A Message from the Chairman!

Just a few weeks since I stepped into the giant shoes of Andrew Moyes, already I find myself contemplating my first introduction to this newsletter.

The past year has seen us all become much more adept at using technology for remote communication. With new prowess, we held our AGM and OGM meetings on Zoom, which certainly superceded our thwarted attempt in 2020. However, while the Zoom platform was more successful, I wonder if the misfortune of last year dinted confidence in this year’s virtual meeting? We can all hope that a return to in-person events later this year, will see a return to normal attendances.

During the AGM I thanked retiring board member Richard Bower and outgoing chairman Andrew Moyes for their respective contributions to the latest chapter of the IBO story. As we turn the page of our tome and begin a new chapter, we welcome Steve Bayley, Andrew Caskie and Iain Harvey-Ashenhurst to the board of trustees. I look forward to working with them and our continuing board members to write the next chapter in the IBO story. What will this have in store for us all? Well, the trustees and I cannot write the entire story ourselves and we would welcome comments, ideas and plot lines from all of you to help illuminate our manuscript making our IBO bigger, better, and more visible to the widest audience. Would you like to propose hosting an event or workshop? Do you have items (technical, topical or humorous) for inclusion the journal or newsletter? What events/ training/lectures would you like to see? Do you have photos and news for our Facebook page? How do we reach prospective new members? We Brits are exceptionally good complainers, but are much less forward when it comes to being proactive. So, whether they be large, small, practical or crazy, please address your ideas and suggestions to me on the newly created chairman’s email address: chair@ibo.co.uk.

Just like faults on organs, good news generally comes in threes. Firstly, after many years of valiant effort and continual let-downs to find a training provider, earlier this year the trustees decided to draw breath and pause active pursuance of the apprenticeship scheme. Meanwhile, Steve Bayley made contact with the Building Crafts College (BCC) based in Stratford, London and things have gained new momentum. Steve’s contact resulted in some of the college visiting Mander Organ Builders’ workshop to get a flavour of what organ building is about, followed by a subsequent meeting where trustees visited BCC. With the main workbench area resembling one of the large bustling organ building workshops of yesteryear, the college facilities are something to behold. For the first time since this adventure began, it looks like we finally have a tangible and enthusiastic training provider which will help gain real traction towards realising the scheme. Watch this space! www.thebcc.ac.uk

Secondly, the IBO are to have a presence at the Worcester Three Choirs Festival (24th July to 1st August). Being local, Nicholson & Co. will be flying the flag for British organ building with a guided tour of their workshop and lectures by their staff. In addition to this, there will be the IBO stand and a selection of IBO members’ work on display. If any of you are going to be around during the festival and would be willing to spend a few hours to ‘man’ or ‘woman’ our stall, interact with the audience and play a part in spreading the good news of the IBO, please do let Carol know (administrator@ibo.co.uk).

And thirdly, as we can now see light at the end of the very long tunnel of Covid we are beginning to plan in-person gatherings. The first of these will be a weekend residency in York (1st to 3rd October). This is guaranteed to be an excellent weekend, including visits and presentations at St Denys Church, St Lawrence’s church and York Minster. Get these dates in your diaries now and there are more details in the following pages. In the meantime, please do get your thinking caps on and send us your thoughts and ideas!