Bob Pennells restoration of 1832 Joseph Walker Chamber organ

This is the earliest surviving organ from the workshop of J.W.Walker, dating from 1832. It was not a brilliantly made organ, apart from the pipes and their voicing, which are excellent. The stop list is: Stopped Diapason, Dulciana cº – f³, and Principal. The compass is GG AA – f³. There is an octave of toe pedals.

The restoration work was carried out by Dominic Gwynn. There was a certain amount of rather amateurish repair work of the 1960s perhaps, and much of the 1988 work consisted of re-inforcing, repairing and replacing this work. The quality of the original 1832 materials was not good – the rackboard was made of an imported tropical timber which had almost disintegrated. The original lime keys had twisted and were either straightened with heat or planed on one side and packed on the other. The Schmidt seals were removed from under the sliders, screws along the splits screwed beneath the surface and the running grooves deepened to where they were originally. The voicing was returned to the original as far as possible.

An 1860s Walker dumb organist was repaired and tested on the local organ.