Two full days the warehouse in the small city of Woerden was filled with eight members of the worldwide community dwelling on reed organs. Each and every one an expert on defined fields of study on history of the reed organ.
A company started well before 1900, acting as a dealer of reed organs and pianos. Eventually evolving to be a builder of pipe organs and still dealer of reed organs and pianos. A few years later they started to built reed organs too.
Harmoniumbuilding was a matter of buying complete cases in Germany and inserting actions made in Germany. Soon they started to build actions themselves. Up to seven ranks. The Vermeulen company became wellknown for actions containing multiple valves on one rank, hence a staggering amount of stops. And standard fitted with 'composition stops' like 8+2 in the bass, 16+4 in treble.
The warehouse is a three story building, where the top floor has a very low roof. Well under 7 feet. Supported by huge steel beams. And I know. I bumped multiple times against the beams. (Thank you, I am well now.) One of the peculiarities of the family was to store documentation. The full bookkeeping is still there. Over a hundred years. Invoices, sheets showing the number of hours of labor. Salesbooks. Flyers. Blueprints of reed organ cases. Reed organ parts. And the full administration of the family's farm.
And even an almost complete pipe organ of some 18 stops, lost for many decades. A dream come through could occur here: The pipe organ is now meant to go back to the church where it was built in 1820.
All these papers will go to the local Municipal Museum. However, before it goes to the Museum, all reed organ related papers will be organized, and copied.
All copies go the the Archive of HVN (the Dutch reed organ society) and will be owned by HVN and the Dutch Reed Organ Museum.
We stuffed some 440 pounds of paperwork in the back of a Volkswagen Transporter. (Not available in the United States.)
This message would not make sense if there was no link to a page on my website.
So here you go:
and click the link "Vermeulen Woerden".
Sunday morning there will be a new soundtrack in the Bach Chorales pages. Sunday is October 31. Hence you will be able to listen to ONE track featuring TWO reed organs. A Mannborg and a Schiedmayer. Both suction, expression and double expression.
And there is a funny effect to this soundtrack.
When I listen to it I hear a thunderous bass on the first stanza 'A mighty fortress' and a more higher pitched sound on the stanza 'That word they must allow to stand'.
The funny effect is that I listened to the track this morning wearing my hearing aid for the first time in my life. I can now listen to television and hear what the host is telling us. But this soundtrack, I will listen to it with the hearing aid switched off. :-) (Volume on max, of course).
Sunday will also be the day that I will have all my pictures online showing the Annual Meeting of HVN, where we will see a plethora of visitors, a stunning amount of reed organs and harmoniums and a perfect concert played on both reed organ and harmonium.
So, check www.harmoniumnet.nl in the afternoon of Sunday.... There's much to enjoy for you.'