Member reviews
Tuesday 19 March 2019
Visit to the workshops of Mander organs


The visit was very interesting and informative. The tour was pitched perfectly so that we were not overwhelmed by excessive complicated technical detail, but all questions were patiently welcomed and answered fully. 


A well attended event. I'm sure all present are really grateful to Michael of Mander Organs for giving us a glimpse of the wonderful craftsmanship that goes into organ building, and for his explanation of the processes involved. A really fascinating evening.


A rare opportunity to follow through the design and building process and see it coming to fruition in the shape of the new instrument for Waltham Abbey.


Michael's tour over almost two hours showed us many of the stages from planning, drawing office, wood preparation and working, computerised wood drilling and routing for soundboards, assembling of modern electric action windchests, metal working and creation of pipework, voicing etc: much of the work revolving around the creation of an essentially new organ, incorporating earlier pipework, bound for Waltham Abbey. I look forward to hearing the new organ next year and enjoying the fruits of creation by the Mander team.


A substantial party visited Mander organs workshop on 19 March. We were welcomed by Michael Blighton, Head Voicer, who gave a comprehensive review of the 14-strong firm, founded in 1936 and then guided us around the workshops, answering many questions. The workshops are located in a former C of E school dating from the 19th Century and make ingenious use of the premises to accommodate many complex machines which have replaced manual methods in this digital age. Only one organ was undergoing reconstruction for Waltham Abbey but there were numerous pictures of Mander organs from around the world. A fascinating 90 minutes!


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