Field Trip Friday # 9 Pipe Organs and Moors

The Friday we wanted to see the nearby town of Crook, where Mr. Ray grew up.  He drove us the short distance over and we are continually amazed how quickly the topography changes here.  You can drive 20 minutes in one direction and be up on top of the moors with sheep crossing the road or 20 minutes in another direction and be at the North Sea.  Northeast England is a beautiful land.

The town of Crook rests in a hollow, surrounds on all but one side by fairly steep moors.  We looked around the downtown area for a bit and found the rock that once sat upon the moor overlooking the town.

The rock that fell from space

The rock that fell from space

Mr. Ray told us it sat in a small crater on the moor and the town folk called it “Devil’s Rock”.  The kid’s all believed it to be an asteroid.  It has been taken from the moor and placed in the town square and is labeled with its believed to be origins.  They say in is volcanic rock that came to rest here by way of a glacier (in Britain you say Gl ah cier).  However it arrived we just thought it was cool that Mr. Ray and his friends once climbed upon this same rock high above the town.

We traveled up the moor to see the town from above.


It was such a breathtaking view.  My photographs all appear quite flat and disappointing.   The kids were impressed that Mr. Ray and his mates used to climb this moor and sled back down to town.


We stopped in town for lunch.  I decided that it was high time that I tried the “Full English Breakfast”.

Full English Breakfast

It wasn’t bad.  I decided that I am not a fan of “brown sauce” and much prefer Tabasco and Tony’s being the southern girl that I am.

The bulk of our Field Trip was spent on a tour of the nearby Pipe Organ Factory, Harrison and Harrison.


A friend of ours, Nancy, works there and graciously offered to give us a tour.  Harrison and Harrison builds, repairs and maintains organs all over the word, from Westminster Abbey to St. James Episcopal Church in Henderson, NC.   Thomas Harrison established his organ building company in 1861.



This organ is almost complete.  It will then be disassembled, each piece labeled, the wood stained and then shipped to its new home and reassembled.  Then the voicing specialist will “voice” the pipes on location.   The different acoustics in each church or building affect the voicing of the organ.

We could not believe what an army it takes to build such a magnificent instrument!




Tiny Pipes being made


Melting down the tin and lead for the pipes.


The metal used to construct the pipes is a tin and lead mix.  This creates the beautiful textures on the metal pipes.




Leather from goats, sheep and cows are all used to create the small air chambers.  The leather is very high quality jacket leather.  Very soft and durable.


The above box is a “swell box”.  It contains additional pipes with doors. Opening these doors causes the sound to increase.   I was surprised at how large these are inside.  It is the same size as Meg’s bedroom here in England.  It may be about twice as big as her room.  Really.  I am not kidding.


Above are smaller pipes both wood and metal being completed.


A view from above.


This demo box was very interesting.  It shows how the inside of a pipe organ works.

We are thankful for the chance to see such an amazing place.  Special thanks to Nancy and the staff of Harrison and Harrison for such wonderful field trip.

Merry Christmas!



7 responses to “Field Trip Friday # 9 Pipe Organs and Moors

  1. You learn something new every day. I always conceived of a moor as a low, somewhat boggy place where peat moss would come from… Now I learn its a mini mountain/ hill….. Keep up the good work your SC students are learning by your every report. thanks. / Mrv

  2. Two great things to see. We are so happy the wonderful time you are having there. It will remain with you for life….Kathy &Paul

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Pingback: Leaving Durham – Day 7 Epworth, and Cardiff, Wales | GILESGATE JOURNAL·

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