Union Chapel, Islington (3 manual, 37 stops)

This is a fine organ built by Willis in 1877, with minor alterations including the enclosure of the Choir Organ.

The organ has been fully restored, and the water engines have been brought back into service. The Choir enclosure was removed but the other alterations  have been retained.  All work has been done to strict restoration standards and we are producing photographic and written records.

Schedule of work
  • Dismantling – 19 Jul to 13 Aug 2012
  • Work started – 13 Aug to Dec 2012
  • Installation – 07 Jan to 25 Feb 2013
  • Voicing – Mar 2013 to Easter 2013

Dismantling of the organ started on the 19th July 2012.

dismantling dismantling dismantling dismantling
Scaffolding is erected ready for
safe dismantling of the organ
 Passage-ways across the scaffolding are assembled for safe transit of components.  Dismantling the organ
 Pipework which needs repairing or renewing is taken out.  Console is dismantled   Vulnerable items are packaged carefully to prevent damage.
 Pipes left need to be cleaned.

The console is a cabinet containing the manuals, pedal keyboards and the stop control.  The parts of the organs action are found in the cabinet.

This whole set of stickers was replaced by new ones of the same design.  Just one example of the many years of wear and tear taking its toll.

Pedal touch box before restoration.  T-squares were in a bad state of repair, some having been replaced to keep the organ playable.
Pedal touch box after restoration.  The damaged squares have been replaced with new of the same design, and the whole mechanism cleaned,
repaired and releathered.
Barker Lever Machine before restoration.  Ribbed motors of the Barker Lever machine and Swell action being releathered with new ribs also.
Barker Lever Machine after restoration.  Some of the couplex valve mechanism releathered and nearing completion.  There are six layers of these valve mechanisms.
Swell touch box: showing the restored valve and lever mechanism back together.  Some of the action conveyancing is being re-glued in place.
HTC 182
Swell touch box intact and restored.  This shows only some of the conveyance in the organ, of which there are over 500 pieces.
Pallets in the Swell mechanism being re-fitted.

‘Black Lead’ on some of the stop action rods being renewed to ensure smooth running.

 Union Chapel, Islington - pedal touchbox pallets Union Chapel, Islington - Pedal soundboard Union Chapel, Islington - Great soundboards  Union Chapel, Islington - soundboard
Pedal touchbox pallets Pedal reeds soundboard being made  Great soundboard  soundboard
Union Chapel, Islington - Pedal Open Wood chests  Union Chapel, Islington - Tremulant
 Pedal Open Wood chest   Tremulant
Union Chapel, Islington - Pedal Ophicleide replacement of inapropriate loading with correct and sympathetic loading in the Father Willis style.  Union Chapel, Islington - Pedal Ophicleide 2  Union Chapel, Islington - Great Trumpet6  Union Chapel, Islington soldering on the gallows
 Replacement of inapropriate
loading with correct-and
sympathetic loading
in the Father Willis style
 Pedal Ophicleide  Great Trumpet  Soldering on the gallows
 Union Chapel, Islington - repairing splits in windgroove of pipe block
 Patching splits in wind groove
of wooden pipe.
Union Chapel, Islington - feeders Union Chapel, Islington - feeder Union Chapel, Islington - feeders Union Chapel, Islington - high pressure feeders
Ribs of the feeder  Feeder being assembled  Leathering work  Feeder nearly completed
IMG_00532 Union Chapel, Islington - Ribs for reservoir  Union Chapel, Islington - Concussion bellows Union Chapel, Islington - front swell flute concussion
 Ribs of concussion bellows  Staining ribs of concussion bellows  Assembling concussion bellows  Swell Flute concussion
 Union Chapel, Islington - reservoir  Union Chapel, Islington - main reservoir  Union Chapel, Islington - reservoir  Union Chapel, Islington - concussion cut off
 Reservoir being assembled  Leathering the reservoir  Completed reservoir  Concussion cut off
 Union Chapel, Islington - restoring rollerboard arms (2)8  Union Chapel - Internal Roller Valve
 Restoring rollerboard arm  Internal roller valve

VAT on organ maintenance and tuning might be reclaimable under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. It is understood that relevant invoices must be submitted within one year, to a combined minimum value of £500 excluding VAT. Further details can be obtained from Topmark (LPOW): www.lpwscheme.org.uk
0845 013 6601

Harrison & Harrison Ltd
St John’s Road,

Telephone: 0191 378 2222
Email: office@harrisonorgans.com