House Organs for other people
Apologies: not all organs are represented with photos, rather stupidly, I have not always taken them. All dates given are somewhat approximate, some of my records are misplaced. I regard this sort of organ-building as a sport, it's about the only exercise I ever get. My jobs are (by definition) budget jobs, high-minded properly-paid expert practitioners can frown all they want, nobody else was ever considered for any of these projects, mostly for financial reasons!  Why do I do it? - it's a serious hobby, I love voicing (likening it to training a choir that never forgets) and I love seeing rescued material find a new home.   Things should fulfil their destiny!

 

Organs with seriously minor interventions have been omitted from this list.

 

1984
Two manual mechanical action organ for Jim Moseley, Hanwood, Shropshire
The manual and pedal chests and three ranks of pipes (the Bourdon, manual II 4' flute
and lower manual I Oboe) came from Southsea near Wrexham, the work c.1890 of Conacher of Huddersfield.  Sadly I do not have a photograph of it as completely re-shaped for a modest back room in a 1960s bungalow, and when Mr.Moseley died about twelve years ago I was asked to take the organ away.   Since then I have given the Oboe rank to a friend and have most of the rest still in store.
       Manual 1: 8' 4' II(Mix) 8 (Hautboy) Manual II: 8' 4' 2' 1.1/3' Pedal 16'   Usual couplers
Jim was a professional translator and a self-taught organ expert; he was very proud of
this little organ and shared it with a variety of friends, some of them from Germany.

 

 

1984 and various times since!
Three manual house organ for a friend just outside Malpas, Cheshire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started with a seven-rank extension organ rescued from West Smethwick, built by
Bowens of Northampton. It had hardly any bass pipes at all, a small trumpet and a
stopped flute were the only ranks with an 8' octave! Gradually the organ has
expanded. The two-manual stopkey console has given way to a good three-manual
drawstop console originally made by B.C.Shepherd for Emmanuel Church,
Northwood, Middlesex. Thanks to kind information supplied by Roger Fisher, we were
able to add a lot of good material to the scheme, this came from a Conacher organ
which stood in Our Lady Star of the Sea R.C. Church in Llandudno. Further material
(small manual chests and the Hill Great Diapasons) came from St Peter's Church,
Woodmansterne, Surrey.
The present scheme: (stops derived by extension are given in italics)
    Great:  8' 8' 8' 4' 4' 4' 2.2/3' 2' 2' III 8' (Trumpet)
    Swell:  8' 8' 8' 4' III 16' 8' 8' 4'
    Positive:  8' 8' 4' 4' 2.2/3' 2' 1.3/5' 1.1/3' 8' (from Great)
    Pedal:  16' 16' 10.2/3' 8' 8' 4' 4' 16' (downwards extension of Great Trumpet)
It stands in an upstairs room which at one point was the cheese room of the farm,
one small wall was removed to make a suitable space for the pipework. I'm proud of
this instrument, it handles well and sounds surprisingly effective given that there is
very little space and hearing it from the console some 15' away you'd never believe
how so much organ could possibly be fitted in!

 

 

1989
Two manual mechanical action organ for a friend in Lewisham, London SE13
Deliberately kept small and sweet toned, this is a simply panelled piece of furniture in
an upstairs bedroom! It is little larger than a pianola.
    Manual I Gedeckt 8' Salicional 8' (borrowed bass) Flute 4' Fifteenth 2'
    Manual II Stopped Diapason 8' (with borrowed bass)
    Pedal couplers, no pedal pipes.
There are hinged doors over the music desk so more tone can be 'allowed out'.
The main chest came from Rhug Chapel, North Wales, a small organ built by Banfield of
Birmingham. The fine, silky-sounding spotted metal Salicional is by Ginns of Tooting, it
came from Jackfield Parish Church, Shropshire. The upper manual Stopped Diapason
is surprisingly full and truly beautiful to listen to, it's by Gray, rescued from the remains

of the organ at St.Julian's Church, Shrewsbury. The rest of the pipework was made up

from stock to blend in, they came from a variety of dead organs. I remember that the

pretty 4' flute began life as a Dulciana.

 

 

1993
Two manual practice organ for a student, Pendle, Lancashire
This was a seriously budget job, a perfectly standard two-decker had to be reduced in
size to fit in a garage. The organ of unknown manufacture, c. 1880 was rescued from
Beaconsfield Grammar School. Some stop changes were made and much pipework
mitred and/or hung upside down so as to get it all in! It has since been sold on.
Surprisingly, I was invited to get involved with it once again and made friends with the
second owner - this time it was in Handsworth, Birmingham in the front room of a
terraced house!
    Great: 8' 4' 2.2/3' 2'   Swell: (no box) 8' 8' 8' 4' 2' 8'
    Usual couplers, no pedal pipes

 

 

1994
Two manual mechanical action organ for an estate semi, Upton St Leonard's, Gloucester
My friend rescued the chests and pipework for himself from a small organ by Nelson of
Durham, I cooked up the rest in order to make it work! Many pipes were replaced in
the process, being too bold for a domestic environment. More were up-ended and/or
mitred down so as to reduce the height. In recent years this little practice organ has
been sold on. The whole of it was on a castored frame so that it could be drawn out
from the wall for tuning purposes. It could even go through domestic doorways.
      Manual I: 8' 8' 4'    Manual II:  8' 4' 2'    Usual Couplers but no pedal stops.

 

 

1997

House organ in darkest Shropshire

A two-manual c,1900 Nicholson organ of utterly dull tone and specification from St John's Church, Churchdown, Gloucester was rescued by a pair of friends.  In due course I was called in because the new owner could not bear the sounds it made.  The mechanical action was fine, the pipework was just inappropriate, and almost every pipe ended up being replaced.  Unusually, this little job even made it onto CD, a single track was recorded very successfully on it for my Benchmarks disc from Ludlow and Leominster. The much more significant old Forster & Andrews organ in the same room got demonstrated with three tracks.

    Great:  Stopped Diapason 8'  Flute 4'  Fifteenth 2'  Swell:  Gedackt 8'  Principal 4'  Oboe 8'

    Pedal Bourdon and Bass Flute

Rather sadly, after my friend passed away a couple of years ago (having lived more than 90 very good years) a relative had both organs broken up and the bits put in a skip!

 

 

1998
Two manual organ for a private house in Steens Bridge, Shropshire
A redundant organ by Dalladay of Hastings was rescued from Zion Methodist Church,
Ludlow and set up here without major alteration. The owners redecorated it themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1999
Fake Chamber Organ for a friend, Cheltenham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This was a fun project! It was to be a birthday surprise, my wife and I plotted the
whole thing with the eventual owner's wife, and had to install it in a modest-sized

upstairs room of a town house in a single day in time for his 60th birthday while he

was taken out for a seriously long walk by a close relative. The following day, by all
accounts, the blower barely got switched off once, and at the party it was enjoyed by
several guests including at least three cathedral organists!

 

The case, action and frame were all faked up by me, the internal pipes are genuinely
old, some of them very old indeed. The tone is very sweet. The Manual chest was by
Gray and Davison it came from the Methodist Church, Craven Arms. The Pedalboard
and bench came from John Belcher's Tewkesbury house organ. Because it is a fake not the real thing, there is room inside for both blower and reservoir, there is sufficient knee space so that the pedals are comfortable to play and the whole thing is on hidden wheels so that it can be drawn out from the wall for tuning.
       Single manual 8.8.4.2. Pedal coupler

 

 

2000
House organ for a friend near Enfield, North London
A two manual organ by Sweetland with few redeeming features save its small physical
dimensions was rescued from St Mary's Church, Temple Guiting, Glocestershire where
it was replaced by a similar-sized but much better organ by Banfield by John Budgen.
I modified the stoplist, added things, cut it down substantially in size, extended the
pedal and installed it in an upstairs flat.
    Great 8' 4' 2'* (*originally I provided a Vox Humana here!)
    Swell (no box) 8' 4' 2.2/3' 2' 1.3/5
    Pedal 16' 8' (extended, electric action)
It was deliberately 'French style' by special request and when sold on, was rather
imaginatively described by the second owner!

 

 

2001
Two manual organ for a music studio, Sevenhampton, Gloucestershire
A redundant organ built by Richard Webber in 1845 was rescued from St Mary's Little
Houghton, near Northampton and modified. The Great was mostly very nice, the Swell
less so, this became an unenclosed Choir organ and gained another rank. Some
pipework and action came from an organ from Wycliffe Buildings, Guildford, made by
John Nicholson of Worcester.
    Great: 8' 8' 4' 2' II (Sesq.) II (Mix)    Choir: 8' 4' 1.1/3' 8' (Hautboy)

    Pedal: 16' 8' 5.1/3' 4' (extended, electric action)

 

 

2002
Two manual extension organ for a friend in Knighton, Powys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A five-rank extension organ of about twenty stops with detached console. Ranks are Principal, Flute, Gamba, Celeste and Flute Celeste. The main soundboard came from Warlingham Parish
Church, Surrey and the console from a rescued House organ in Cardiff, built by Binns, Fitton
and Haley. All bits have been much modified.  All console cables run under the floor as does
the trace rod for a mechanical swell, all pipes (including 16' octave) are enclosed. My
friend cooked up his own casework which is deliberately styled along the same lines as
the old Hunter case at All Soul's Langham Place, London.

 

 

2004
Two manual mechanical action house near Llanthony, Powys
We rescued a small organ from St Mary's Cricklade, Gloucestershire built by Albert Pease
c.1890. It was refurbished and the tonal scheme pulled about a bit so that my friend

(a retired piano professor)  could practice Bach upon it.
    Great: 8' 8' 4' 2'     Swell: 8' 4' 1.1/3' 8'    Pedal: 16' 8' 4' (by extension - electric action)

 

 

2006
Two manual practice organ for a friend in York.
This was an existing instrument made by Crampton (who I believed mostly built
steam engines!) with quite a bit of PD modification to improve its performance. For
instance, the original bass was provided by harmonium reeds, now there's a tiny 16'
Bourdon.
All derived from two ranks (flute and principal) it has been installed in a small bedroom.
Approximately 20 stops, detached console, very compact.

 

 

2006
Two manual practice organ for a friend in Kensington, London SW7
I rescued a partly-home-made, part-kit organ from Colwyn Bay and got it working
with a couple of small tonal changes. Since I sold it on, my friend has refurbished it
properly. The kit was definitely German made, possibly by Laukhuff.
All mechanical action, ten speaking stops, neo-classical pipework.

 

 

2013
For John Scott Whiteley, The Coffee House Organ, Everingham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A medium-sized two-manual organ by Hardy of Stockport 1904 was rescued from
John Bunyan Baptist Church, South Oxford and radically rebuilt to John's imaginative
scheme. Some pipework from the Jardine organ at Platt Lane Methodist Church,
Manchester has been incorporated. The upper manual is partly enclosed only, so that
the two manual choruses can be finely balanced and essentially unenclosed. Manuals
are mechanical including octave couplers, pedals are electric and mostly extended. The
small Swell has shutters at back and front which can be separately controlled. The
sforzando obtainable by using both sets at once is truly surprising.
    Great: 16' 8' 8' 4' 2' II-III (Mix)    Swell: 8' 8' 8' 8' (Trumpet)
    Choir: (on upper manual) 4' 4' 2' II (Sesquialtera) III (Scharf)
    Pedal: 32'(1-12 quinted) 16' 8' 5.1/3' all derived from Bourdon then a straight 4' Choralbass and a II Rauschpfeife, plus 16' 8' 4' and 2' from a reed unit. 

It's a most impressive and effective pedal organ indeed, I built it and it throughly surprises me!

There's a Laukhuff Cymbelstern and a Pedal Glockenspiel is prepared for.

 

 

2014-5
House organ for a family near Kidderminster, North Worcestershire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A two manual by J. Wood was rescued from Seacroft, Leeds and refurbished for them,
involving a number of tonal changes and the electrification of the Pedal Bourdon.
    Great: 8' 8' 4' 4' 2.2/3' 2'  Swell: 8' 8' 8' 8' 4' II (Mixture) 8' (Trumpet)
    Pedal: 32'(1-12 quinted) 16' 8' 5.1/3' 4' from Bourdon unit.  A 'Trombone' is prepared for.
I wrote up this project in some detail in an article which appears in issue 372 of The
Organ magazine.

 

 

2014-5
Three manual organ just outside North Duffield, near Selby, Yorkshire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My friends had rescued an incomplete organ from Clifton Village, York and erected
some of it successfully in a farm building. I came on the scene in time to find them
the parts and pipes they did not have and with their help have pulled the tonal
scheme into some sort of order. It's not quite complete, but very nearly so. It was
built by Hopkins of York, the Swell, Choir and couplers are tracker, the Great is pneumatic

and the Pedal stops are now on electric action.
    Great: 16' 8' 8' 8' 4' 4' 2.2/3' 2' III 8'
    Swell: 16' 8' 8' 8' 8' 4' III 8' 8'
    Choir: 8' 8' 4' 4' 2' 8' (Clarinet)
    Pedal: 32' (1-12 quinted) 16' 8' 4' from Bourdon unit    16' 8' 4' from Open Wood unit
               plus a 16' Trombone (from St Cecilia's Church, Parsons Cross near Sheffield.)

 

 

2014-5
A little practice organ, which has just found a buyer via ebay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A compact two-manual extension organ of fifteen speaking stops derived from two
ranks with detached console. It's somewhat eccentric-looking but it sounds very well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A shot of (some of) the refurbished casework propped up in my hall in East Yorkshire.