Visit to Birling, Ryarsh and Tudeley in Kent — Tuesday 2 July 2019
Visit to The Sign of the Pipe, Dr David Shuker’s organ workshop at Birling, Kent.
David gave us a superb talk about the various projects in his workshop, demonstrating and illustrating aspects of organ construction and restoration, including a chamber organ almost certainly by Samuel Green and a children’s organ construction kit: Orgelkids, which he produces commercially.
Following lunch in the village pub in nearby Ryarsh, we visited St Martin’s Church, Ryarsh, where David’s wife, the Revd Dr Linda Shuker is Rector and David the organist. Both Linda and David are former research scientists who have happily and successfully switched careers.
We then drove to All Saints’ Church, Tudeley, near Tonbridge, where we were welcomed by Mr Philip French, Churchwarden. Here we enjoyed playing and hearing the single-manual neo-classical organ by Roger Pulham, mounted on a purpose-built west-end gallery, whilst admiring the 12 famous stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall. We also noted that the adjacent church hall is named after the composer, Dr Arnold Cooke, who lived in the parish. A photograph and plaque are mounted in the entrance to the hall.
Many thanks to all who took part in this pleasant summer jaunt in the glorious Kent countryside.