Originally built by William Hill in 1865 on a west gallery, the organ of St John’s Church, Hyde Park, London was moved to the north choir position in 1910 and converted from tracker to tubular pneumatic by Rushworth & Dreaper in 1925. The move resulted in a very awkward layout with parts of the Swell and Pedal organs difficult or impossible to tune.
With generous assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the organ has been rebuilt in the spirit of Hill but with a modern mechanical action. A new pedal soundboard and reconfigured swell soundboard have been installed to solve the accessibility problems. The decorated case pipes were restored in Bristol by the conservators Elizabeth Holford Associates.
Tonal amendments carried out c.1934 were reversed (excepting Pedal): the Choir Corno Flute 8′ was returned to its former role as a Swell Salicional 8′ (replacing a 1934 Echo Gamba), a mid-19th century Nicholson Gemshorn 4′ was added to the Choir in place of the Corno Flute, and a mid-19th century Hill Vox Humana 8′ was added to the Swell in place of the 1934 Voix Celeste.
The organ was completed in the autumn of 2015.
Watch a video of the removal of the organ.