We have now completed building the new organ for St Mary's Church, Bampton, Oxfordshire. The organ in St Marys Church was built around 1812 by William Gray and modernised in around 1870 by Gray & Davison. We have restored and reused all of the original pipework, adding new Mixtures on the swell and great, and a new Cornopean on the swell. The original casework and gold leafed front pipes have all been reused and the casework has been extended with matching panels to accommodate the new layout of the chests.
The new console, chests, bellows and wind system have all been designed and built in our factory.
The console is mobile and has several plug in points to allow for flexible worship and concerts.
For progress pictures during the restoration, please visit the Bampton page.
This organ was built by Peter Collins in 1977 for the Turner Sims hall, Southampton University. The hall suffered water damage and the decision was made to donate the organ to St Bartholomew's Church, Orford. The restoration project began with the organ having been in storage for a number of years, so much of the work undertaken was to restore the organ initially, with further works to improve a number of aspects which had previously been reported on whilst it was in Southampton.
When we started work on the organ, we had three main focuses. Firstly we needed to restore the pipework. As pictured in the gallery, many of the pipes had become flattened whilst in storage. They had been packed away by another organ builder who hadn't expected the organ to be in storage for an extended period of time. Our pipemaker used our large range of mandrils to firstly re-shape the pipes. All pipes were then put on our voicing machine to ensure they speak correctly. The original voicing style was kept.
Our second focus was to ensure the main components were up to scratch. All chests were restored, new schwimmer regulators, bellows and trunks fitted. We also built a new matching red oak cabinet to fit the blower and bellows which also incorporates the organists music.
And finally, the third focus was to look at what problems there had been whilst it was at Southampton University. We had access to extensive reports, detailing where the organ wasn't performing at it's best. We used these reports to put a plan together to carry out the following:
- Replace the original trackers which were 8.5mm wide by 3mm thick, with new ones measuring 8mm wide by 0.9mm thick to make the action much lighter
- Improved the wind system by adding new schwimmers, tremulants, and slider solenoids
- Installed a new capture system and display with 199 general settings.
- Removed the Brustwerk doors and fit shutters with a balanced expression pedal to improve the expression of this department.
Head to our Gallery to view progress pictures.
The church have their own website which will provide further information on the project, a link to their donation page, and photos from the installation of the casework. www.orfordorganproject.com
The organ was completely rebuilt using new slider chests with built in schwimmers, new trunks, swell box and shutters, and new console and bellows. We reused some of the Porritt pipework and casework. Additional Stinkens pipework was used for some of the stops.
Ian Carter carried out the voicing and fine-tuning with close cooperation of organist Robert Foreman BMus FRCO FTCL, and organ advisor Paul Hale MA FRCO ARCM FRSCM .
"Superb craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail and supreme artistry! I cannot fault Cousans Organs in any way and there was always a mug of tea and a slice of cake when I visited the workshop in Coalville. We now have more or less a new organ in the original and very fine 1893 case. It is fully electrified with digital transmission from a brand new console. The organ is a credit to Cousans Organs and a testimony to their skill and enthusiasm. "
-Robert Foreman BMus FRCO FTCL Organist of St. Peter’s Church, Market Bosworth
Head to our Gallery to view more pictures.
The barrel organ was built in 1820 by T.C Bates & Son Ltd, London and still has all it's original parts. We have carried out a general restoration using the same materials that were used back in 1820. We releathered the bellows, repaired the mechanism, cleaned and voiced the pipes and polished the case.
Please see our historic page for a video of the organ in action after the restoration.