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Rodney ready to fix organ if palace calls

An organ restoration specialist is bracing himself for an SOS call to help repair a special feature in the grounds of a Spanish palace.

Rodney Briscoe, who took over W & A Boggis at the Roydonian Works in Louie’s Lane, Roydon, in 1976, found himself featured in a story for The Times last week in connection with an automated water-powered organ in a fountain at Alcazar Palace in the Spanish city of Seville.

Mr Briscoe built the replica stainless steel and bronze organ in 2006 and had a maintenance contract that ended two years ago.

Rodney Briscoe, of W & A Boggis. (37359341)
Rodney Briscoe, of W & A Boggis. (37359341)

The 73-year-old said: “I have not been contacted yet, but, if the call came in, we would be very excited.

“We loved our trips to Seville – it is such a wonderful place.”

The organ is one of only two such working instruments in the world, with the other being in the Villa D’Este gardens in Tivoli, near Rome – a replica which was also built by Mr Briscoe in 2002.

The Spanish instrument, which plays late Renaissance music on the hour, is reported to be running four minutes late and in need of retuning.

Mr Briscoe said: “The technology goes back to Ancient Greece. During the Renaissance, these organs were the new toys that most new gardens wanted.

“I have done a lot of research and experimenting over the years to fully understand how they work, as some of the details had been lost through history.”

Alcazar Palace is a centuries-old complex of beautiful buildings, courtyards and gardens.

Still used as the Seville residence for the Spanish royal family, it is thought to be the oldest continually-inhabited royal palace in Europe.

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