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St Anne's Organ

Many of you will have at various times listened and appreciated the organ at St Anne’s.  It is a beautiful instrument that has brought pleasure to many in Baslow. However, it is feeling its age and is at times erratic, difficult to play properly and is in need of a major overhaul.

We are aware that the church belongs not just to the normal Sunday congregation but to the whole village, so if you would like to pledge money towards refurbishing the organ then we would be delighted to hear from you. Your pledge of course can be enhanced by 25% if you are able to Gift Aid it.

Please contact our Treasurer on 01246 583375 or richardhenrypowell@gmail.com if you would like to help.

Organ Recital marks end of project (but donations still welcome!) 


Our Organ Project came to a resounding conclusion at the Recital given by Daniel Hyde. It was a tremendous occasion musically, socially and financially. Daniel made the generous gesture of waving any fees and this enabled us to return a profit 

in excessof £800. The evening was not about money for to have such a renowned musician playing at St Anne's was an experience to behold.


If you missed the Recital we were able to record nine of the pieces played. The rendering of Widor’s Toccata can only be described as eye watering. If you wish to hear that, or any other piece, please do contact me to make the necessary arrangements.

The project cost St Anne's c£27,000. We currently have a shortfall of £4,700 which, if Gift Aided, would reduce to need contributions of £3,960. The Treasurer's door remains open for any further donations.

July 2014 Update

Work continues on the organ but now we have a working instrument that can be used for services. We still await the return of the pipes which we anticipate will happen in early August. Once these have been re-installed the organ will be properly set-up and tuned to match the acoustics of our building.

Tickets, which are limited in number, are now on sale for the Recital in early October, please see elsewhere in the Parish News. Please book your seat early to avoid disappointment.

June 2014 Update

Much has happened since my last report on the state of the Organ. All the metal pipes have been removed and taken to the workshop for repair and refurbishment. The removal was a two day operation with two very heavy van loads heading to Leicester. The majority of the wooden stops (mainly associated with the pedals) were cleaned and reset on site although some do still need working on.

The console, apart from the original cabinet, has been totally removed and, as I write, a very smart new set of keyboards and voice stops have been delivered and installed. The computer software to drive the voices has been under a 'soak' test for the last week and proved to be successful.

We have joined the console and the pipes with a new cable running under the floor in a pipe that we installed (just in case) when the underfloor heating was installed. A new set of computer processors are in the process of being installed and these will drive the original pipe work.

I fully anticipate that when you read this report we will have a working organ but not the finished article for there remains much work to be undertaken on tuning and re-voicing the pipes. So far so good with no major hiccups! Please remember our recital on October 3rd, a chance to listen to a musician at the very top of his profession. Reserve your tickets by ringing 01246 583375.

May 2014 Update

I hope that be the time you are reading this article work will have started on the refurbishment of the organ in St Anne’s. At the time of writing the Diocesan Registrar has approved all the paper work and the final documents have been sent to the Diocesan Chancellor. I have been advised he has signed these and he will now be issuing the legal document, which gives us the authority to go ahead with the work. The work will be undertaken in two main stages although they will run in parallel thus ensuring that we are without an organ for as short a time as possible.

Phase 1 of the work involves the console and the electrics whilst Phase 2 concentrates on the refurbishment of the pipes. Phase 1 can be undertaken on site whilst the pipe work will have to be removed, taken to the workshop for cleaning and repairing prior to re-installing some six weeks later.

It is our intention, once all the work is completed, to celebrate the major refurbishment. I am delighted to inform you that Daniel Hyde has agreed to come and give us a Recital to achieve this.

Daniel is Informator Choristarum, Organist and Tutorial Fellow in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is also a University Lecturer in the Faculty of Music. A former chorister and organ scholar of Durham Cathedral, Daniel was Assistant Organist at Perth Cathedral, Western Australia, before taking up the organ scholarship at King’s College, Cambridge. Upon graduation from King’s with First Class Honours in Music, Daniel was appointed as Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge. During his time there he was responsible for overseeing the development of the College’s two choirs, and was responsible for the design and installation of a new organ in the chapel. What many of you may not know is that Daniel is a Baslow lad, born at Darley Dale but having lived, during his formative years, in Baslow House, School Lane, Baslow.

Getting into Daniel’s diary was a major achievement and we have 3 October confirmed. Whilst details are yet to be finalised he will give us a Recital on the refurbished organ on that evening. Tickets will be limited; you can reserve yours by contacting Richard Powell on 01246 583375. The ticket price will be £10 including refreshments. Book early to avoid disappointment.

April 2014 Update


I am pleased to advise you that during the last week we have now received the necessary permission to move forward on the refurbishment of the organ. A legal process now has to be followed which generally takes some eight weeks, in the meanwhile however we can study the proposals received from those companies competing for the work. Slow but actual progress.


I hope that by next month we will have some exciting news as to who will perform the official launch of the new organ, someone who has been a regular accompanist to the BBC Singers and who has also appeared at the BBC Proms on numerous occasions. 

March 2014 Update

Having received three quotes to refurbish the organ the P.C.C. decided that the most acceptable was to install an ‘electronic’ organ which would not use the present array of pipes. The Diocesan authorities refused us permission to do this as their advisors claimed that the organ dated back to the 1860s and thus should be an instrument that needed to be preserved. There is still an on-going debate in respect of the provenance of the organ as the various experts all seemed to have a differing opinion. The key area of the organ was the pipes, bellows, sound chests etc. However it was acknowledged by all that the console and its connections to the pipes was installed in the 1950s and really had no provenance at all.


The three companies were asked to re-quote on the basis that we would undertake the work in two phases; Phase 1 being associated with the refurbishment of the console, and all its connections to the point where the pipes are driven. The second phase would cover the refurbishment of the pipes etc.


To raise funds to undertake this work we appealed to the wider community to see if pledges could be obtained in support of this programme. We were successful in that a number of people came forward and for this we are very grateful, although there is still an opportunity to make a pledge if you wish. Phase 2 of the work will be undertaken when finances allow. The major problem with the instrument at present is that it is the console and its connections that are failing and a slow degradation of the organs capability is taking place.


Our current plan of a two phased refurbishment has been accepted by the Diocesan Authorities, although we cannot formally award the project until we have received the necessary documentation which we hope will be in March. Final quotations will determine how quickly we can move forward on this project however I can confirm that we do now have the funds to complete Phase 1. When both phases of the project are complete we will be able to enjoy a totally refurbished pipe organ that will see us though several decades into the future.

One very good piece of news is that, during our deliberations, the Government has altered the rules on reclaiming VAT and has added to their list pipe organs, installed in Listed buildings, so we are hopeful of being able to reclaim the VAT spent. This makes a substantial difference to how much we have had to raise.

Richard Powell