Saturday 28th April
The renowned organ-builder William Hill was born in Spilsby, East Lincs, in 1789 and built an organ for the spacious parish church in 1840. His firm enlarged it in 1866 and 1879; Cousans fitted an excellent pneumatic key action in 1926 and cleaned it in 1950, adding a long-desired Pedal Bourdon. Recently immaculately overhauled by Chris Hind, I had the great pleasure of giving a demonstration recital this evening. A wonderfully fresh, clean-toned organ with limpid flutes and fast-speaking reeds. A real delight on all fronts. And the church even boasts a memorial stained-glass window dedicated to William Hill; have any other organ-builders such a memorial?
Tuesday 24th April
Just back from sunny Barcelona—our first visit there. What a beautiful city—attractive, clean, and seemingly populated with helpful, smiling people. Gaudi’s buildings are truly fascinating, especially the jaw-dropping Sagrada Familia, which now contains an organ (in two cases, one either side of the High Altar). To our delight, the instrument struck up all on its own every hour, setting a serene atmosphere for the visiting 1000s by playing gentle Bach. Perfect!
Sunday 8th April
Just back from a satisfyingly busy weekend—Saturday was spent at Trinity Church in Leek, teaching twelve members of the highly commendable (and really motivated) Leek Churches Organ School. Smashing old 3-manual tracker Jardine, too. Then on to spend the night at an old friend’s in Wilmslow before spending Sunday at St Philip & St James in Alderley Edge, attending their excellent Sung Eucharist (congregational singing superbly led by their choir and organist) and then climbing around the slightly ailing organ to assess what needs doing to it. The perfect Sunday!