Blog

The blog shows a record of our past and current work. Please click on the post for the full details
  • Theatr Soar lifting the Swell wind chest

    The Swell wind chest being hoisted through the scaffolding in front of the organ…

  • Theatr Soar Conacher destination label

    This is included for its beautiful if eccentric hand-writing.  Goetze and Gwynn just took the parts in a van…

  • Theatr Soar bellows in position

    The 1893 Peter Conacher organ was built over four levels, the bellows below the console, the mechanism to the Great wind chest, the Great chest and pipes, and the Swell chest, pipes and box above. 

  • Theatr Soar Merthry Tydfil: the bellows being moved by Edward and Rob out of the Dance and Exercise studio

    On March 14th – 16th 2021 the restored wind chests, bellows and swell box was moved back to Theatr Soar.  The project has been somewhat held up by the present conditions, but the heavy parts are now back while the scaffolding and hoist are still in place.

  • Wynnstay organ: Art and Stuff

    I was reading the Art Fund quarterly magazine, and a picture of the Wynnstay organ in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff caught my eye.  It led me on to an Art Fund podcast: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/art-and-stuff/the-wynnstay-organ-ykjSzhbGCZt/  It has to be said that you don’t hear the organ much (Andrew Willson Dickson) with snatches of Thomas …

  • The cleaned and repaired Swell Gemshorn

    Joe has cleaned and repaired the Swell Gemshorn for the 1890 Peter Conacher organ at Theatr Soar, Merthyr Tydfil

  • Edward working on the Swell Windchest

    Edward working on the Swell Windchest on the restoration of 1890 Peter Conacher organ at Theatr Soar, Merthyr Tydfil. He is burning through the glue soaked cotton tape inside each individual wind bar, this is done to ensure structural integrity and minimise the chances of future runnings.

  • Trinity College Dublin Chair case plinth joining new to old

    Trinity College Dublin Chair case plinth joining new to old

  • Trinity College Dublin Chair case new carved friezes for the plinth side returns

    Trinity College Dublin Chair case new carved friezes for the plinth side returns

  • Trinity College Dublin Chair case replacement carved panels

    The metal sheet behind the tower pipe shades had also been used to disguise missing carved panels.  Nick copied the surviving originals.  He did similar repairs to the frieze carving on the plinth, made new carvings in the same style for the sides, and gilded them.

  • Trinity College Dublin Chair case tower shades during restoration

    Trinity College Dublin Chair case tower shades during restoration

  • Trinity College Dublin Chair case tower cap pre-restoration

    The Chair case was made in 1705, also of pine.  This picture shows the dark brown paint applied after 1945, and the chocolate paint covering the front pipes.  The gilding was applied to honour an honorary fellowship awarded to the King of Spain in 1981.

  • Trinity College Dublin Great case middle tower with restorer

    Nick fitting the roofs of the 1684 Great case towers, before fitting the supports for the royal arms on the centre tower, and those for Dublin and the College on the side towers.

  • Trinity College Dublin Chair case new side and back panels and frames

    A view of the Chair organ from the Great wind chest, showing the case without the tower caps and roofs.  The front had survived as a screen, fortunately with enough evidence at the corners to show what the side panels looked like.  When the organ was moved to the Public Theatre in the 1790s the …

  • Trinity College Dublin Great case new return panels and mouldings

    Much of the top case was intact, though it still needed a new back frame, new roofs and  return panels to the towers and new mouldings, where the originals had been removed in 1839.  Not surprisingly, putting all this back helped to stabilize the case.  In this picture the front frame still has its post-War …

  • Trinity College Dublin fitting the case panels and mouldings

    The 1684 case was constructed in a way that meant it could only be re-assembled completely on site, with some of the mouldings added after assembly of the panel frames, etc.  It had also been nailed and patched over the centuries to such an extent that almost every joint and edge had had to be …

  • Trinity College Dublin side view

    Trinity College Dublin side view with restored Great case side panels and new Chair and Pedal case side panels

  • Trinity College Dublin Great upper case during installation

    It is difficult to show in photographs the ingenuity of Nick’s solutions to the problems.  In this photograph one can see that the impost is now straight, upright and secure, though it still carries the same heavy weight.  There is still a separate support structure, to which all the old parts of the case are …

  • Trinity College Dublin Great upper case before restoration

    The 1684 Great case and the 1705 Chair case were in appalling condition when we took the organ to pieces.  The Great case was top-heavy, and what internal stability there may have been had been removed when Telford introduced a new organ with its own support structure in 1839.  The cases had been taken to …

  • David Hindle’s Snetzler bureau organ case finished keyboard surround

    Snetzler himself would surely have been delighted with the care and attention to detail paid to his work…

  • David Hindle’s Snetzler bureau organ case keyboard surround

    The upright front rail below the keys is original, with a battered but original finish.  Nick made the flat keyboard surround and stop jambs at the sides to match it and the rest of the case.  The mouldings had all been lost, and had to be reconstructed from surviving Snetzler cases.   

  • David Hindle’s Snetzler bureau organ case during polishing

    The finished case with its side panels.  The lower case sides had original panels, but had lost their veneers.  The undecorated back panel was original, but the top case sides were made from the ca1810 alterations.  The doors were new, with dummy front pipes made out of the ca1810 dummy front.  There is nothing like …

  • David Hindle’s Snetzler bureau organ case Nick veneering side

    Veneering is a skill which Nick has not made much use of with us, apart from occasional repairs, so it was an instruction and a pleasure to see him at it.

  • David Hindle’s Snetzler bureau organ case pre-restoration

    The challenging projects are not always the larger ones.  This organ had started off as a 1754 Snetzler bureau organ, with Snetzler’s usual hand-written label chopped out of the back of the pallet box and mounted.  It had been rebuilt a couple of times, including once by a harmonium builder who provided a free-reed pedal.  …

  • Georgian chamber organ finished case in music room

    Georgian chamber organ finished case in music room

  • Georgian chamber organ top case set up in workshop

    Georgian chamber organ top case set up in workshop

  • Georgian Chamber organ tower mouldings being turned

    In 2012 we made a new large chamber organ in the style of mid-18th century England, for the music room of a private customer.  It was a wonderful project altogether.  Nick made most of the beautiful case, including the round mouldings to the tower caps, seen here using Phil Neal’s lathe.

  • Working on Odiham’s case

    Nick working on the Odiham case front during staying, edging the case on the spindle moulder and fitting the silvered brass stop labels to the jambs..

  • Odiham lower case being lifted into place

    Nick helped us a great deal with his knowledge of machinery, moving heavy organ parts into position, etc.  This is one of those exciting moments in the life of a new organ, when the finished but partly dis-assembled organ is moved into position.

  • Odiham gallery from the organ loft

    The gallery at Odiham presented a challenge because it could not be assembled in the workshop and had to be fitted to a platform incorporated into the building, with steel supports to the floor.  The style is based on the gallery rails of the two galleries at the west end of the aisles, on either …