The Church of St Barnabas, Ealing was designed just before the First World War by the architect, Ernest Shearman. The foundation stone was laid on 13 June 1914 and the completed church was consecrated two years later by the Bishop of London.
It was originally intended to install a 3-manual, 44-rank organ by Henry Willis & Co in the church but, because of rising costs following the First World War, this was never carried out. Instead, a ‘temporary’ small 2-manual organ was installed in the 1920s which remained for 90 years. However, by 2007, this had now reached the end of its life and was beyond economic repair.
The opportunity arose to install a magnificent 3-manual 1877 William Hill organ which had become surplus to requirements following major rebuilding at St Jude’s Church, Southsea. The specification of this organ is very similar to that which was originally intended for St Barnabas.
In May 2009, Nicholson & Co. began the job of dismantling and storing the St Jude’s organ in preparation for the commencement of its re-build in January 2011. The proposal was to re-install the organ in the west-end gallery with the main case, with Great organ behind, located centrally below the magnificent rose window. Although the stop-list, tonality and appearance of the case and console were to be unaltered, we were keen to preserve the ethos of the old organ and adopt a sensible re-design of action and winding where the new layout necessitated change.
The re-build of this outstanding organ was completed in June 2011 and dedicated by the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Rt Reverend Graeme Knowles, on 10th July 2011.