Visit to Loughton Methodist Church on 18/03/2013 by David Sutton
CLESO member Malcolm Bell arranged for us to visit the new Viscount electronic organ at his church, Loughton Methodist Church. He turned the console around so we could all have an easy access to the ‘battle arena’ – all three manuals and nigh on 60 speaking stops.
Malcolm gave us an introduction as to how the church came to a decision to ditch the ailing pipe organ instead of having it refurbished. Basically it was of ‘below quality’ and built in a chamber that was absolutely impossible for decent tonal egress. Not a ‘win-win’ situation to deal with! As regards the action, he showed us relays rescued from the removal which indicated the poor key contacts which gave such an unreliable service and a worrying time for the performer.
We were mesmerized by the wonders of the new Viscount and a good time was had by all experimenting with the numerous tone colours ranging from the very soft strings (with the 32’ flue stop on the pedal) to fortissimo with all guns blazing - the Tuba clanged its way right down Loughton High Road and up to Buckhurst Hill. One could easily imagine that sound in the Albert Hall! The new organ speaker system has got over the tonal egress problems. I was just a little unsure whether the classic full Swell and Great chorus reeds had enough ‘fizz and fire’, but this might be because of a dry acoustic due to 100% carpet floor covering.
We had a very enjoyable evening and many good conversations were had by the members present - thank you Malcolm and the team at the church for providing the warmth and hospitable welcome for which Methodism is renowned!