IS SOMEONE HERE TELLING PORKIES?
"I DON'T want to go down in the history of the Association as the Pork Pie President", Robert Cockroft solemnly told the AGM. Quite right, too. So we must take our, er, svelte leader at his word, even though pork pies were served at the AGM in April 1995 and, let's see, in 1996.
But some scandalised members now report that he was spotted munching pies during the visit last year to Grantham.
Then there were the two he managed at the Howells evening at Marsden, provided by fellow pie-abuser, Douglas Bell.
And what was this on the Beverley trip? The Diary understands he was spied taking a roadside refreshment stop in Selby with a carload of reprobates. The delicacy? Indeed. Pork pies. From Jones of Marsh. Just the 12.
...and who is this quietly sidling into a pew at New Mill Parish Church as Geoffrey Lockwood is getting into his musical stride at the August meeting? Step forward P Wood (of Huddersfield) organ builder.
But the tardiness is quickly excused by the explanation. "This is my third recital of the day and the fourth organ I've been to," he whispers.
This frantic busman's holiday was caused by Philip hosting a visiting group from another association for much of the Saturday. A George Medal for that man.
THE ORGANIST ENTERTAINS
Organist and broadcaster Nigel Ogden is demonstrating Manchester's new, almost complete, Bridgewater Hall Marcussen to a group of cinema organ enthusiasts.
One of them asks him a question, then jokingly queries his reply. "Don't worry, I'm not two-faced," replies the cheerful Ogden. If I was, do you think I'd go around wearing this one?"
ASSIST OUR SONG, OR ELSE...
No names, no law suits, but spare a thought for our member who thought he would stimulate the congregation with a bold and striking unison last verse.
D Major was the key and our man started off in sparkling form: swell to reeds, great to mixtures, pedal 32ft. Ye Holy Angels Bright had rarely sounded so splendid.
Unfortunately the congregation was attempting Angel Voices Ever Singing at the time. Noticing that the harmonies were growing strangely Schoenbergian and choir members were fainting, our man at the Abbot and Smith, now crimson of face, quickly reverted to what the vicar had announced.
LOOK SHARP, WE'RE READY
DIGITAL organs, don't you just love them? That resonance of tone, that authenticity of voice, that authority of speech.
I won't hear a word said against them. Sorry? You want to know about the one they installed for a concert at St Asaph Cathedral in Wales?
Well, no, now you come to mention it, they hadn't specified a bi-tonal model, but that's what they got. It was just bad luck that the swell was tuned a precise semi-tone sharp to the great. Milhaud would have loved it.
Anyway, the hi-tech error was discovered in time and the organ abandoned. Could have happened to anybody.
SERVICE WITH A SMILE
This issue's prize for discretion beyond the bounds of duty goes to the Huddersfield organist who refused to spill the beans about a fallen bishop. The prelate, present for a confirmation, followed the procession up the centre aisle. But, alas, he failed to notice the servers stopping to genuflect before the reserved Sacrament. Crash. In a flurry of purple, the Rt Rev goes cope over mitre. Or, as one wag observed, Hasse over Titelouze.