Blog

The blog shows a record of our past and current work. Please click on the post for the full details
  • This year’s Christmas Card

    LATE 1890s 87 KEY GAVIOLI This organ was built in the 1890s and was housed in the three-abreast gallopers on the sea front at Mablethorpe Lincolnshire, owned at the time by the Gray family.  These instruments were built to represent a medium-sized orchestra, the main sounds being trombones, saxophones, violins, clarinets and piccolos.  The opulent …

  • Access to the pallet box at Lillington

    The organ had been moved to the church by John Budgen in 1998, against the wall, so the lower half of the organ had to be moved out for access, and back again to connect with the blower. 

  • New pallet springs fitted into the Lillington organ

    New pallet springs fitted into the Lillington organ

  • Dominic making new springs for the Lillington organ

    I enjoy making pallet springs on the jig which Martin made in 1980.  It demands a degree of dexterity and over forty years of experience…

  • Corrosion in the Lillington organ’s pallet box

    Why some yellow pine seems to be so corrosive, and others not, is from the user’s point of view a mystery.  Presumably ‘yellow pine’ from North America, as bought from the timber merchant, is a generic term for many varieties, some corrosive, most not.

  • Lillington corroded pallet spring

    The organ at Lillington near Sherborne in Dorset was made by T.C.Bates in about 1840.  It is a four stop organ, with swell front and short pedalboard, but most ingeniously a drop-down dumb organist to replace the human one, the barrel playing the keys.  The reason for the ciphers was the corrosion of the pallet …

  • Thomas Mace organ as far as it has got…

    A picture of Edward’s great nephew Oscar Bennett with the wind chest and the pipes (racked in by Oscar).  Unfortunately the project has stalled, until more funding is forthcoming and a stimulus towards a different home than the flying music room, which may not now happen.

  • Tracker offcut Christmas trees

    Christmas encourages creativity – an abundance of offcuts from the trackers for the Peter Conacher organ at Merthyr Tydfil stimulated another set of coloured Christmas trees

  • Swan Singers with the Wingfield Organ

    At the beginning of December the traditional crib festival was held at St Cuthberts Wells (200 model cribs of varying materials and styles from round the world) with music provided by a wide variety of musicians, including a Wells chamber choir (including Antonia Gwynn and for this occasion Dominic) and with music from the Wingfield …

  • Margaret Phillips plays Art of Fugue

    On Thursday November 25th at 6.00pm Margaret Phillips will play movements of J.S.Bach’s Art of Fugue on the Richards Fowkes organ at St George’s Hanover Square, to launch her new CD.  It is an excellent organ for the music, and Margaret’s playing reveals its inspiration. 

  • Concert at St Peter Pilning

    On November 6th members of Ystradivarius, see https://ystradivarius.com/, gave a lovely concert of baroque music with the William Allen chamber organ, with John Cheer playing the organ in Handel Organ concertos and Stanley voluntaries.  David Lewis violin played a Leclair sonata, and Claudine Cassidy cello played a capriccio by Joseph dall’Abaco.  Thanks to Jonathan and …

  • Jennifer Bate memorial concert

    Jennifer Bate memorial concert

  • Handel House Museum

    Dominic helped to move the 1754 Snetzler bureau organ from the Handel House Museum, which is expanding into its ground floor and basement, see https://thehallelujahproject.org/

  • Richard playing his Russell chamber organ

    Richard playing his Russell chamber organ

  • Richard Hobson’s Russell chamber organ

    Dominic has helped Richard Hobson to collect the 1786 Hugh Russell chamber organ which he bought from Sotheby’s recently.  The organ has recently belonged to two collectors, and was probably in the church at Patney in Wiltshire before that.  It was repaired by organ builders in Devizes in 1909, an organ builder in Bath in …

  • Flute organ interior

    Henry has written an article about the Flute Organ for the summer 2020 edition of The Musical Box (the journal of the Musical Box Society of Great Britain https://www.mbsgb.org.uk/)  

  • Henry Bennett’s flute organ

    Henry has recorded Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu on the flute organ which we restored last year:

  • Edward’s farewell box

    For Edward’s retirement the craftspeople of the Harley Foundation studios made a box with miniature versions of their work.  For the makers see the website: https://www.harleygallery.co.uk/harley-studios/

  • Fiona Hutchinson’s hand removing blemishes in the decorated paint finish of the front pipes

    Fiona Hutchinson’s hand removing blemishes in the decorated paint finish of the front pipes

  • Upperboards waiting to go into the organ with new top hats to encourage stability

    Upperboards waiting to go into the organ with new top hats to encourage stability

  • Re-assembled Swell stop action and composition mechanism with Great wind trunk interfering

    Re-assembled Swell stop action and composition mechanism with Great wind trunk interfering

  • Chris starting on the new Pedal key action

    Chris starting on the new Pedal key action

  • Rob working on the cut-off valve

    Rob sitting on the blower box working on the cut-off valve between the two reservoirs

  • Working on the organ at Theatr Soar Merthyr Tydfil

    Rob in the basement working on the wind system and Chris on the ground floor (002)

  • Continuing installation at Theatr Soar Merthyr Tydfil

    We have been installing the mechanism in the 1893 Peter Conacher organ.  The wind system has two reservoirs and is powered by hand, water engine (restored by James Richardson Jones) or electric blower.  The pneumatic Pedal key action, supplied in 1938 with two extra stops, has been replaced with a new mechanical key action copied …

  • Inter-manual couplers

    One of the faults was in the inter-manual coupler, which could not be adjusted.  The keys are Hill 1858, and rely on a saw cut which leaves a piece of short grain to provide a spring against which the adjustment screw pushes, which is now often broken.   

  • Sloping organist’s bench

    I have never seen an organist’s bench with the seat sloping forwards, not surely an advantage

  • Oscar Bennett tuning at St Andrew Undershaft

    Oscar Bennett tuning at St Andrew Undershaft.

  • Repairs to St Andrew Undershaft

    Dominic and Edward’s great nephew Oscar Bennett carried out two weeks of repairs to the organ at St Andrew Undershaft.  It is an organ by William Hill 1858 and 1875, using earlier pipework and case by Renatus Harris 1696 and Byfield 1749, and with additions and alterations by Speechley in 1889 (Swell organ), Walker 1926 …

  • Edward taking his tools home

    Edward packing and taking his tools home……