Published in October 2005
There’s a hole in my bucket…or to be more precise, during the first week in April 2005 (this is not an April Fool’s joke) a workman working in the roofspace over the organ accidentally dropped a bucket, which punctured a large hole in the plasterwork over the Great division. This resulted in plaster and dirt debris being distributed over and in the Great pipe work.
Whilst effecting repairs from the roof void, it appears that a membrane was placed over the hole and liquid plaster poured over it. Alas, this did not involve covering the Great pipework with the result that the rear of the front pipes and several of the Open Diapason pipes on the main soundboard became splashed and deluged with wet plaster.
Builders, buckets, dry and wet plaster, lead organ pipes and soundboard leather do not make good bedfellows. On Tuesday 12th April, David Wells, organ builder from Liverpool, made a detailed inspection for the purposes of an insurance quotation which is likely to be submitted for an insurance claim by town hall staff.
David Wells (Liverpool), Nicholson’s (Worcester), and Principal Pipe Organs (York) have now submitted tenders for the organ and the decision will be made shortly as to which company will carry out the work.
Repairs to the ceiling and organ, including the cost of scaffolding, are currently in the order of £30,000 and this will be met by the insurance company.
Due to established bookings for the Ashton Hall, the work cannot commence until late June 2006 and will take an estimated nine weeks to complete, during which time, the Ashton Hall will be closed for public use.