Rebuilding of III/36 1894 Binns / 1970 J.W. Walker & Sons organ


The organ in St Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico was built in 1894 by the famous Leeds organ builder James Jepson Binns, and speaks largely through a magnificent carved case designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield.  Funds were tight and a planned-for Solo division was never installed.  The organ had Binns’ patent pneumatic action.

After 76 years’ service, the organ was comprehensively rebuilt in 1970 by J.W. Walker & Sons of Ruislip.  The key action was electrified, the winding was converted to Walker-type compensators, the original console was replaced with a new mobile console, and significant tonal alterations were undertaken in the fashion of the day in an attempt to thin and brighten the sound of the instrument.

51 years later, we are rebuilding the organ afresh.  The main priority will be to ensure the reliability of the organ for many decades to come.  New slider soundboards with new electro-pneumatic actions are to be provided, along with a wholly new winding system.  Significant tonal revisions will be undertaken to bring the tonal centre of gravity of the organ back down towards a Romantic ethos, without trying to replicate the original Binns scheme.  A rather unsatisfactory 1970 pipe front in the north aisle will be replaced by a new case of period style.