Music and theatre - grahamejenkins
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The amazing Newcastle City Hall organ, built by Harrison & Harrison of Durham in 1929, the premier and highest class organ builder in the country at that time. (H&H are still going strong in Durham, building and restoring organs around the world.)• No expense was spared in its design and construction. It was lavishly built and exceptionally well equipped for its time. It caused a sensation when first installed.• It has been described over the years as “A Rolls-Royce organ”; “Of heroic proportions”; “of exceptional quality”; “a national treasure.” “an icon for the City”. All those opinions still hold true. The total number of pipes in the organ is 4,274. They range in size from 32 feet (9.75m) for the very lowest notes to the size of a small pencil for the very highest notes.• The organ has the largest remaining exhaust-pneumatic adjustable piston system in the country, and possibly in the whole world. There are a total of 44 pneumatic pistons, 33 for the manuals and 11 for the pedals.• There is almost enough pneumatic tubing in the organ to stretch from the City Hall to the H&H works near Durham (9¾ miles of tubing)! • There are 28 soundboards and 12 wind reservoirs. • The key actions include 2,325 pneumatic motors and 3,100 valves.• The case pipes (visible at the front) are covered in gold leaf, except for the largest pipes in the centre tower which are sprayed with gold paint. • Wind pressures used for the pipes range from four inches to 20 inches on the water gauge.• The two electric motors that drive the blowers have a total output of 16 horsepower.• The organ 81 years on it is completely unaltered. It contains many irreplaceable examples of the organ builder’s art. For these reasons, it has immense historical significance and was awarded a Grade 1 historic organ certificate in 2003.

organCity Hall Newcastle upon Tyne