Organ update – July 2014

Those of you reading this who are regular worshippers at St Stephen’s, I hope you have had a chance to look at the craftsmanship in the console which is now in the north transept. Work is still progressing and the photographs below show the brand new Bassoon pipework that will go on the Swell, details of the rewirinng that is being done to the 1960s chests and some of the new chests ready to take their pipework. The build is heading towards the final assembly in the workshop before moving everything into church where the final work will be completed on site. We are so nearly there now!

Organ update – May 2014

The craftsmen at Brownes are continuing to work hard on our organ, and the photos below show how things are getting on. The console in particular is very close to being finished and will be brought to church in the next couple of weeks or so. Click on the thumbnails for full size images with a description of what is shown.

Quodlibet Concert in St Stephen’s – 3rd May

A concert of varied vocal music at 7.30pm on Saturday 3 May, in St Stephen’s, in aid of the organ appeal. Sung by Quodlibet, a quintet of professional singers led by Dr Peter Giles, and including Neil Richards who is known to many of us as our usual soloist in the Fauré Requiem on Remembrance Sunday. The programme will include both sacred and secular music from across the centuries. Admission is by programme, available from Steve Barker, or by emailing {This email is obscured. Your must have javascript enabled to see it} – £5 each. If you know of other people who would be interested, please spread the word and help us fill the church for what promises to be an outstanding concert – don’t miss out!

Organ update – April 2014

As you’ll be able to see from the photographs below, the console is now very nearly finished – all that remain to do is the drawstops, which are being turned by hand, so will be unique for our organ, not mass-produced!

The new pipe chests are being made, and will shortly be fitted with electro-magnets. Once this is completed, attention will turn to reassembling the instrument and voicing the pipework so that it blends together as a single musical instrument made up of many parts.

Construction of the new organ console

Visiting Browne’s today, I had the opportunity to see how the new console was coming along. It is crafted out of solid oak and consequently should outlast all of us! There are, however, a couple of items that have been included from our previous organ console – in particular the pedal board which was already very high quality and has been stripped down and refinished.

There are a few photographs below – click on the thumbnail image for the full size picture.

Organ update – February 2014

I had the opportunity to visit Browne’s workshop again today to get an update on how things were progressing. You’ll be able to see a number of things from the pictures below, in particular:

  • Repaired casework, free from any evidence of woodworm damage
  • The new plinth for the console, so that the console can be used in different positions around the church
  • Pipework cleaned, and new pipework selected

Over the next couple of weeks, the new console will be assembled and wired up. Once this is done it can be connected to the soundboards, and the pipework carefully put back in. New soundboards will need to be made for the additional pipework.

January update on the Organ

It’s now over two months since Browne’s removed our organ and took it to their workshops for repair. All of the pipework has been cleaned, with dents rounded out and splits repaired. The photographs below show repairs to the casework, where wood with active woodworm had to be completely removed. There are also photos of repairs made to the pneumatic motors that let air into the pedal pipes.

Work is now progressing with the construction of the new console and platform, so I will be returning to the workshop in a couple of weeks to see how things are going. Once this is constructed, pipework can be put back into place and we will be able to hear our organ sing again!

With thanks to Stephen Bailey, Director of F H Browne & Sons, for permission to reproduce his photographs.

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