Elliot & Hill 1834, Wm Hill & Son 1859, JW Walker & Sons 1903, H&H 1917, 1930/1,
JW Walker & Son 1960, Principal Pipe Organs 1993
Repair & refurbish Oct 2018 – Nov 2020
For specification click HERE
The pipework, with the exception of the largest basses, will be cleaned and repaired and case pipes also strengthened. New pipework will be scaled to match the original, and constructed of similar materials. Original wind pressures reinstated and voiced. Off-notes will be supplied with wind by conveyances of organ metal. The tonal qualities of the reed stops will be assessed and revoiced where applicable.
With the organ reassembled the speech and balance of the whole organ will be reviewed and adjusted. The work of 1917 and 1931 will be regarded as the reference for this task, and our approach will be dedicated to the recreation of the aesthetic of this earlier scheme. Organ then to be re-tuned.
Here are some of the last pipes to go on the voicing machine, the Solo 8ft Harmonic Flute (8” wind pressure).
This stop retains the Walker (English) stopped wooden bass (1-24), and the Walcker (German) Chimney Flute treble has been replaced with new pipes. The new pipes have notes 25-32 as tubs (non harmonic), and notes 33-58 are harmonic.
This stop and the new 2ft Harmonic Piccolo have been made and voiced to complete the family of Solo Flutes alongside the existing 4ft flute.
Voiced on 8” wind pressure, the Clarinet employs paper tubes projecting inside and outside each shallot. This application on notes 1-44 imparts a controlled, creamy and woody tone to this stop.
York Minster – Great 8ft Open Diapason I
Voiced on 7” wind pressure, the large Open Diapason is made to Scale 00000 and completes the Great heavy pressure chorus.
8ft Open Diapason I (new)
2ft Super Octave
V Mixture (new)
The upper lips are leathered in brown perfection which is coated in shellac polish.
Notes 1-12 are of zinc with plain metal faces and will reside horizontally on top of the Swell box;
Notes 13-36 are plain metal;
Notes 37-58 are spotted metal.
Over the years we have releathered many stops treated this way, but we believe this to be the first brand new leathered diapason of this type to be made in England for some decades. Are there any other new examples we don’t know about?
Pedal 32ft, 16ft, 8ft & 4ft Ophicleide unit (voiced on 25” wind pressure) undergoing voicing in the workshop.
This stop in its original 1931 form was available at 16ft, 8ft and 4ft pitches. Mr Arthur always lamented that space was not available to extend it down to 32ft.
Later tonal work saw the 4ft extension removed, and the 16ft and 8ft portions were re-tongued and revoiced on a mere 6” pressure. At this time the harmonic length resonators were replaced with true length resonators.
The current rebuild and reconfiguration has found space to complete the family, and alongside re-tonguing and revoicing back on the original 25” pressure, the 4ft extension and harmonic trebles have been reinstated. This stop is note for note equal power to the Tuba Mirabilis, also on 25” pressure.
A nice bit of history sees the former tongues and shallots of the Ely Cathedral 32ft Pedal reed (which were kept in a box in the voicing room) being used to complete the York 32ft extension.
As with all stops like this, when fitted up in the workshop for voicing, the soundboards which the pipes stand on are winded via long flexible trunks and there is no concussion bellows. This results in the wind supply being much more lively than it will be once installed into the Minster.
York Minster – from the 32′ Double Open Diapason witness Nigel repairing the tip having spent since 1902 on its tip(one of a few). First template taken then cut back, new tip made then fitted and soldered in place.
Nigel and Kelvin turning up the second from the top resonator section for CCCC of the 32ft Double Ophicleide – 324mm Ø at CCCC.
The painting of the decorative pipes will be restored by Robert Woodland in the Minster during next year.
The screen console will be completely rebuilt, with its design and layout being based on Harrison & Harrison practice of the era.
Nave Console The nave console will be restored, and the new work will adopt the traditional Harrison & Harrison idiom. The keyboards will be overhauled and fitted with gold contacts. The piston layout will be retained and enhanced to match the layout agreed for the Screen console, and new contacts will be fitted. The jambs will be new, with new divisional plates. New long-draw solenoids will be installed. The drawstops will be cleaned and supplemented in matching style, and selectively re-engraved consistent with changes to the specification and in order to achieve a good match throughout. The pedalboard will be overhauled and fitted with new contacts. New foot pistons will be installed to an agreed layout matching the Screen console, with new piston sweeps and surrounding woodwork. New swell pedals of traditional Harrison & Harrison design will be installed. Remaining console woodwork will be restored and refinished, and the bench will be overhauled. The console case and platform will be repaired and refurbished.
Soundboards, actions and chests
New slider soundboards will be installed throughout the organ. A number of unit chests will be retained from the present organ. These predominantly serve the largest Pedal basses, and all will be fully overhauled and restored, and their actions will be re-leathered and fitted with new magnets. New unit chests will be constructed.
New 3 stage actions will be installed for all new slider soundboards and unit chests. New electric drawstop actions will be fitted to all slider soundboards.