The Alastair Rushworth Memorial Essay Prize Terms and Conditions

The Alastair Rushworth Memorial Essay Prize, promoted by the Incorporated Society of Organ Builders and funded by the Rushworth Foundation.

Terms and conditions:

The prize, to be awarded annually, is to recognise excellence in promoting knowledge of pipe organ building or pipe organ builders in the form of essays submitted to the Council of the ISOB.

The Prize has been established in memory of Alastair Rushworth, as the 5th generation of Liverpool based pipe organ builders of his family who traded as Rushworth & Dreaper Limited, in recognition of his contribution to organ building and the ISOB.

Essays of between 2,000 and 2,500 words must be submitted to the Secretary at the ISOB by email (typed and in double spacing) by 31st January 2018. Entries must be written by an individual with no age restrictions and need not be an Organ Builder, i.e could be a student or a musician and only one essay may be submitted in any year by an individual. Essays submitted must be original work by the author. Photographs and other illustrations may be included, if desired. Style and presentation will be taken into account, as well as content.

The topic for an essay is the choice of the essay writer with the subject relating directly to pipe organ building or a pipe organ builder, with a view to adding to the knowledge of organ building practice. Guidance may be sought on the appropriateness of the subject for an essay. Essays must be researched based with bibliography and, if desired to give sources, limited footnotes (or endnotes). Bibliography and footnotes (or endnotes) are not included in the total word count limit (within reason). Subjects might include the description of an organ, its specification and particular features from a design and building perspective, aspects of the development of organ building more generally or the history of an organ building business.

  1. Essays submitted will be considered and judged by a committee appointed by the Council of the ISOB and, if practical, a member of the Rushworth family representing the Rushworth Foundation. Judging will be at the discretion of the judging panel whose decision will be final with no right of appeal. The panel may decide that there is no winner if, in their judgement, the standard of the entries does not merit this.
  2. The winner will be announced by 31st March 2018 and will be awarded £500 which will be presented at the AGM of the ISOB to be held on [?] October 2018. The prize is funded by the Rushworth Foundation. The winner will be offered membership of the ISOB at an appropriate level without cost for one year.
  3. Copyright in entries submitted will remain with the author but winning entries are expected to be printed in the newsletter published by the ISOB or other publication, with acknowledgement and appropriate details of the winner. The ISOB reserves to right to correct and amend essays if it considers necessary for publication purposes.
  4. Entries may not be submitted by a member of the family of a Council member of the ISOB. If an employee of a business owned or managed by a member of the Council of the ISOB submits an entry, that Council Member will not be on the judging panel.
  5. The ISOB reserves the right at any time to cancel the essay writing competition or amend its terms if in its opinion it is necessary or desirable to do so.
  6. Submission of an essay will be deemed acceptance of these terms and conditions.

The Incorporated Society of Organ Builders (ISOB) was founded in 1947 in order to: advance the science and practice of organ building: provide a central organisation for organ builders; and provide for the better definition and protection of the profession by the system of examinations and the issue of certificates and distinctions.

Alastair Rushworth (1945-2016) was the great great grandson of the founder of the Rushworths pipe organ building business. William Rushworth started the business in Manchester in 1840 and soon moved to Liverpool with his wife and 3 sons where the business flourished. William was succeeded by his son Walter, who in turn passed it to his sons, Harry and Maynard. Meanwhile the retail side of the business was started by Walter’s brother Edwin and passed to his 3 sons, William, Edwin and John. The 2 branches of the business merged in 1911 and expanded considerably in the first part of the 20th century under the leadership of William who was succeeded by his son James.

Alastair joined the organ building business in 1965 and trained with Dr Dirk Flentrop in the Netherlands (where he learned fluent Dutch) and then with Lawrence Phelps at Casavant Freres in Canada. He was later elected President of the Federation of Master Organ Builders and President of the ISOB. He was also a member of the Organ Advisory Committee of the Council for the Care of Churches. Rushworth & Dreaper built pipe organs in cathedrals, churches, chapels and halls throughout the UK and in overseas countries (in particular South and West Africa).
The retail part of the business was run by Alastair’s brother David and their brother Richard was finance director of the group for some years. Sadly, the retail part of the business was closed at the millennium and the organ building business in 2002, driven by competitive pressures and the general decline in the economy in Liverpool.

The Rushworth Foundation was set up by Alastair’s brother Jonathan in order to celebrate and perpetuate the heritage and legacy of the Rushworth family business and all it stood for in promoting music, the arts and education. The Foundation is pleased to sponsor the essay writing competition in recognition of the contribution made by Alastair to pipe organ building and the ISOB and in appreciation of the role of the ISOB in promoting education and the appreciation of pipe organ building.