Author Archives: Goetze and Gwynn

  • Open Studios at Welbeck last weekend

    It was the Welbeck Winter Weekend open studios, craft and food fair and we were open to visitors last weekend.

  • The consort organ in Centeilles

    L’Acheron viol consort recording in the historic chapel of Centeilles in southern France (In the Minervois in Languedoc), using the new consort organ made last year provided by Francois Ryelandt.

  • IBO visit to Dublin

    IBO visit to Trinity College Dublin on Saturday October 12th with Andrew Johnstone playing music by William Byrd, Pepusch and J.S.Bach.

  • The wind chest waiting to be inserted in the case

    The completed wind chest, with the keys in position, is waiting to be inserted in the case.  The table would originally not have been graphited, and it is unlikely that there would have been grooving for runnings and ciphers, though the grooving did appear in early organs.  In Germany a ‘running groove’ would have been referred to as a ‘Spanischer Reiter’, perhaps with the same attitude as ‘Spanish pox’ or ‘Spanish practices’, none of them (one hastens to add) confined to Spain.

  • Gluing in the pallets

    Edward gluing in the leather pallet hinges.  The baseboard of the pallet box is also the bottom board of the upper case, and would originally have had the spring rail glued to it.  Here Edward has provided a separate spring rail, which means he can position the pallets with their springs as he glues the hinges in place.

  • Gluing the pallet box to the soundboard

    The pallet box frame is glued to the underside of the soundboard (i.e. the bar frame, bars and table), with leather covering the bars and channels behind the pallet box.  Originally the open channels would have been covered with re-used parchment manuscript, or more likely, the Coppel 8ft upperboard and slider would have been attached to the back of the pallet box.

  • Grooves in the layers of the Coppel 8ft upperboard

    This is the Coppel 8ft (stopped wood) upperboard and a joining board to the vertical board for the bass pipes.  In the bass the position of the pipes cannot be accommodated to the spacing of the channels, so they have to be moved further and further away, and the bottom pipes are placed horizontally, with grooving from the slider hole to the pipe hole.  The channels are organised chromatically, in alignment with the keys, and the grooving is relatively simple, compared to some organs in this style .

  • Pilot holes and oblong holes in the table, sliders and upperboards

    The holes would have been drilled through the bottom layers of the upperboards, the sliders and the table as pilot holes.  Because of the narrowness of the channels, the larger holes have to be provided as oblong holes, and the slider movement has to be limited because the holes cannot be staggered

  • Making a wind chest – gluing the bars of the soundboard

    This year we have been making a new four stop positive organ, in the south German style of around 1700 for Dr. Christopher Kent.  This sequence of pictures shows the stages in making the tiny but perfectly-formed wind chest, mostly made by Edward Bennett.  This picture shows the gluing of the bars into the soundboard

  • Dominic studying the original manuscript of Thomas Dallam’s journal of his 1599 trip to Istanbul

    Dominic had an exciting time last Monday studying the original manuscript of the journal which the organ builder Thomas Dallam kept during his 14 month voyage to the Sultan in Istanbul in 1599-1600, accompanying, repairing and playing a fantastic clockwork-driven barrel organ (with keyboard).  It has been an obsession for many years.  The transcription was started by Christopher Hogwood in the mid-1990s, and has now been completed, with an introduction and illustrations, and is now looking for a publisher.  The picture was taken by the viol player Andreas Linos who is equally obsessed with Thomas Dallam’s voyage.

  • Stephen Farr giving a concert on the Beloudy chamber organ at the Horniman Museum

    Stephen Farr conducted masterclasses and played an evening concert on Thursday September 12th.  The concert was really excellent – both Joseph Beloudy’s three stop organ and Stephen and his concert programme keeping the audience engaged through two hours of music, and Stephen earning particular credit for pumping the organ by foot throughout. 

  • A sketch of the key action

    The picture shows Dominic’s contribution to the booklet, a diagrammatic measured sketch of the key action, which is most unusual, with keys which are weighted to rest under the key rails at the front, and the stickers resting not on the tail of the keys as usual in these chamber organs, but on a register with the stickers just above the keys.  Setting the action up involved an exact estimate of the effect the humidity might have on the key action. 

  • Gerard Verloop has written a new booklet about the Pilcher chamber organ now at Zuid Scharwoude in the Netherlands.

    Gerard Verloop has written a new booklet about the Pilcher chamber organ now at Zuid Scharwoude in the Netherlands.  It will presumably become available from the church’s online shop at

    Gerard Verloop’s thoroughly researched history is the main attraction of this attractive organ, one of the last to be built in a Georgian style.  Not many domestic organs have such a complete story, the star being a watercolour of one Macdowall sister playing the organ to the other in the drawing room of their house in Baker Street.  Tragically, the musical sister had died just before the delivery of the organ.

  • Installed organ showing the new treble side panelling

    The organ was installed in a niche originally intended for an altar-shrine, in the north aisle halfway down the nave, where it fits well.  The new treble side panelling (facing east) is almost indistinguishable from the rest of the casework.

  • Nick planing up new panels for the treble side

    The organ’s new position meant that a new treble side panel was needed, made by Nick Hagen, with graining in the style of the original.  The leather buttons were all corroded onto the threaded tracker end wires, so wires and buttons were replaced in the traditional manner.  The pedalboard was falling to pieces, and was repaired with new cloth strips and washers.  The key action was set again by Edward.

  • Fifteenth C with a label and number

    The lowest pipes of each rank bear a label for Peter Conacher, and the list number, in this case 958, which should help to date the organ more accurately.  On the Fiffteenth C pipe body, there is also the number 1252, which may suggest a later change of stop, though there are no other signs.

  • Name plate

    The characteristic Peter Conacher name plate

  • Starting to remove thethe Peter Conacher organ at St Michael’s Hudswell

    Starting to remove the ca1890 Peter Conacher organ from St Michaels and All Angels Hudswell, near Richmond in North Yorkshire, where the church has been made redundant.  The organ was made for Kirby Malzeard Methodist Church, and moved to Hudswell in 1934, according to newspaper used in re-adjusting the bearers of the wind chest.  In August 2019 it was re-installed in St Patrick’s Roman Catholic church Bradford

  • Ludlow study Day

    On Saturday July 20th the church at Ludlow organised a study day to coincide with a regular lunchtime concert by Peter Dyke on their Nicholson/Gray & Davison/Snetzler organ. It included an introduction to the larger of the two Early English Organ Project organs, by Dominic, and playing and blowing by organists at the study day.

  • Ellie assisting with assembly

    Ellie (Nick’s daughter) doing some work experience post GCSEs assisting with gluing and assembling the top case