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Grasmere, Lake District


Restoration, electrification and upgrading of 1923 III/28 Binns organ, rebuilt by J.W. Walker & Sons in 1964


The organ in St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere, was built by the Leeds firm of J.J. Binns (it was the firm’s Op. 953) in 1923.  The organ was a gift from Mr & Mrs John Taylor in memory of their daughter Nellie, a military ambulance driver who died on active service in France on 27 June 1918.

The organ was altered by the London firm of J.W. Walker & Sons during an overhaul in 1964.  The cork stoppers (often a rare weak point in Binns organs) in metal pipes were replaced with felted canisters.  The Tromba 8′ was removed from the Great soundboard and placed on a new chest.  The Great Flautina 2′ was replaced by a new Fifteenth 2′ of bolder tonality.  The Flautina rank was re-used, and in turn replaced a Gamba 8′ on the Choir.  The slider vacated by the Tromba was used for a new three-rank Mixture.  In 2004, the Tromba was placed on higher wind pressure by Victor Savile.

In our work, all of the pipework was cleaned and restored, retaining the undeniably successful alterations of 1964.  All of the soundboards and chests were restored, and the primary actions were converted from pneumatic to electro-pneumatic.  The console was also restored.  The reservoir made in 2004 for the Tromba was replaced with new.  The leather on the Binns reservoirs (possibly not original) remained sound; given their relative ease of extraction in isolation, their restoration was deferred to a later date.