Nicholson & Co. Ltd has 24 employees, comprising specialists in many fields of organ building such as cabinet making, actions, leatherwork, pipe making, voicing, casework and console manufacture, electrical, etc. Two apprentices are a valued part of the team, and a rigorous training programme helps to ensure that vital skills are passed on from one generation to the next.
Short biographies of the management team are provided below.
ANDREW CASKIE – MANAGING DIRECTOR
Andrew Caskie joined Nicholson & Co. in April 2016 and succeeded Andrew Moyes as managing director in March 2018 after almost two years as his assistant. He is responsible for the overall leadership, direction and safety of the firm’s work, and for the development and welfare of our 24 staff.
Prior to joining the firm, he worked in engineering project management of large infrastructure projects around the UK and Ireland such as the Queensferry Crossing. He is a former chairman of the Scottish Federation of Organists organ advisory team and was director of music at Palmerston Place Church in Edinburgh for over 12 years. His organ teachers included the late David Sanger. Andrew holds an honours degree in mechanical engineering and is a chartered engineer. In his spare time he gives occasional organ recitals, and is part of the choir and the team of organists at Great Malvern Priory. Andrew also serves presently as one of the trustees of the Institute of British Organ Building.
TIM BENNETT – FOREMAN
Tim Bennett joined us in 2007 from a background in boat-building and in the construction and repair of brass and woodwind instruments. He has become a highly skilled all-round organ builder and was promoted to become foreman in July 2020. He has responsibility for a team of 13 in the workshop, and successfully combines this with the on-site management of projects. In the workshop, he has a particular speciality in the construction of soundboards and consoles.
His considerate and collaborative approach to site work is appreciated by customers and colleagues alike. Outside work, Tim brings his organ building skills to bear in undertaking a thorough restoration of his VW camper van.
JAMES ATHERTON – HEAD VOICER
James joined Nicholson & Co. in 2005 as a tuner and voicer working under Guy Russell. He previously worked with Matthew Copley as part of the Organ Design team as head tuner. He began his career in organ building as an apprentice tuner with David Wells in Liverpool over 20 years ago. As head voicer he has particular responsibility for the manufacture, scaling and voicing of Nicholson & Co.’s pipework. Alongside his work at Nicholson & Co., James is a renowned professional tenor, having sung in several cathedral choirs including Winchester Cathedral and St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. He conducts Leominster Choral Society, has sung in most of the UK’s top ensembles and is in demand as a soloist.
MIKE LANE – DESIGNER
Mike Lane joined Nicholson & Co. in 1977 as a trainee/apprentice organ builder in the workshop. He left Malvern in 1984 and moved to Yorkshire, where he was employed at Laycock & Bannister (Nicholson & Co.) in Keighley. Having moved on to a career in cabinet making and shopfitting, Mike gained considerable experience in AutoCAD in the design office and became a draughtsman/designer. In 2002, Mike returned to Malvern and once again joined the Nicholson & Co. team in his new role as draughtsman. Mike is responsible for producing the designs from tender stage with input from colleagues on technical and tonal matters. He produces a full design from site survey to finished organ.
KEVIN DAVIES – SENIOR ORGAN BUILDER
Kevin Davies joined Nicholson & Co. on work experience straight from school in 1981 as apprentice organ builder and has been with the company ever since, working his way up to the position of foreman. After 20 years in this role, Kevin stepped back in July 2020 and now concentrates on project delivery and training of our newer team members. Kevin also still runs projects from time to time.