In March 2019 we completed a restoration of the 1903 Nicholson & Co. organ in St Francis of Assisi church in Bournville, Birmingham.
The organ was originally installed as a mechanical action two-manual instrument in the Girls’ Dining Hall of the adjacent Cadbury’s chocolate factory. The opening recital was given by the then Dr Walford Davies. Provision was made to enlarge the instrument with an additional manual, which we completed in 1906. The organ was then moved a stone’s throw away to Bournville Parish Church (St Francis of Assisi) in 1926, this work being done by Conacher, Sheffield & Co. of Birmingham.
The organ returned to our care in 1933, when we installed new tubular pneumatic action throughout, re-modelled the console, and made some minor tonal changes. In 1953, we removed the Trumpet 8′ from the Great Organ soundboard onto a unit chest. The pipes were revoiced on higher pressure and the rank extended down to 16′ pitch (available on the Pedal Organ) and up to 4′ pitch (available on the Great Organ). In 1989, the local organ builder John Lloyd electrified the primary stages of the action, and made further tonal changes.
Our 2018-9 work included:
– new blower
– complete restoration of all soundboards, chests and underactions
– new electrical transmission and piston capture system
– complete rewiring of the organ
– complete restoration of wind system, including restoration of one reservoir and replacement of the other
– restoration of all pipework