Question about Fred Morrison UPs

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Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by ennischanter »

From what I know the pipes in question are based off of Fred’s Dave Williams set of pipes.

I’m curious and interested to know, did Williams base his pipes off of another maker like a Rowsome or Taylor or Crowley? Or was it an original design?


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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by Fergmaun »

ennischanter wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:02 pm

I’m curious and interested to know, did Williams base his pipes off of another maker like a Rowsome or Taylor or Crowley? Or was it an original design?
I have a booklet printed by the NPU many years ago called "Uilleann pipes a listing of makers" so longer in print.

Dave Williams is listed in booklet
Pipes made in D based on Leo Rowsome concert set.
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by ennischanter »

Cool!




Cheers.
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by Steampacket »

I’m curious and interested to know, did Williams base his pipes off of another maker like a Rowsome or Taylor or Crowley? Or was it an original design? Ennischanter
Yes as far as I know Dave's chanter measurements were based on a Leo Rowsome chanter to begin with. My first Williams chanter is based on a Rowsome chanter and is a little short in length as Leo's chanters are, but plays perfect A=440 as the reed sits in a brass sleeve in the chanter throat and can be moved up or down as required. This Williams chanter I have was made in 1978/79, only a year or so after Dave had completed the Woodwind Instrument Making and Repair at Newark-on-Trent.

Dave measured many sets of uilleann pipes, including the Harrington that was in Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley, Felix Doran's Leo Rowsome set, and Paddy Keenan's Rowsome chanter. He also talked and took advice from Hubert Kwisthout who was living in nearby Lincoln the time, and also Allen Ginsberg and Brian Howard when learning to make the pipes.

At some point, late 1980's early 1990's, not sure when, does anyone know?, Dave changed his chanter design/bore measurements.
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by rorybbellows »

Maybe early 90s i attended a Liam O Flynn master class at the London pipers club. After the class was over Dave Williams measured Liam 's Rowsome chanter. Don't know if he ever used the measurements and although Liam let Dave measure the chanter he wouldn't even let him hold the reed. The lesson I learned from that master class was guard a good reed with your life.
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by m4malious »

Are the Morrison D chanters 14" - or longer?
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by ennischanter »

All very interesting!


I remember Pat Sky said Liam played a chanter reed made by Leo Rowsome in 1968.
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by rorybbellows »

I'm not sure if there is much point in the claims that a chanter is based on a particular maker or design. It could maybe mislead a inexperienced buyer to think that they are going to get a chanter that sounds like the one was "copied". I think every chanter sounds different even ones made by the same maker, there are just so many variables.
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by Steampacket »

remember Pat Sky said Liam played a chanter reed made by Leo Rowsome in 1968. Ennischanter
Yes, I believe Donnacha Dywer made new reeds for the O'Flynn Rowsome set early summer, 2018, as Colm Broderick plays it now. Is the ´68 Rowsome chanter reed preserved at the NPU headquarters?
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by oleorezinator »

In Philadelphia in 1986 O’Flynn showed a group
of us a reed that was made for the set in 1938.
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by JR »

Dave William's regs were based on the Paddy Keenan Crowley set. As Fred's set was a copy of Paddy's Williams set then I assume these new McCallums are the same.
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by kenr »

Interesting comment there JR. Dave made the set for Paddy around 1999. So there must have been a lot of regulators made for sets before that date that were based on something else.

The Keenan set was a close copy of the Crowley, but there's no guarantee Williams used that model as the basis for sets made after 2000.

What about the influence of other sets he copied like the Doran copy he made for John Rooney, in the mid 80s. I think that was also a Rowsome set but it was a huge set of pipes with an equally big sound.

All I know is that Dave tweaked his patterns a lot over the years as different sets went through his hands.

If Fred Morrison's Williams model is say mid 90s or later, I doubt you can trace it's origins to even two or three original classic sets. Nothing's that black and white and at the end of the day it's how well in tune the thing is, the balance and quality of the tones and the ease of maintenance that has kept me playing Dave's sets for the last 40 years.

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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by Steampacket »

The Keenan set was a close copy of the Crowley, but there's no guarantee Williams used that model as the basis for sets made after 2000.

What about the influence of other sets he copied like the Doran copy he made for John Rooney, in the mid 80s. I think that was also a Rowsome set but it was a huge set of pipes with an equally big sound. Kenr.
On a visit to Lincoln in 1982 I saw John Rooney's set in the Newark-on-Trent workshop when it was being made by Dave, and later I think in 1983 when it was to be assembled with all the silver parts for the stock back from the local jeweler in Newark. It was based on measurements of Felix Doran's Leo Rowsome set with the metal chanter and drones, but with with the stock and regulators by Paul Gorker, the German engineer based in Manchester. The Rooney set is made of wood though. The original Leo Rowsome metal stock and regulators had been sold to Tom Mulligan by Felix. Apparently they leaked. Felix's widow had Felix's set in her caravan parked near Newark-on-Trent and Dave and John Rooney went there to measure the set. I understand that after his demise John Rooney's Williams set is with his family.

I have a Bb chanter made by Dave Williams in 1981/82 which seems Coyne-like in appearance, but has a metal wind-cap. The regulators and drones on my D set seem very Rowsome like. The bass regulator was made by David Lim in 2020. Another Williams D chanter I have is a Rowsome model, at least on the outside, completed in February 2004.
All I know is that Dave tweaked his patterns a lot over the years as different sets went through his hands. KenR.
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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by kenr »

Hmm after a bit of googling, JR is right; Fred Morrison's set was "based on" Keenan's although I think the drones would be a bit narrower than the Crowley pattern and Fred's chanter is apparently made by Quinn and Koehler so overall not a typical Williams model.

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Re: Question about Fred Morrison UPs

Post by Steampacket »

Regarding Dave Williams' chanter design: In 1994 piper Andrew Murphy, based in Norway, made a replica Dave Williams chanter with two pinned keys, F nat. and C nat. Dave Williams reeded the chanter, and then asked to buy the reamers in order to improve the design of his own chanters. There is a discussion on the FB Uilleann Piping page about the Dave Williams set, renovated by David Lim, that is now for sale by M. Muir here, and on the uilleann obsession site.
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