Pipe Organ Restoration Appeal
After 40 years of extensive and continuous use our church organ requires some tender loving care.
Advice has been sought from the Diocesan Organ Advisers and our organ consultant Mr Ian Bell. The following essential work has been identified:-
- The elderly electronic switching system connecting the console to the pipework is failing. The system suffered a small fire four years ago and as the components were not readily available it took a year before the system was fully operational again.
- The mechanics of the action (the mechanisms that allows a pipe to speak when a key is pressed) has become very noisy, slow and problematical. The original pneumatic soundboards are over 120 years old and were converted to electric transmission 40 year ago. They have recently suffered some failures of their primary pneumatic motors (wind operated valves) which indicates that all the remaining 230 pneumatic motors may require refurbishment at some time.
- All the pipes require cleaning and some pipes need repairing and re-voicing.
- The tremulant is very noisy and disruptive when it is used while playing quietly.
- The wind supply at times is not always stable and the reservoirs are lively at times
- The Great Mixture stop is poor quality and does not blend with the other pipework. Therefore it is rarely used.
THE ESSENTIAL REFURBISHMENT
To address this underlying wear and deterioration of the instrument before it severely disrupted the church services or became unplayable we embarked on a major refurbishment project that will restore the instrument back to its full potential. Our technical consultant Mr Ian Bell, has prepared a scheme of work on the best way forward for the organ's refurbishment and tonal improvement. The essential work will correct the present problems and involves:-
- The cleaning and overhaul of all 1086 pipes and the organ chamber
- The old electric transmission / switching system will be replaced with a modern solid state digital system which will brings other advantages to the instrument, namely easy setting of the pistons with many levels of memory and a sequencer
- Cleaning and refurbishment of all the soundboards; replacement of badly worn electromagnets and the re-leathering of the pneumatic motors
- Provision of a steadier wind supply, repairs to the wind trunking, and installation of a modern adjustable tremulant
- Installation of a modern swell box shutters motor
- Refurbishment of the console
- Re-painting of the display pipes and the restoration of the timber organ case
- Replace the poor quality Great two rank mixture with a new three rank mixture
The above work is now being carried out by the skilled craftsmen of Mander’s Organ Builders, an English company who will put the organ in fine fettle for many generations to come.
This refurbishment provides the opportunity to further enhance the instrument and improve its effectiveness in supporting the liturgy.
THE TONAL IMPROVEMENTS
We are incorporating the following improvements to the instrument.
- Extending the organ case forward by 600mm into the chancel bringing the main pipework from inside the chamber into the open chancel where they will be more effective in leading the congregational singing.
- Provide the Great with a chorus reed – probably an 8ft Trumpet – and this will also be playable on the Pedals at 16ft pitch as a Trombone.
- Provide the Great with a new soundboard incorporating the two new ranks of pipes, a 2⅔ Nazard / Twelfth and a 1³/5 Tierce. These will prove to be very useful in providing more tonal colour.
- Re-voice the bottom twelve pipes of the Swell 16ft Oboe pipes and use them to extend the Swell 8ft Trumpet where they will be of more use.
The new pipes are being manufactured in Leeds by Terry Shires. Please have a look at their website to appreciate the skill required in making and voicing organ pipes:- shiresorganpipes.com
Pipe organs do not come cheap as they are all hand built. Their design and construction is performed by highly skilled craftsmen. These craftsmen work to exacting joinery, metal working and electrical standards. Every re-used or new pipe will be carefully examined by the ‘voicer’ who ensures each pipe speaks the correct pitch, has the right tone and loudness, and blends then with all it’s neighbouring pipes. The total cost for the essential work and the improvements is approximately £185,000 – including VAT. To date we have raised £171k towards our target.
PLEASE HELP OUR APPEAL
If you can, please do help us in supporting this Appeal so that everyone can enjoy and be enriched by Tadworth’s choral and musical tradition. Methods of making a donation to the Organ Restoration Appeal are contained within this Church website.
If you would like to know more about the workings of the organ or have any queries then please do not hesitate in contacting Richard Shipman and Tim Carey
To find out about our latest grant from Allchurches Trust click here
To find out about our organ and the project click here
To find out about Technical description of the works and photographs - click here
For details about the Organ Specification, click here