SOCA members past and present met at the fine church of Wrington, a few miles south of Bristol Airport, last Saturday afternoon. The village is delightful, and the weather favoured us, with fine, warm sunshine.
The meeting began with a brief history of the church from mediaeval times. Despite many changes over the centuries, It retains a sense of unity in terms if its architecture, and is a wonderfully light building, with many windows. We were told also of well-known people who have associations with the village: John Locke, the philosopher, and Hannah More, a writer and philanthropist, who fought against the slave trade.
We were very fortunate that Andrew Cooper, the organ builder who has completed the recent restoration on the instrument, was on hand to explain what had been done. At the back of the church, he had set up an exhibition of detailed colour photographs of the interior of the organ. In addition to a complete overhaul and clean, a rank of Willis pipes had been inserted to replace a damaged rank from Walker’s original specification. The organist, Michael Taylor, demonstrated individual stops on the organ, building up to the full sound. By way of demonstration, he then played a Howells’ Psalm Prelude, and Karg-Elert’s “Nun Danket”. There are complete choruses up to mixtures on both manuals, with some lovely flutes at 8’ and 4’ pitch, and 2 contrasting reeds on the swell.
SOCA members then enjoyed playing the organ, and additionally enjoyed tea and cake, thoughtfully provided by the church. The pictures below show Andrew Carter extemporising, Miles Quick playing with Michael Taylor overseeing, and Doug Smith.