Published in October 2005
Consultant Paul Hale and Chairman Colin Parsons worked together, inspecting the organ on Monday 4/Tuesday 5 April at which time Paul took over 200 digital photographs for his detailed report.
At this stage, we can report that despite the plaster damage and dust and dirt which has accumlated over the past 90 years, there are many favourable findings such as the number of bellows which have already been re-leathered following the fire in 1976, and the electrification of all the manual divisions. These will represent a real saving in financial terms for the proposed cleaning and overhaul.
During the inspection, it was discovered that the Gamba on the Great was originally situated on the Choir division. It is a matter of speculation, but highly probable, given the names of the Diapasons on the Great, that in 1909 there was a Small Open Diapason. The evidence for this is a rackboard vaneer to accommodate the smaller scale Gamba.
The replacement rank (Geigen Principal 8′) on the Choir is stamped Great Octave (4′) and it is clear that a new bottom octave was manufactured. At the same time (1934), the Choir division was enclosed in an expression chamber and access for maintenance and tuning has been made more difficult as a result. So cramped is the space that the expression chamber has its shutters on the roof and tests reveal that the change of volume is negligable.
The enclosure itself is a simple construction made from two thicknesses of tounged and grooved floorboarding with the second layer at 90o to the first, no doubt for strength. Unlike the quality expression chambers on the Swell and the Solo, there is no filling between the inner and outer layers. Consideration is currently being given as to its retention.
Close inspection of the front pipes reveals that they have not been covered in gold leaf, with the consequence that refurbishment will be considerably cheaper than originally anticipated.
A fuller version of the report will be published once it is available.