Repair of WWI memorial pipe organ

by Paul Greenwood in Bury, Greater Manchester, England

Repair of WWI memorial pipe organ
We did it
On 19th January 2018 we successfully raised £42 with 3 supporters in 56 days

Repair of a WWI Great War Memorial Pipe Organ (and hopefully purchase a 2nd hand electronic organ for our sister church)

by Paul Greenwood in Bury, Greater Manchester, England

St Peter's War Memorial

Back in 1994 the organ was restored at a cost of £20,000. Various parts were renewed, repaired and cleaned. One of the parts (there are actually 58 of them in total) were not as these were in good condition—24 years ago.

I cannot remember when the organ was last restored before 1994, so these parts must be over 50 years old and get a fair bit of hammering every week. The parts are called “pulldown pneumatics”. There is one pulldown pneumatics per black and white key on the upper keyboard and they connect the keyboard to a valve under each pipe.

It is extremely difficult for me to get photographs of the internal mechanism of the organ due to it being inside the organ. However, this pictures (which was taken by the organ builder) shows what they are (one is arrowed):

These pulldown pneumatics valves are breaking up as the leather deteriorates with age (like us all!) We estimate that they are around 100 years old. If they are not rebuilt, they will fail and 1/3rd of the organ will be unplayable. The organ tuners estimate it is going to cost £5,000 to remove the 58 valves from the back of the organ, take them to the workshop, remove all the leather, rebuild them and then re-install and set them up. It is a very labour intensive job done by hand.

It would be nice to get them sorted as the organ is 100 years old in Easter 2020. 

It was built in 1920 (along with a plaque) in memory of those who fell in the Great War.

If you feel you can donate some money to the repair the organ, would be really kind of you. You will be adding to the history of the organ, an extremely important Memorial to those who fell in the Great War, and live music.

St. Thomas' Organ

It would also be nice if a 2nd hand electronic organ could be purchased for our sister church, StThomas', which has suffered a lot of damage due to a leaking roof and basically destroyed the Historical Organ with water damage. It would cost over £300,000 to repair. Meanwhile, they are making do with a small home electronic organ which is dying. The roof has been sorted.

Both organs are in the parish of Bury Roch Valley:

The St. Thomas' organ is not good. Here are the photographs: Photographs

If anyone wants to look and/or play them, feel free to contact me. St. Thomas' organ CANNOT be played due to the power being disconnected, but can be looked at. Samuel Sebastian Wesley has played a recital in March 1868 on the organ at St. Thomas'.  More information can be found at: 

Thank you, Paul Greenwood

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