Tag Archives: Emily the Organ

Tea and cakes with ‘Emily’

It’s not every day that a church organ recital is held on a sunny afternoon with the audience gathered round flower bedecked tables, tea and delicious cakes being served in the interval.  Such was the scene at St Mark’s on 2nd June.

This was Lesley Crawley’s idea – to have a fund-raising concert for the Edwardian organ, ‘Emily’, and Pat Love and her Tea Cakes Group were the kind hosts.  Since highlighting this event in the June magazine, two of my organist friends, John Mansfield and Geoff Willis, offered to take part.  I couldn’t have done it without them.  Each played five or six pieces.  My favourite of John’s were Gabriel Fauré’s ‘Sicilienne’, Johnny Dankworth’s ‘Light of the World’ – originally a worship song, and also ‘Gospel Chorus’ which used some of Emily’s louder stops.

We didn’t want to disguise Emily’s imperfections, because we needed to demonstrate that she needs attention!  So we made a feature of the low Eb on the pedals which emits a loud whooshing noise.  Geoff said this was the vacuum cleaner effect!  He had thought of playing a piece by Sir George Dyson, but decided against it!  Instead he played some beautiful pieces including ‘Shenandoah’, a traditional American 19th century folk song.  Geoff also played ‘The Festive Trumpet Tune’ which David German wrote for his own wedding. Emily doesn’t have a trumpet stop, but the oboe stop coupled with a flute stop makes a rich bright sound.

The  gentle flute stops by themselves seemed right for ‘Greensleeves’ and ‘O for the wings of a dove’ which I played.   In between the organ music Bob Shatwell and Margaret Emberson provided the perfect interlude with fiddle and piano music, ending with two reels – “Grumbling old men and growling old women’, (I think that’s the right title!), and, even more rousing, ‘Whisky before Breakfast’!  This dances along at 110 beats per minute – no problem at all for the folk duo.

Among Emily’s problems are very clackety keys – audible to the audience.  And some of the stops make the keys very stiff to play, so she cannot perform to her full glory.  The concert raised the splendid sum of £178 towards her restoration.  Thank you to all who supported us.  One of my organist friends in the audience said afterwards:

“I was glad to come along and hear such a lovely little instrument….it is perfect for that space.  I was also interested to look at the pictures on the wall – all in all, a hidden gem of a building.”

Frances Whewell      

An evening with Rudyard Kipling

Jonathan Jones, the Farnham Town Crier, will be performing on Saturday 9th July at 7:30pm at St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale, GU9 0LT, to raise money for the restoration of ‘Emily’ the pipe organ. Entry is free but donations are very welcome!

Jonathan explains, “I will present, in the first person, Rudyard Kipling’s “Something of Myself”. It is the story of Rudyard Kipling’s life, based on his autobiography and interspersed with dramatic readings of his poetry, including ‘If’, ‘Tommy’, ‘The Glory of the Garden’, ‘Recessional’, ‘My Boy Jack’ and ‘Gunga Din’. It covers his traumatic childhood, his early years in India and the tragic loss of his son John in the Great War.”

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “This will be a fantastic evening, we are so very lucky to have Jonathan performing for us once again. His “A Christmas Carol” performance was unforgettable. Do come along for a wonderful community evening and please help us to restore ‘Emily’!”

So far over £5300 has been raised to restore and rebuild the Edwardian Pipe Organ. The target is £23,000.

An Organ Recital for Emily

An Organ Recital will be given by Frances Whewell on Thursday 2nd June at 2pm, St Mark’s, with an interlude by Bob and Lesley Shatwell on violin and double bass. This is to raise money for the much loved Edwardian organ at St Mark’s Church in Upper Hale, named after her benefactor – Emily Mangles – who raised the funds for the organ in the early 20th century.  Entry is free but donations are very welcome!

This two manual organ looks beautiful with an English Oak case, and has the potential to sound beautiful as well.  But Emily has received little renovation in the last 100 years.  Without becoming too technical, the leatherwork is perishing, the reservoir is leaking, and so sounds noisy, and the electrical components are faulty and unsafe.  The task before St Mark’s it to have Emily rebuilt, rather than just restored.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “We have received a lot of advice from the organ builder, and the asbestos has already been removed from the blower.  £21,000 is still needed for the general clean and overhaul.  A ‘Sponsor a Pipe’ scheme is in place, but this needs bolstering by other fund-raising initiatives.” 

Frances Whewell commented, “There will be a few surprises – not least the unpredictability of Emily – hence the need for financial help!  The event is being hosted by the group ‘Teacakes’, and tea will be served in the church as the music is played. All are very welcome.  Please come and support this unique piece of our musical heritage.   There will be a collection for Emily at the end.”

Organ Recital to raise money for Emily

St Mark’s Church in Hale has a much loved Edwardian organ, named after her benefactor – Emily Mangles – who raised the funds for the organ in the early 20th century.

This two manual organ looks beautiful with an English Oak case, and has the potential to sound beautiful as well. But Emily has received little renovation in the last 100 years. Without becoming too technical, the leatherwork is perishing, the reservoir is leaking, and so sounds noisy, and the electrical components are faulty and unsafe. The task before us it to have Emily rebuilt, rather than just restored.

We have received a lot of advice from the organ builder, and the asbestos has already been removed from the blower. £21,000 is still needed for the general clean and overhaul. A ‘Sponsor a Pipe’ scheme is in place, but this needs bolstering by other fund-raising initiatives. The Arts Council will look far more favourably on appeals for funds if St Mark’s can prove that Emily is widely used, both in services, but also as a musical outreach to the community at large.

To this end, an Organ Recital will be given by Frances Whewell on Thursday 2nd June at 2pm, St Mark’s, with an interlude by Bob and Lesley Shatwell on violin and double bass. There will be a few surprises – not least the unpredictability of Emily – hence the need for financial help! The event is being hosted by the group ‘Teacakes’, and tea will be served in the church as the music is played.

All are very welcome. Please come and support this unique piece of our musical heritage. There will be a collection for Emily at the end.

Saving ‘Emily’ the organ

As readers of this blog probably know, ‘Emily’ is a pipe organ who lives at St Mark’s and she is 103 years old and getting more than a bit doddery. However, the good news for organs is they can be overhauled and be as good as new. The organ has over 500 pipes that need attention, as well as the complex mechanisms that turn pressing keys into making the pipes play. It is very labour-intensive, but if we raise the money then Emily will back on her feet and sounding wonderful for another 50 years.

Which brings me to the money! The overall cost to restore Emily is £23,000, and we have had some generous donations, a wonderful concert and a very enjoyable evening when the Farnham Town Crier performed ‘A Christmas Carol’ single-handedly. This has raised £1,900. In addition, people have sponsored pipes and stops, raising £500.

Specsavers have been very generous, giving out leaflets about ‘Emily’ and we are one of their twenty chosen charities this year, which celebrates 20 years of opening. Sir Ray Tindle has also been generous, offering to promote all of our events in the Farnham Herald in order to raise the money.

So there is £21,600 left to go – feels like a big target, but these are the next steps.

We are applying to grant-making bodies to see if they might help. So far we have applied to eleven trusts, six currently have no money, one has suggested another fund, one has been quite warm about us taking the application further and three are yet to respond. There are another three trusts we can apply to, although one of them requires us to have half the money committed before we do.

We have two events planned in the near future, they are:

  • Daytime organ recital on Thursday 2nd June at 2pm at St Mark’s Church, where our organist, Frances Whewell will play.
  • Kipling Evening, where the Farnham Town Crier will dress as the poet and recite his well-loved works – date TBA but likely to be Friday 8th July

Please support these events if you can – so far the events have had a fabulous, warm community feeling and I was pleased that we put them on whether we raised money or not!

If you would like to sponsor a pipe or a stop please let me know – revdlesley@gmail.com or 01252 820537

Sponsor a stop to save Emily

‘Emily,’ the pipe organ at St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale is 103 years old and in need of a complete overhaul. The Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale have been fundraising and so far have raise £2500 towards the target of £23,000.

St Mark’s Church are appealing to the community to help save this local piece of history by sponsoring an organ stop. A ‘stop’, when it is pulled out, allows pressurized air to a set of organ pipes. This changes the sound of the organ, perhaps making it sound like a group flutes or oboes. There are eight stops available for sponsorship at £100 each, in addition there are pipes available at £60, £30 or £15 each.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “Pipes and stops can be sponsored anonymously or not, and those sponsoring them will be able to write who they are sponsoring it for. They will receive a certificate and the church will display all the names and notes that people write on a ‘Sponsoring a Pipe’ manuscript. There will be a celebratory concert once ‘Emily’ has been restore to which all those who have sponsored a pipe will be invited.”

To sponsor a pipe or stop please send the note of who you are dedicating the pipe to and your  donation (payable to The Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale PCC) to St Mark’s Church, Alma Lane, Farnham, GU9 0LT. For further information or to ensure your donation is gift-aided then call the Reverend Lesley Crawley on 01252 820537.

A Christmas Carol

There is something magical about a good story and there are few storytellers as good as Charles Dickens. When he published A Christmas Carol he wished that it would “haunt (our) houses pleasantly”, and that “no one (would) wish to lay it”. The power of his storytelling was that, 172 years later it is still haunting us most pleasantly and far from laying it, we call up its spirit again and again.

The magic of the tale kept an audience enthralled on the evening of December 5 at a one-man rendition given at St Mark’s Church in Hale, Farnham. To be fair, it was not just the tale that had us spellbound, it was the way it was told by Jonathan Jones, who is often seen around Farnham in his guise as Town Crier. On that Saturday he had cast off his green crier’s coat in favour of a red velvet jacket and sat comfortably in an armchair in front of the altar. From here, though he did not stay seated for long, he told us the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, nephew Fred and the three Ghosts – Past, Present and Yet to Come.

It is a famous story which plays unashamedly with our emotions, and Jonathan drew on all its clever devices so much so that I actually found a tiny tear in my eye for dear Tiny Tim, and though I knew the ending well, I was still relieved when… spoiler alert… Scrooge saw the error of his ways.

All of this was told without a note, an impressive feat of memory and acting, with differing voices and even conversations between characters, all the more impressive given that Jonathan is not a professional actor.

After an interval during which mulled wine and homemade mince pies were served, Jonathan was back in his armchair with a set of Christmas poems and stories. He had done his research and gave us the background to poems such as The Night Before Christmas – originally A Visit from St. Nicholas, and written by the American Clement Clarke Moore in 1822. Not all the offerings were as schmaltzy as this one, not certainly the tale of Jabez Dawes, as told in Ogden Nash’s The Boy who Laughed at Santa Claus, nor the truly funny Twelve Days of Christmas by John Julius Norwich which details the rapidly declining romance of Edward and Emily.

The evening was held to raise money for another Emily, likewise in decline, this time Emily, the 103-year-old organ at St Mark’s which is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. The fundraising was clearly important, but what felt equally important was the community coming together for an evening of entertainment in a village venue that seems well suited to such events. I look forward to more soon.

Stella Wiseman

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Pictures by Lesley Shatwell and David M Moore, courtesy of Farnham Herald

Sponsor a Pipe!

‘Emily,’ the pipe organ at St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale, needs your help! She is 103 and in desperate need of a complete overhaul. This work will cost £23,000 as she needs to be dismantled, the leatherworks replaced, the warped wooden parts machined and the 524 pipes cleaned, a handful of them replaced and then she will need to be tuned.

St Mark’s Church are appealing to the community to help save this local treasure by sponsoring a pipe for Christmas. Pipes can be sponsored anonymously or not, and those sponsoring them will be able to write who they are sponsoring it for. They will receive a certificate and the church will display all the names and notes that people write on a ‘Sponsoring a Pipe’ manuscript. There will be a celebratory concert once ‘Emily’ has been restore to which all those who have sponsored a pipe will be invited.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley, a priest at St Mark’s said, “Emily is a beautiful Edwardian pipe organ that is just over 100 years old. She is referred to as ‘Emily’ after her benefactor – Emily Mangles. Sadly, she has been used very rarely over the past three years because after a century of service she is in need of a complete overhaul. Once she is restored then she will be available for community events such as concerts, and for children who are learning the organ will be able to practice on her once again.”

To sponsor a pipe please send the note of who you are dedicating the pipe to and your  donation (payable to The Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale PCC) to St Mark’s Church, Alma Lane, Farnham, GU9 0LT. For further information or to ensure your donation is gift-aided then call the Reverend Lesley Crawley on 01252 820537.

The requested donations for sponsoring a pipe are as follows:

4′ pipe – donation £15.00

8′ pipe – donation £30.00

16′  pipe – donation £60.00

A concert to save our pipe organ ‘Emily’

St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale will be hosting a superb musical evening’s entertainment on November 14th at 7.30pm. This includes an organ recital by Stephen Lacey resident organist and director of music at St. Andrew’s Church Farnham, a choral repertoire by the Sedici with musical director Valerie Hoppe MBE and a performance from the Sedici recorder consort. There will also be a range of readings by a wide variety of authors from Noel Coward to Conan Doyle and J.M.Barrie to Kipling, all read by Rosemary Wisbey. Refreshments will be available during the interval.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley, a priest at St Mark’s said, “Emily is a beautiful Edwardian pipe organ that is just over 100 years old. She is referred to as ‘Emily’ after her benefactor – Emily Mangles. Sadly, she has been used very rarely over the past three years because after a century of service she is in need of a complete overhaul. The ‘action’ which links the keys to the pipes has become sluggish, the leatherwork is failing and the wind noise from the leaking wind trunks is detracting from her beautiful tone. The time has come for us to restore her.”

She continued, “There is no charge for this wonderful evening of entertainment but a retiring collection will be taken in aid of our pipe organ ‘Emily’. Please put the date in your diary and come along with all your friends.”