Christopher Batchelor to leave H&H
Mark Venning, Chairman of H&H, writes:
After six years as managing director, my colleague Dr Christopher Batchelor has decided to leave H&H in order to pursue and develop his musical interests from his home base in London.
Chris oversaw a series of highly successful projects for H&H. He will leave the firm in good shape, with a healthy order book for work in the UK and overseas, and a strong team of organ builders led by Duncan Mathews and Andrew Scott. I would like to thank him for the good work he has done; he will leave with our good wishes.
There will be continuity for all of our current work, and I have asked Chris to remain in post while a successor is appointed. As chairman I look forward to overseeing the next stage in the firm’s history, and will be available to assist as required throughout the transitional period and beyond.
I will be glad to receive enquiries from anyone who may be interested in joining us in Durham: they can write to me in confidence at email@example.com
It was a great pleasure to take on the role of Managing Director of H&H in 2011.
The recession which hit organ building worldwide shortly thereafter was particularly difficult for large firms, but with a lot of hard teamwork we got through it, and I’m very pleased that we now have an extremely strong order book.
Along the way, we built more mechanical organs including Edington, Hakadal and Bedford and moved into new markets, including Norway and Kenya, whilst also rekindling business in Nigeria.
It was also the right time to address the long term health of the firm, which involved re-organisation of our skilled workforce, and succession planning – the appointment of Andy Scott as Head Voicer in 2012 being a particular pleasure. Looking at the tuning situation across the UK it was clear that there would be a need for more tuners, and we took the bold step in 2015 of appointing four trainee tuners who are now hard at work around the country.
Throughout my time with H&H leading these initiatives, I have continued to live in London at weekends with my family, retaining my positions as Director of Music at St Pancras Church and Artistic Director of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. I also continue to serve as President of the Institute of British Organ Building.
I’ve decided that the time has now come for me to return home permanently and to start my next venture in the organ world which has been a passion of mine since my early days as an organ scholar at Hertford College, Oxford. Of course, leaving H&H is not an easy decision (though I won’t miss the commute!) but having played a significant part in the success of the 2016 congress of the International Society of Organ Builders, overseen the highly acclaimed restoration of our 1934 organ in King’s College Cambridge and with a full order book, this is as good a moment as any. As you would expect, I shall leave with many happy memories.
Mark has asked me to remain in post whilst an appointment is made and to be flexible in terms of my leaving date. I very much hope to retain a positive relationship with the firm over the coming years. For those who wish to contact me, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Christopher Batchelor