Saturday 22nd March Visit to Longdon, Ross-on-Wye and Upper Hasfield

On Saturday 22nd March about twenty members congregated in St Mary’s Church in Longdon near Tewkesbury to see, hear and play the new Rodgers organ.
We were welcomed with cups of tea and coffee with biscuits and cakes and enjoyed a short talk on the church and the organ from Wendy Thompson and her assistant, and the vicar Revd. Moss. The organ built by Rogers satnds on a moveable plinth which enables the audience to see the organist. Ian Fox demonstrated the instrument with a few short pieces and then members played. The sound of the instrument is quite full-on in the nave but when these speakers were switched off the sound became more musical.

ROSS ON WYE   The three manual, romantic, organ was built in 1921 by Hele and Co. of  Plymouth. It was originally built with pneumatic action and incorporated sliderless chests, popular at the time. The action was partially electrified with solid-state switching in the 1980s. A major rebuild of the organ was undertaken in 2011.he 2011 rebuild was carried out by GOA member Trevor Tipple of Worcester  and included the replacement of all leather work untouched in earlier restorations; replacement of an unreliable piston system with a capture system; replacement of the keyboards and associated action; revoicing and regulation of all pipework. The opportunity was also taken to bring about a few changes to the tonal scheme (which had remained pretty much as it was when the organ was built). The

rebuild has been highly successful and the instrument is now in a better state than it has ever been; well
equipped for its primary purpose of leading worship at St Mary’s and accompanying our excellent choir.

We were greeted at St Mary’s Church, Ross on Wye by the organist, Michael Payne who then gave us his interpretation of the first movement of Elgar’s G major Organ Sonata. After this members were free to chat, take photographs and play. On the return journey from Ross-on-Wye, six enthusiasts visited Ian Fox’s house to sample his organs, both pipe and electronic. The organs of Hereford Cathedral and the Cavaillé-Coll instrument at Caen were played via Hauptwerk. One of the visitors was Kenneth Spencer who wrote the Hauptwerk article in a recent copy of the Organists’ Review.