Our organ dismantled and standing in Liverpool awaiting conservation work.
Where possible dust and grim is blown clear from each pipe. Some need washing as well. Those painted previously in blue have been stripped and will be finished in a gold paint.
All the pipes shown above, after cleaning have to be carefully re-voiced. This is perhaps more of an art than a science, so to avoid doing it on site, this picture shows our Great Principal on the 'voicing machine' where an experienced voicer can perfect the sound emitted by each pipe.
These are three of the scores of larger wooden pipes. The biggest are 16' long and a foot square.
They are now being cleaned and refurbished by Fred a skilled craftsment who has been with Willis for 50 years - from apprentice to Works Director. He has worked on most aspects of nearly every major project done by this firm on large civic organs such as Birmingham Town Hall; St George's Hall Liverpool; Alexandra Palace; along with most UK cathedrals. On top of which he has worked on organs for Auckland, New Zealand; Paris, France; Florence, Italy; Johannesburg & Capetown, South Africa; Ibadan, Nigeria to name but a few.
In September 2016 he built a convoluted length of very large section trunking, a foot square which will carry the air 12 feet from the top of the basement riser to the centre of the organ.
There are hundreds of pneumatic parts, all made 108 years ago from kid leather. This is a photograph of two of the larger 'stoppers' that have completely perished. All need repairing or completely remaking, so that the organ will be good for the next hundred years.
When the organist pulls a stop out or moves a stop tab on the console, this apparatus send the air to the relevant 61 notes for the selected sound. Then when he plays a note or chord on the keyboard the organ is ready to produce that sound e.g. a flute or a trumpet etc.