Ooh vicar, what a massive organ you have!
Jokes like these will soon become a thing of the past, if Nanny has her way.
It seems that Nanny's best chums in Euroland are worried about the state of our organs.
Please submit your favourite organ joke via the comment box...
Anyhoo, an EU directive has been issued which is aimed at controlling lead waste. Nothing wrong with that, except for the fact it impacts British organs!
You see folks, organ pipes contain lead; Nanny feels that the lead content of these pipes pose a serious threat to our health and safety.
I would venture to ask how many of you have actually sucked an organ...but I guess that would be taken in the wrong way!
As soon as an organ faces refurbishment, or rebuilding, the EC directive comes into play. Organs at Salisbury Cathedral, St Paul's in London, Worcester Cathedral, St Albans Abbey and Birmingham Town Hall are among the first that may be facing the chop as they are to be refurbished.
Nanny's regulations permit electrical equipment to have a maximum of 0.1% of their weight as lead. Organ pipes have a lead content of a stonking 50% or more. Nanny's chums in the Department of Trade and Industry has advised organ builders that, in the interests of directive harmony, they must "prepare to comply".
Now at this point you may have thought that an organ was a wind device..more jokes please...but you see, the wind producing part of the instrument is powered by an electric motor.
The great Harrison and Harrison organ at the South Bank, which is now undergoing refurbishment, is under immediate threat. Under EU Directive 2002 95/EC RoHS and EU Directive 2002 96/EC WEEE, it will technically be illegal to reinstall it.
The Salisbury Cathedral organ, where the console is being renovated, is also in danger of breaking Nanny's new law.
Tim Hone, head of liturgy and music at the cathedral, said:
"We would have to use a piano in perpetuity."
One point that even a 10 year old could have worked out, not Nanny of course, is that the lead in organ pipes is not thrown away but re-used. Therefore, if common sense were to be used, the directive should not apply.
However, we all know that Nanny and her lackeys do not exeicise common sense; they merely follow and implent the laws to the letter.
In a letter to organists nationwide, Katherine Venning, the president of the Institute of British Organ Building, said:
"There is a very black cloud on the horizon.
This is not a safety issue.
Pipe makers live to a ripe old age, with no known damage to their health.
The use of tin-lead alloy is essential.
There is no known substitute that will give equivalent results.
Pipe organs last indefinitely, and present no threat to the environment."
A lackey for the DTI said that the directive did apply to organs, and that Britain could not deviate from a "harmonised approach".
There is a possible solution, remove the electric motors and resort to hand pumping...cue more jokes..to keep the organ going.
People of Britain, stand up for you organs!