Special features of our organ
The ‘horizontal trumpet’: trumpet-shaped pipes can be seen pointing forward, projecting the brilliance of the trumpet sound into the body of the church.
The organ pipes are decorated beautifully in red and gold, creating a magnificent artistic effect against the background of the rose window.
Changes made to our organ since it was first built
Further work was done on the organ at later dates, including 1888, 1931, and 1968.
In 1888 and 1931 work was done in order to solve some problems, for example: noisy ’action’ – when keys were played they made a distracting ’clicking’ sound’; also problems with ‘winding’, i.e. the wind power was not sufficient to maintain a strong sound, and when a loud piece of music was being played, the sound would fade and die away too quickly.
In the revision undertaken in 1968, further rows of pipes were added, which produced sounds in imitation of those used in French organs at that time. These were included as part of the organ when I first played on it, in the late 1980s.
The most recent overhaul of the organ was undertaken in 2006, under the direction of Ian Bell. Advisers in this project included Paul Inwood, Catherine Christmas, Elizabeth Stratford and Nicholas Thistlethwaite. I also attended at least one of the meetings as an observer.
The main aim of this project was to restore the organ as nearly as possible to its original character. This was achieved through much detailed discussion involving the advisers mentioned above, and the Deans of the Cathedral: Canon Tony Whale, followed by Mgr. Jeffrey Scott and Canon Tim Madeley. An organ fund to help finance the project was also set up by Canon Tony Whale.