Wells Organ Builder before a concert.

This organ is worthy of much more that it is getting at the moment.

The recital in June, 2011 to commemorate the Bi-Centenary of the Birth of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll was attended by 272 people, and was the largest audience at a recital for many years.

The 1870 Cavaillé-Coll Organ has been discussed on many forums, and I have taken the opportunity of sharing Archive material with those of you who would like to know more about this fine instrument.'

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...if all that still only resulted in less than 100 people going this week, less that half of the number who went last year, then maybe it's time to look into alternatives :(

 

Just out of interest is our organ Grade II listed through English Heritage? 

 

 

It all made sense, Dizzy.

Ian Tracey's recital drew 272 people for the simple reason that he is at the zenith of his long career, and has a good following of organ enthusiasts.

 

As Organist Titulaire of Liverpool Cathedral, he has been approached by many organists from all ponts of the globe, who want to give a recital at the Cathedral, but he said that these would not attract a great following, because they are relatively unknown.

 

For a long time now, I have been trying to get Culture Warrington to invite the likes of David Briggs, and Gerard Brooks - now these are names to conjure with, in the organ fraternity. These two organists would give anything to play the Warrington organ again.

 

The Parr Hall, and C-C Organ within has been Grade 2 listed for a long time now.   http://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1310063

 

The following, was the Government's reply to the 2009 on-line petition to keep the 1870 Cavaille-Coll Organ in the Parr Hall, Warrington, England.

This petition was signed by 716 people.

The reply to the petition: ----

'The decision whether to move the Cavaille-Coll Organ is one for Warrington Council, owners of Parr Hall. However, English Heritage – the Government’s adviser on the historic environment – has advised the Council that the organ should not be moved without listed building consent, and that they should take the community’s views into account, including those expressed in this petition, in deciding the best course of action.

English Heritage has further advised that the advantages and disadvantages of moving the organ are finely balanced. On the one hand it was moved twice previously, before being added to Parr Hall some time after its original construction, and there are questions over whether the organ itself might be better used in an alternative location, whilst also allowing more flexibility in the use of Parr Hall. On the other hand, the value which existing users of the hall attach to the organ and its significance in relation to performances, including a longstanding tradition of choral music, is well demonstrated by this petition and many other representations. It will be for the Council to determine the best way forward, taking all these views into account.'

(end of reply).

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Perhaps you need to liven up the way that you are trying to sell the recitals and the organ.  I know you and perhaps a few organ buffs may find reams of dry facts and figures fascinating but the majority of folk don't.  Perhaps next year you could do a Halloween recital and play themes from horror films, Carmina Burana, Phantom of the Opera, The Exorcist,  that sort of thing.  Let the organist and the audience wear fancy dress.  Worth a try.

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Perhaps you need to liven up the way that you are trying to sell the recitals and the organ.  I know you and perhaps a few organ buffs may find reams of dry facts and figures fascinating but the majority of folk don't.  Perhaps next year you could do a Halloween recital and play themes from horror films, Carmina Burana, Phantom of the Opera, The Exorcist,  that sort of thing.  Let the organist and the audience wear fancy dress.  Worth a try.

Thanks P J - BUT, the organ may not be in the Parr Hall next year !!!

 

I am not in a postion to liven anything up at Culture Warrington and the Parr Hall, but am just a lone voice, crying in the wilderness !!

 

My motto is 'Nothing happens, unless you make it happen'  but livening things up a bit is something I have no control over.

 

I think I have done enough, in any case P J.

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I actually agree with PJ's suggestion.... a Halloween night would be a good idea, maybe open it out to encompass the areas outside the Parr Hall and get families and kids there.... The organ does need preserving for the future generations of the town and not hawked off to another town which may end up with the same issues it is having here anyway

 

It just needs a little imagination to incorporate it into an event that would attract a wider audience than it currently gets.... look at the effect having a few sci-fi enthusiasts or classic cars in the Market area does for the town, the place gets packed whenever something like that is on

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I actually agree with PJ's suggestion.... a Halloween night would be a good idea, maybe open it out to encompass the areas outside the Parr Hall and get families and kids there.... The organ does need preserving for the future generations of the town and not hawked off to another town which may end up with the same issues it is having here anyway

 

It just needs a little imagination to incorporate it into an event that would attract a wider audience than it currently gets.... look at the effect having a few sci-fi enthusiasts or classic cars in the Market area does for the town, the place gets packed whenever something like that is on

Maybe the time has come, for some of you who are interested in keeping the organ in the town, to be actively vocal about it with the Warrington Borough Council. http://www.warrington.gov.uk/info/200349/council_meetings/649/executive_board -

Councillor Kate Hannon is the Executive member for Leisure, community and culture.

You may have more luck in getting her to reply, than I did.

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I have been trying to get Culture Warrington to invite the likes of David Briggs, and Gerard Brooks - now these are names to conjure with, in the organ fraternity.

These two organists would give anything to play the Warrington organ again.

If those two organists are so keen to play our organ again why don't they do it for free ? Any money raised from ticket sales/drinks etc could result in a small profit then which in

turn could be put towards the organ maintenance fund. Or even run it as a charity fundraising night (maybe St Roccos or something.... asmore people might go then if they knew some

of the money was going to a charity). It would be a way of getting more people there who may in turn decided they really like it and would then go to other recitals too.

 

The Parr Hall, and C-C Organ within has been Grade 2 listed for a long time now.   http://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1310063

Thanks, I thought it probably was but I couldn't find the listing for it

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Perhaps you need to liven up the way that you are trying to sell the recitals and the organ.  I know you and perhaps a few organ buffs may find reams of dry facts and figures fascinating but the majority of folk don't.  Perhaps next year you could do a Halloween recital and play themes from horror films, Carmina Burana, Phantom of the Opera, The Exorcist,  that sort of thing.  Let the organist and the audience wear fancy dress.  Worth a try.

I think that's a great idea PJ.  

 

I'd love to hear music like that played on it and I bet it would sound amazing.  I have to admit as much as much I've listened to some of the other types of music played on line that have been mentioned I just don't like it.  Sorry HCW :oops:

 

I find all the info you are posting about it really interesting though HCW :D

 

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I should imagine Rick Wakeman would love to have a go at that seeing as organ music featured on some of the Yes albums. Reading the gen on it though , the Parr Hall C-C is actually the oldest one in the UK of its type .

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Maybe some of the events team read this forum like a lot of councillors do :D   

Do WBC still own the Par Hall or do Culture Warr own it now?   

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 the Parr Hall C-C is actually the oldest one in the UK of its type .

In the UK, it is the only one in near original condition, as well as the oldest.

 

Many of Cavaillé-Coll's organs in France have been greatly altered.

 

Saint-Sulpice, Paris is seeking World Heritage status for their instrument. http://www.stsulpice.com/Docs/participe.html

 

The Church of Saint-Ouen, Rouen in Normandy contains a large four-manual pipe organ built in 1890 by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. This instrument is considered to be one of the most important organs in France. The organ stands unaltered and thus is one of the few of the master's works to speak with its original voice.

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Maybe some of the events team read this forum like a lot of councillors do :D   

 

Do WBC still own the Parr Hall or do Culture Warr own it now?   

The Warrington Borough Council still own the organ -

Culture Warrington is the name for the culture services in Warrington.

In May 2012, the services transferred from Warrington Borough Council to a brand new company limited by guarantee and are currently going through the process of becoming a registered charity.

 

I understand that Warrington Borough Council pay a management fee to Culture Warrington - but I may be wrong.

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