The Story of the Organ in the New Palace Theatre Organ Heritage Centre



Our Unique HiLSDON Unit Orchestral Pipe Organ

The console is enlarged and a new control system bought

By the middle of 1997, it was agreed by all the organists who played the instrument, that the stop control was far from satisfactory.  On top of this, the elderly relays were beginning to fail on a regular basis and because they were mounted in the blower room at the rear of the pipe chamber, the silver contacts were corroding badly.   After quite a considerable amount of research, the decision was taken to fit a new 'Emutek' computerised relay to the instrument, enlarge the console, and respecify the instrument.  This decision was made not so much on the grounds of cost, but because at that time, no one wanted to have to 'boot up' a computer before being able to play the organ.  How things have changed in just a few years, and how we deeply regret that particular decision!

A huge amount of time was spent by the Organ Committee drawing up what we thought would be the 'final' stop list for the organ, and immediately after the Paul Roberts concert at the end of July 1998, the console was stripped down, the chassis cut, and timber, including some expensive solid oak, was added to make it deeper, taller and wider.  New stop bolsters were made and the whole assembly carefully stained, so that all the visible panels would be the same colour, before being given multiple coats of varnish.   Then the job of fitting all the stop tab units, the light touch panel, the five new piston rails, and then wiring it all, had to be done.   The late Gordon Lucas spent every moment of time when he wasn't at work (and some time when he should have been) soldering and crimping the thousands of wires needed to complete this monumental task.

A major consideration in the respecifying of the console was the desire of the then three resident players to not have to rely on 'compound' stops, which would bring on multiple ranks or pitches.  With a large number of ranks to unify over the four manuals, not to mention the fact that there are effectively three separate instruments to control, the number of actual stops per manual became limited by the physical size of the console.  Thus the concept of 'floating' departments was born.

In order to provide maximum flexibility of use, it was decided that the Palace and Echo organs, comprising two manual departments each, along with their String Section, should not be 'fixed' to just two manuals, for example - to the Accompaniment and Solo.  Instead, the 'Accompaniment' and 'Solo' divisions of these two organs would have their individual stop tabs, but again, could be 'transferred' to almost any of the four manuals as required.  The Accompaniment departments of the Palace and Echo organs would be made available on both the Accompaniment and Great manuals (both of which have second touch - and the second touch divisions of each Accompaniment division 'transfer' along with the first touch), and the Solo of these two organs would be available on the Solo, Orchestral, and Great manuals.

By treating the Palace and Echo sections as separate organs, with the Accompaniment and Solo divisions being able to be transferred onto almost any keyboard, meant that only two divisions' worth of stop tabs were required for these ranks, rather than four.  Combined with the String Section concept, this made a huge reduction in the number of stop tabs needed to control the many ranks of pipes.

The concept of using floating 'String Sections', which would contain all of the string tones and 'colour' reeds of the three 'organs' again came about because of the number of ranks of these tonalities and the pitches they can sometimes be required to play at, and these would be available in all those pitches in the relevant 'String Section', and controlled by individual stop tabs.  The String Sections could then be 'transferred' to any manual, or multiple manuals, as required, and be affected by the couplers available to that manual or manuals.  There is a limited number of these tones available normally in the appropriate manual departments, but otherwise, no other department actually has all the tones and pitches available.  This dramatically reduced the number of stop tabs needed for these tonalities.

Within the three sections, the combining of the 'celeste' rank with its 'in tune unison' rank was carried out in some cases though, due to the perceived use to which these floating divcisions would be put, whereby 'chunks' of tone would be transferred onto one or more manuals, or a particularly 'lush' sound was wanted on one manual.

In addition, by fitting the console with a fairly large number of programmable 'preset' controls, known to organists as thumb pistons, we hoped to achieve maximum flexibility from a minimum, albeit still large, number of stops.


RESTRICTIONS

Finance, or rather the lack of it, was a major drawback, so the decision was made that the stop tab units from the original HiLSDON consoles (of the old Reisner type) would be retained for all of the stops on the back rail, and stop tab units of the 'Compton' type from the existing console used for the side 'half sweep' bolsters, along with additional Compton stop tab units obtained to fill these latter areas.  It was our intention that eventually, all of the stop tabs themselves would be replaced with new ones, therefore all which is visible would match, and the fact that there were to be differing 'actions' behind them would be unnoticed.  In the short term, paper labels could be glued to the tabs to indicate the correct stop names.

Ha! That short term has now been fifteen years!

We purchased the Compton console formerly installed in the Ritz Cinema, Lincoln for a nominal sum, having seen it in store near Spalding a couple of years previously.  The photographs below show the condition it was in when we went to see it first, and again, when we collected it.  The console had been completely stripped down to its component parts, all the wiring had been removed or the wiring looms cut apart, and some parts of the cabinet were missing.  The rest of the organ had been disposed of prior to us even seeing the console for the first time, so we were not responsible for breaking the organ up.  Although the console was restorable, it had been on the market for many years with no one showing any interest in purchasing it for restoration, so we felt no guilt in buying it simply to strip out the parts.


Yes, there is a console here

A kitform console


Because of lack of space, even in our now enlarged console, and the non availability of matching stop tab units at sensible prices, it was decided to use 'light touches', which are internally illuminated pushbutton switches with engraved lenses, for all the couplers the organ was to have.  Even though we had access to metalworkers and electronic materials at trade prices, it was agreed that the metal panel with the 'light touches' mounted onto it, would only be done once, so a full list of couplers and controls was duly drawn up, the panel punched, stove enamelled, and all the switch lenses professionally engraved.  Steel strips were manufactured at the same time to fit new thumb pistons onto, which would be installed into the keyslips under each manual, and above the top manual.


THE CONSOLE

The console was to have a total complement of 632 stops and controls, there being 145 'light touches' grouped in four rows beneath the music desk for couplers, mutes, general controls, and traps; 142 stop tabs on the back rail in three rows, to control the three String Sections, the Palace and Echo organs, and the floating Fanfare division.  The remaining 345 stop tabs of the Main Organ are divided approximately equally either side of the manuals, with 161 in 6 rows at the treble end, and 184 in 7 rows at the bass end.  A total of 18 Toe pistons - which could be increased in number in the future, and 164 thumb pistons (with a total of 36 levels of memory), would provide aids for registering the organ.

It was decided that some of the stop tab units wouldn't be fitted into the modified console, being those which would control ranks not yet installed in the chambers, as time was running out for this stage of the work before the organ had to be brought back into use again by Christmas 1998 for a series of events which were booked.  Unfortunately, not all of them ever did get fitted.


THE BENCH

The unusual bench was an original design and created from a standard, light oak Compton bench.


The console as completed in Spring 1999


The designed stop list was intended to allow the three primary sections of the organ to be played as individual three manual instruments, in any combination, or as one homogenous whole.

4 manuals, CC-C, 61 notes.
Concave & Radiating pedalboard, CCC-G, 32 notes

Installed in three chambers, one behind and above the stage, the 'Palace' chamber in the East Attic of the main ceiling space being the second, and the third being the Echo chamber in the West attic space.

NOTE - All stops, couplers and controls marked '#' are controlled by 'Light Touches' mounted beneath the Music Desk.

NOTE - All stops, couplers and controls in Italics were 'prepared for' only.

MAIN ORGAN

MAIN PEDAL
Contra Diaphone (resultant)32
Contra Bourdon (resultant)32
Bombarde16
Trombone16
Diaphone16
Tibia Bass16
Fagotto16
Bourdon16
Cor Anglais16
Octave Bombarde  8
Tuba Horn  8
Open Diapason  8
Tibia Clausa  8
Tibia Mollis  8
French Horn  8
Violoncelli 2 rks  8
Cor Anglais  8
Bassoon  8
Violin  8
Bass Flute  8
Fifteenth  4
Octave Flute  4
Piano16
Piano  8
Marimba  8
Midi 1 
# Main Pedal Mute
# Palace Pedal On
# Echo Pedal On
# Pedals in Octaves
# Accompaniment to Pedal
# Great to Pedal
# 2nd Touch to 1st Touch

MAIN PEDAL 2nd Touch
Contra Diaphone32
Bombarde16
Trombone16
Diaphone16
Midi 2 
# Bass Drum Tap F 
# Bass Drum Tap P 
# Bass Drum Roll 
# Snare Drum Roll 
# Cymbal Tap 
# Cymbal Crash 
# Cymbal Roll 
# Cymbal Splash 
# Triangle 
# Low Bongo 
# Great Keys on Pedal 2nd (all manual couplers play through)
# Orchestral to Pedal 2nd
# Solo to Pedal 2nd
# Traps to 1st Touch

ACCOMPANIMENT
Bombarde  8
Tuba Horn  8
Open Diapason  8
Tibia Clausa  8
Tibia Mollis  8
Violin Diapason  8
Major Flute  8
French Horn  8
Krumet  8
Basset Horn  8
Gemshorn  8
Violoncello  8
Violoncello Celeste  8
Tibia Salix  8
Saxophone  8
Clarinet  8
Violin  8
Violin Celestetc8
Solo Vox Humana  8
Vox Humana  8
Gamba  8
Gamba Celeste tc8
Flugel Horn  8
Stopped Flute  8
Kinura  8
Orchestral Oboe  8
Quintade  8
Principal  4
Mollis Piccolo  4
Octave Geigen  4
Major Flute  4
Octave Violoncello  4
Salix Piccolo  4
Octave Clarinet  4
Solo Vox Humana  4
Vox Humana   4
Gambette  4
Stopped Flute  4
Nazard2,2/3
Flautina  2
Piano  8
Marimba  8
Chrysoglotttc8
Midi 3
# Main String on Accompaniment
# Palace Accompaniment on Accompaniment
# Palace String on Accompaniment
# Echo Accompaniment on Accompaniment
# Echo String on Accompaniment
# Accompaniment Octave
# Orchestral to Accompaniment
# 2nd Touch Traps to 1st Touch

ACCOMPANIMENT 2nd TOUCH
MAIN
Bombarde  8
Tuba Horn  8
Tibia Clausa  8
Tibia Mollis  8
Clausa Piccolo  4
Mollis Piccolo  4
Midi 4  
# Snare Drum Roll
# Tambourine
# Castanets
# Jingles
# Cymbal Stroke
# Cymbal Tap
# Triangle
# Wood Block
# Hi Bongo
# Tom Tom

PALACE
Posaune  8
Closed Horn  8
Tibia Minor  8
Piccolo  4

ECHO
Toy Trumpet  8
Hautbois Clairon  4
# Great to Accompaniment 2nd Touch
# Great Octave to Accompaniment 2nd Touch
# Great Superoctave to Accompaniment 2nd Touch
# Orchestral to Accompaniment 2nd Touch
# Orchestral Octave to Accompaniment 2nd Touch
# Orchestral Superoctave to Accompaniment 2nd Touch
# Solo to Accompaniment 2nd Touch
# Solo Octave to Accompaniment 2nd Touch
# Solo Superoctave to Accompaniment 2nd Touch

GREAT
Contra Bombarde16
Trombone16
Double Open Diapason16
Contra Tibia Clausa16
Contra Tibia Mollistc16
Double Basset Horntc16
Contra Violoncellotc16
Bass Clarinettc16
Solo Vox Humanatc16
Vox Humanatc16
Post Horn  8
Bombarde  8
Tuba Horn  8
Open Diapason  8
Tibia Clausa  8
Tibia Mollis  8
Trumpet  8
Major Flute  8
French Horn  8
Krumet  8
Basset Horn  8
Violoncello  8
Violoncello Celeste  8
Oboe Horn  8
Saxophone  8
Clarinet  8
Solo Vox Humana  8
Vox Humana  8
Stopped Flute  8
Kinura  8
Clausa Quint5,1/3
Mollis Quint5,1/3
Octave Bombarde  4
Tuba Clarion  4
Octave Diapason  4
Piccolo Clausa  4
Piccolo Mollis  4
Major Flute  4
Octave French Horn  4
Octave Violoncello  4
Octave Clarinet  4
Stopped Flute  4
Clausa Gross Tierce3,1/5
Mollis Gross Tierce3,1/5
Clausa Twelfth2,2/3
Mollis Twelfth2,2/3
Nazard2,2/3
Clausa Ocarina  2
Mollis Ocarina  2
Flautina  2
Clausa Tierce1,3/5
Mollis Tierce1,3/5
Flute Tierce1,3/5
Clausa Fife  1
Mollis Fife  1
Piano16
Piano  8
Piano  4
Marimba  8
Chrysoglott  8
Master Glockenspiel  4
Master Xylophone  4
Glockenspiel  4
Xylophone  4
Sleigh Bells  4
Cathedral Chimes  8
MIDI 5 
MIDI 6 
# Main String on Great
# Palace Accompaniment on Great
# Palace Solo on Great
# Palace String on Great
# Echo Accompaniment on Great
# Echo Solo on Great
# Echo String on Great
# Great Sub Octave
# Great Unison Off
# Great Octave
# Accompaniment Sub Octave to Great
# Accompaniment to Great
# Accompaniment Octave to Great
# Orchestral Sub Octave to Great
# Orchestral to Great
# Orchestral Octave to Great
# Solo Sub Octave to Great
# Solo to Great
# Solo Octave to Great
# Orchestral to Great Pizzicato
# Solo to Great Pizzicato

GREAT 2nd TOUCH
Post Horntc16
Bombarde16
Tuba Horn16
Tibia Clausa16
Tibia Mollistc16
Clausa Piccolo  8
Mollis Piccolo  8
Clausa Twelfth5,1/3
Mollis Twelfth5,1/3
Ocarina 1  4
Ocarina 2  4
MIDI 7 
# Orchestral Sub Octave to Great 2nd Touch
# Orchestral to Great 2nd Touch
# Orchestral Octave to Great 2nd Touch
# Solo Sub Octave to Great 2nd Touch
# Solo to Great 2nd Touch
# Solo Octave to Great 2nd Touch
# Accompaniment Traps to Great 2nd Touch


ORCHESTRAL
Contra Tibia Mollistc16
Double Violin Diapasontc16
Contra French Horntc16
Contra Violoncellotc16
Contra Oboe Horntc16
Contra Tibia Salixtc16
Bass Clarinettc16
Violon16
Vox Humanatc16
Contra Gambatc16
Contra Flugel Horn16
Bourdon16
Cor Anglais16
Bass Orchestral Oboetc16
Bombarde  8
Tuba Horn  8
Open Diapason  8
Tibia Clausa  8
Tibia Mollis  8
Trumpet  8
Violin Diapason  8
French Horn  8
Krumet  8
Violoncello  8
Oboe Horn  8
Tibia Salix  8
Saxophone  8
Clarinet  8
Violin  8
Solo Vox Humana  8
Vox Humana  8
Gamba  8
Gamba Celeste  8
Flauto Amabile  8
Flugel Horn  8
Stopped Flute  8
Kinura  8
Cor Anglais  8
Orchestral Oboe  8
Quintade  8
Vox Mystica  8
Salicionals 2 rks  8
Octave Bombarde  4
Clausa Piccolo  4
Mollis Piccolo  4
Octave Geigen  4
Octave French Horn  4
Salix Piccolo  4
Octave Clarinet  4
Violin  4
Gambette  4
Stopped Flute  4
Clausa Twelfth2,2/3
Mollis Twelfth2,2/3
Nazard2,2/3
Clausa Ocarina  2
Mollis Ocarina  2
Flautina  2
Flute Tierce  1,3/5
Piano16
Piano  8
Piano  4
Sub Marimba16
Marimba  8
Chrysoglott  8
Accordion  8
Glockenspiel  4
Xylophone  4
Sleigh Bells  2
Tubular Bells  8
MIDI 8 
MIDI 9 
Snare Drum Roll 
Castanets 
# Main String on Orchestral
# Palace Solo on Orchestral
# Palace String on Orchestral
# Echo Solo on Orchestral
# Echo String on Orchestral
# Orchestral Sub Octave
# Orchestral Unison Off
# Orchestral Octave
# Accompaniment Sub Octave to Orchestral
# Accompaniment to Orchestral
# Accompaniment Octave to Orchestral
# Great Sub Octave to Orchestral
# Great to Orchestral
# Great Tierce to Orchestral (6,2/5)
# Great Quint to Orchestral (5,1/3)
# Great Octave to Orchestral
# Solo Sub Octave to Orchestral
# Solo to Orchestral
# Solo Octave to Orchestral
# Great to Orchestral Pizzicato
# Solo to Orchestral Pizzicato

SOLO
Post Horntc16
Contra Bombarde16
Trombone16
Tibia Clausa16
Tibia Mollistc16
Double Trumpettc16
Contra French Horntc16
Double Basset Horntc16
Contra Violoncellotc16
Contra Oboe Horn16
Saxophonetc16
Solo Vox Humanatc16
Vox Humanatc16
Contra Flugel Horntc16
Bass Kinuratc16
Cor Anglais16
Post Horn  8
Bombarde  8
Tuba Horn  8
Phonon Diapason  8
Tibia Clausa  8
Tibia Mollis  8
Trumpet  8
Open Diapason  8
Major Flute  8
French Horn  8
Krumet  8
Basset Horn  8
Violoncello  8
Violoncello Celeste  8
Oboe Horn  8
Saxophone  8
Clarinet  8
Solo Vox Humana  8
Vox Humana  8
Flugel Horn  8
Kinura  8
Cor Anglais  8
Orchestral Oboe  8
Quintade  8
Clausa Double Gross Tierce6,2/5
Clausa Quint5,1/3
Tuba Clarion  4
Clausa Piccolo  4
Mollis Piccolo  4
Octave Geigen  4
Octave French Horn  4
Octave Violoncello  4
Octave Violoncello Celeste  4
Clausa Gross Tierce3,1/5
Clausa Twelfth2,2/3
Mollis Twelfth2,2/3
Clausa Ocarina  2
Mollis Ocarina  2
Clausa Tierce1,3/5
Mollis Tierce1,3/5
Clausa Nineteenth1,1/3
Mollis Nineteenth1,1/3
Clausa Septieme1,1/7
Mollis Septieme1,1/7
Clausa Fife  1
Mollis Fife  1
Electrophone  8
Electrophone  4
Electrotwelfth2,2/3
Electrophone  2
Electrotierce1,3/5
Electro Cromorne  8
Electro Musette  8
Piano16
Piano  8
Piano  4
Sub Marimba16
Marimba  8
Chrysoglott  8
Accordion  8
Master Glockenspiel  4
Master Xylophone  4
Glockenspiel  4
Xylophone  4
Sleigh Bells  2
Cathedral Chimes  8
Tubular Bells  8
MIDI 11 
MIDI 12 
Snare Drum Roll 
Castanets 
# Main String on Solo
# Palace Solo on Solo
# Palace String on Solo
# Echo Solo on Solo
# Echo String on Solo
# Solo Sub Octave
# Solo Unison Off
# Solo Octave
# Great Sub Octave to Solo
# Great to Solo
# Great Octave to Solo
# Orchestral Sub Octave to Solo
# Orchestral to Solo
# Orchestral Quint to Solo (5,1/3)
# Orchestral Octave to Solo
# Orchestral Gross Tierce to Solo (3,1/5)
# Orchestral Septieme to Solo (2,2/7)
# Great to Solo Pizzicato
# Orchestral to Solo Pizzicato


PALACE ORGAN

PALACE PEDAL 
Posaune16
Diaphone16
Tibia Minor16
Violone16
Octave Posaune  8
Diaphonic Diapason  8
Tibia Minor  8
Viola  8
Bass Flute  8

PALACE ACCOMPANIMENT Floating division
Posaune  8
Diaphonic Diapason  8
Tibia Minor  8
Closed Horn  8
Clarinet  8
Orchestral Violin  8
Vox Humana  8
Lieblich Flute  8
Octave Diapason  4
Minor Piccolo  4
Orchestral Violin  4
Vox Humana  4
Lieblich Flute  4
Nazard2,2/3
Lieblich Piccolo  2
Carillon Harp 

PALACE SOLO Floating division
Double Diaphonic Diapason16
Contra Tibia Minor16
Contra Bassotc16
Vox Humanatc16
Posaune  8
Diaphonic Diapason  8
Tibia Minor  8
Closed Horn  8
Viola  8
Clarinet  8
Orchestral Violin  8
Vox Humana  8
Lieblich Flute  8
Octave Diapason  4
Piccolo  4
Orchestral Violin  4
Lieblich Flute  4
Twelfth (Tibia)2,2/3
Lieblich Twelfth2,2/3
Ocarina  2
Lieblich Piccolo  2
Lieblich Tierce1,3/5


ECHO ORGAN

ECHO PEDAL
Violone16
Gedacktpommer16
Toy Trumpet  8
Viol  8
Gedackt Flute  8

ECHO ACCOMPANIMENT Floating division
Toy Trumpet  8
Viol Sourdine  8
Hautbois d’Amour  8
Lieblich Gedackt  8
Voix Humaine  8
Dolce  8
Octave Viol Sourdine  4
Hautbois Clairon  4
Gedackt Flote  4
Voix Humaine  4
Kleine Gedackt  2

ECHO SOLO Floating division
Double Toy Trumpettc16
Violone16
Contra Hautbois d’Amour16
Gedacktpommer16
Barytonetc16
Toy Trumpet  8
Viol Sourdine  8
Hautbois d’Amour  8
Lieblich Gedackt  8
Voix Humaine  8
Octave Trumpet  4
Octave Viol Sourdine  4
Gedackt Flote  4
Voix Humaine  4
Nasat2,2/3
Kleine Gedackt  2
Celesta  8


MAIN STRING SECTION - Floating division
Contra Violoncelli 2 rkstc16
Violon16
Vox Humana Chorus 2 rks16
Geigen Celestes 2 rks  8
Gemshorns Celestes 2rks  8
Violoncelli 2 rks  8
Violins 2 rks  8
Vox Humana Chorus 2 rks  8
Gambas 2 rks  8
Flute Celestes 2 rks  8
Cor Anglais  8
Viols D’Orchestre 2 rks  8
Orchestral Oboe  8
Quintade  8
Vox Mystica  8
Salicionals 2rks  8
Sylvestrina Coelestis 2 rks  8
Gemshorns Celestes 2 rks  4
Octave Violoncelli 2 rks  4
Octave Violins 2 rks  4
Octave Gambas 2rks  4

PALACE STRING SECTION - Floating division
Contra Bassotc16
Barytonetc16
Violas 2rks  8
Clarinet  8
Orchestral Violins 2rks  8
Vox Humana  8
Flutes Celestes 2 rks  8
Octave Violas 2rks  4
Octave Clarinet  4
Orchestral Violins 2rks  4
Vox Humana  4
Lieblich Flute  4
Violina  2
Carillon Harp  8

ECHO STRING SECTION - Floating division
Contra Viols Sourdine 2 rks16
Barytone  8
Viols Sourdine 2rks  8
Flote Coelestis 2 rks  8
Voix Humaine  8
Voix Aetheria 2 rks  8
Viols Sourdine 2rks  4
Flote Coelestis 2rks  4
Voix Humaine  4
Viol Twelfth2,2/3
Violina  2
Celesta  8

FANFARE DIVISION (Unenclosed) - Floating division
Double Open Diapason16
Fanfare Trumpet  8
Tuba Magna  8
Stentor Diapason  8
Open Diapason  8
Tibia Profunda  8
Claribel Flute  8
Grand Principal  4
Suabe Flote  4
Fifteenth  2
FournitureIVrks

TREMULANTS
# Palace Posaune & Closed Horn
# Palace Tibia
# Palace Vox Humana, Clarinet
# Palace General
# Echo Trumpet & Hautbois
# Echo Voix Humaine
# Echo General
# Main Chorus Reeds
# Main Tibias
# Main Vox Humanas
# Main Woodwind Reeds
# Main General
# Main Strings
# Electrophone
# Fanfare
# Vibraphone

REITERATORS
# Marimba
# Master Glockenspiel
# Master Xylophone
# Glockenspiel
# Xylophone
# Carillon Reiterator
# Celesta Reiterator

MUTES
# Main Organ Mute
# Palace Organ Mute
# Echo Organ Mute
# Cathedral Chimes Mute
# Tubular Bells Mute

Special Control
# Control System 'Reset'


Thumb Pistons :-

Above top manual
Cancel, 1,2,3,4 Thumb Pistons to Echo String Section
Cancel, 1,2,3,4,5 Thumb Pistons to Palace String Section
Cancel, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 General Thumb Pistons affecting the entire organ
Cancel, 1,2,3,4,5 Thumb Pistons to Main String Section
Indicator Cue Light from Control Area

In 4th Manual Keyslip
Cancel, 1,2,3,4,5 Thumb pistons to Palace Solo
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 Thumb pistons to Main Solo
Cancel Solo Harmonic Couplers
Cancel Solo Octave Couplers
Cancel Solo All Couplers
Cancel, On, All Tremulants
Reversible Piston to Solo Sustainer/Sostenuto (duplicated at Treble and Bass end of Keyboard and by Toe Piston)

In 3rd Manual Keyslip
Cancel, 1,2,3,4,5 pistons to Echo Solo
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 Thumb pistons to Main Orchestral
Cancel Orchestral Harmonic Couplers
Cancel Orchestral Octave Couplers
Cancel Orchestral All Couplers
Cancel, On, All Tremulants
Reversible Piston to Orchestral Sustainer/Sostenuto (duplicated at Treble and Bass end of Keyboard and by Toe Piston)

In 2nd Manual Keyslip
Reversible piston to :- Orchestral to Great Pizzicato
Reversible piston to :- Solo to Great Pizzicato
Reversible piston to :- Fanfare on Great
Reversible piston to :- Orchestral to Great
Reversible piston to :- Solo to Great
Reversible piston to :- Great to Pedal
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 Thumb pistons to Main Great
Cancel Great Octave Couplers
Cancel Great All Couplers
Cancel, 4 All Tremulants
Reversible Piston to Great Sustainer/Sostenuto (duplicated at Treble and Bass end of Keyboard and by Toe Piston)

In 1st Manual Keyslip - Upper Row
Piston - Memory 'Set'
Cancel, 1,2,3,4,5 Thumb pistons to Palace Accompaniment & Pedal
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 Thumb pistons to Main Accompaniment
Cancel Octave Couplers on Accompaniment
Cancel All Couplers on Accompaniment
Cancel, On, All Tremulants

In 1st Manual Keyslip - Lower Row
Reversible piston to :- Main Pedal Mute (duplicated by Toe Piston)
Reversible piston to :- Palace Pedal On (duplicated by Toe Piston)
Reversible piston to :- Echo Pedal On (duplicated by Toe Piston)
Cancel, 1,2,3,4,5 Thumb pistons to Echo Accompaniment & Pedal
11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20 General Thumb Pistons affecting the entire organ
Cancel, 1,2,3,4,5 Thumb pistons to Main Pedal

Piston :- Cue Light to Control Area


Toe Pistons
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Toe pistons to Main Pedal
Reversible piston to :- Main Pedal Mute
Reversible piston to :- Palace Pedal On
Reversible piston to :- Echo Pedal On
Reversible piston to :- Solo Sustainer
Reversible piston to :- Orchestral Sustainer
Reversible piston to :- Great Sustainer
Reversible piston to :- Full Organ
Cymbal Crash
Cymbal Roll
Klaxon
Surf
Hoofs
Birdsong


ACCESSORIES
Memory Lock Keyswitch
Memory Level Selector switch (1-12)
Console User Selector switch - 3 users

Balanced Swell Pedal 1
Balanced Swell Pedal 2
Balanced Swell Pedal 3
Balanced Swell Pedal 4 with sustain switch on side
Balanced General Crescendo Pedal

Swell Pedal Selector Switches - rotary selector switches in left pull out drawer
Palace Shutters to Swell Pedal 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 'inverted' on 4
Main Lower Shutters to Swell Pedal 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 'inverted' on 4
Main Upper Shutters to Swell Pedal 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 'inverted' on 4
Echo Shutters to Swell pedal 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 'inverted' on 4
Electrophone Volume to Swell Pedal 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 'inverted' on 4
('Inverted' means the shutters are open when the Swell Pedal is closed, and close as the pedal is 'opened'.)

Crescendo Level Selector - rotary selector switch in left pull out drawer
1 - no action
2 - Main Great and Pedal Only
3 - Main Organ, all manuals and pedals
4 - Echo Organ, all divisions
5 - Palace Organ, all divisions
6 - All Organs, all divisions

Blowers Start/Stop
Console Lights (on dimmer switch)


THE NEXT STAGE

It has to be said, that the new control system was wonderful at first, apart from it not quite being capable of carrying out all the functions we required of it, but the system's manufacturers in the USA gave us repeated promises that everything would be sorted 'soon'.  The basic functions of note switching and piston memories were fine, but the more advanced functions, like pizzicato couplers, re-iteration, division transfers, selectable crescendo pedal, and the record/playback didn’t work on day one, but we were repeatedly promised that everything would be made to work in the very near future, and we were sent some sample control boards, 'to experiment with'.  With hindsight, we were virtually becoming the 'beta testers' for the system.

During this period though, the organ was being heavily used for mid-week group visits, formal concerts, silent films, tea dances and private practice, so any problem with the organ had to be corrected quickly, or the affected section of the organ had to be taken out of use, which if that happened, meant music arrangements had to be changed at the last minute.

We also had another issue, which became an ongoing and troublesome one.  The stop tab units used in the enlarged console were all at least 70 years old and suffered mechanical and electrical failures within themselves, and every time a stop tab misbehaved, an output module in the new control system would 'die', sometimes spectacularly, with foul smelling smoke belching from inside the console as a 'chip' burned itself.  "Frying Tonight!" became a frequent shout during events, as a way of making light of the situation to the audiences.  As well as all of this, the original key contacts were beginning to fail and other minor problems evidenced themselves.  The time that was being given over to keeping on top of the faults meant that further restoration work had to stop, and the addition of pipe ranks and percussions slowed to a halt.

Following the sudden and unexpected death of Gordon Lucas in 2002, who had been working almost full time on the organ to keep on top of its problems, the decision was taken that all of the stop tab units in the console would have to be replaced with new ones, as well as all the key contact assemblies.  At this time, we were still getting reasonably prompt support from the control system's designers, so the next phase was begun, with yet more promises being given by the control system's manufacturers.

The East Balcony had already been in the process of being modified prior to Gordon's death, so that work was continued to completion.  The sound and lighting control systems were moved from their position and re-installed, the 'mock Royal box' was removed and the Balcony reconfigured where it had been, to allow space to be created to house the pipes and windchests for the 'East Great' section of the organ.  The over-length bass pipes of the Open Diapason had to be cut down in order for them to fit under the sloping ceiling, so a new symetrical facade was designed and built.

The chests were refurbished, with one of them being rebuilt and modified to suit the 3 rank Mixture stop, and all the pipes, all 414 of them, were thoroughly cleaned, dents removed and then 'planted' on the windchests in their new position.

New wind ducts had to be made to route wind to the front pipes as well as from the refurbished regulator to the individual wind chests and tremulant, then all the magnets had to be wired back to the control system's location.

After some time, each and every pipe was revoiced and regulated to speak at an appropriate volume that was not too loud in our little auditorium.  The one pleasant surprise has been the 'Trompette Harmonique' which has turned out to be quite 'dark' in tone, rather than blatant and brassy as it had been prior to revoicing, and it blends well with the diapason chorus and mixture.  This section is temporarily playable from a separate keyboard until such time as a new control system is fitted to the entire organ.


The background to the design of our new console

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