Work in Progress

The huge void

Toothless organ

Four ranks of pipes were removed and a full van-load were taken to the workshop of Henry Willis.   Each rank comprises 61 pipes, one for every note on the keyboard, some as small as a pencil and some as long as sixteen feet. A month later several hundred smaller pipes were carefully removed by a team of five.

Removing all these allows access to the other large pipes and to the trunking which takes air from the basement of the Masonic Building right up to the organ loft and then to its various parts.






Removing pipes for cleaning






It took hours to carefully remove 1,500 individual pipes and pass them down a human chain to the packer who wraped each pipe indvidually.  They were then taken to the factory for cleaning and revoicing.






Each pipe was wrapped individually. On the red cushions you can see the smallest size wrapped in newspaper, and the larger pipes being placed individually in bubble wrap.



Middling pipes



Middling size pipes.  These were taken away in April leaving only the very largest. Those remaining were refurbished on the premises in June 2016.





This is a photgraph of the new console taken while being built in the factory.  It has more stops or tabs than before yet fits into a much smaller area than the old console.


Have a look at the picture below which shows the works before the back panel is fitted.








This is very much a pipe organ. However there are almost 2,000 components, pipes, pneumatic valves, stop mechanisms and couplers to control so this picture of the inside showns the many solenoids, relays and soldered joints that have to be built into the rather bland looking console above.



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Willis staff worked for a week at the end of June to clean and repair the organ chamber, some parts having been too large to ship to the factory and back.

They returned in September to make hundred of electrical connections before bringing back the console in November.  In January 2017 two van loads of many hundred pipes arrived and were laid out in the Duke of Connaught Temple.


Willis & Sons Limited

The company to whom we entrusted the work have recently worked on a similar but rather larger organ at the Taberbacle Chapel in The Hayes, Cardiff.  

They have a 27,500 sq ft workshop comprising full metalshop & casting facilities, two voicing shops, timber mill, building hall, drawing office and general offices, storage areas - all with the expected associated tools and machinery.