I referred to this trip as a trip of a life time in my blog a few days ago. Did it indeed turn out to be a trip of this calibre? Yes it did. Never have I had a chance to see such a variety of instruments from so many different manufacturers and talk with a man who knew so much about reed organs and harmoniums. When your head is filled with nothing but the thing you so enjoy for a few days you know you have left behind all the cares of life.
Wednesday was loading day. How many reed organs do you think you can fit in a Ford Transit? The answer is as follows: two Smith of Boston Connoisseur model reed organs, a Gilbert Bauer harmonium and a John Malcolm reed organ.
Why two Connoisseurs? Simply because one is going to act as a spares donor for the other.
Why did I pick a John Malcolm reed organ? Because it was unusual, I liked the tone. It spoke to me I think you could say.
Why the Gilbert Bauer harmonium? Because I really wanted to bring home a pressure harmonium to begin learning about the workings of the harmonium and perhaps cut my teeth on restoring it. A reed organ and harmonium are really quite different beasts, you see, and it is time I branched out. I know you have been waiting for me to.
Above all I bring home from this trip much valuable knowledge learned from Ian Thompson, a man passionate about reed organs and harmoniums but more importantly a gentle, kind and generous man who gives freely of his knowledge and time. You don’t need a Ford Transit to bring such a gift home. For this treasure I am very grateful.
My father and I drove from Oxford to Holyhead in Wales this morning in about 4 hours 30 minutes. Then on to the Swift ferry and home to Ireland.
Thanks to my father, Brian, for all the photos. He was busy with the camera this week.
Now I just have to get them off the van!