On 12th March 2016, W Bro David Hughes (Rothley Temple Lodge No. 7801), ably assisted by W Bro Donald Salt (Guthlaxton Lodge No. 7717) and Bro Carl Heslop (Highcross Lodge No. 4835), welcomed the Leicester and District Organists' Association (LDOA) to the Holmes Lodge Room in Freemasons' Hall, Leicester to experience the rebuilt organ
LDOA is very proud of the local organ building tradition established by the firm started by Stephen Taylor and who built the magnificent concert organ in the De Montfort Hall. Taylors, a firm with strong masonic connections, also created the organ which initially stood in the old Halford Street Masonic Hall, and which still forms the core of the Holmes Temple organ following its rebuild by Bro Carl Heslop.
The first thing to strike the notice of the members of LDOA was the Edwardian Baroque splendour of the Holmes Lodge Room and to say they were impressed by its beauty and fine acoustic property is to put it mildly. W Bro David Hughes, who is himself an LDOA member and organist of Newton Harcourt and Wistow churches, gave a short history of the lodge room and how it came to be built, and then handed over to Bro Carl Heslop to talk about his work and how he been drawn to both Freemasonry and the task of undertaking the rebuilding of the instrument.
Bro Carl demonstrated the various stops on the organ and how they can work either in solo form or in combined patterns. He put the organ through its paces from delicately mild to ferociously magnificent. The members of the association, many of whom are local church organists, were then invited to try their hands on the organ and quite a number responded to the challenge. What impressed all those present was the way in which the rebuild has combined traditional organ pipe work with current digital technology to produce an instrument of astounding versatility. And, yes, Bro. Carl did end the afternoon by sending everyone off to Blackpool in Theatre organ style with 'I do like to be beside the seaside!'
The members of the association were entertained for two hours and went on their way having declared themselves more than happy with what they had heard and also highly delighted to have been given the chance to see inside our fine Provincial Headquarters.