Shafts and Levers – Betty’s making progress

Cedar strip tracker action

Cedar strip tracker action

Last week, having the majority of the structure in place, the team from Nicholson made significant progress on the installation of Betty’s restored tracker action. Tracker action is a system of solid shafts and levers which open pipe valves when the keys are pressed. Betty was originally built with this system when she was built in 1865 but due to fads in the early 20th century the system was replaced with pneumatic action. The pneumatics were at the end of their life and needed replacement, so the recommendation was to go back to a mechanical tracker action. Continue reading

Betty Returns


Betty stacked up in the North aisle waiting to be re-built

Betty stacked up in the North aisle waiting to be re-built

Nicholson Organ Builders returned to site at the end of July and they have been making short work of rebuilding Betty’s casings and installing the restored tracker action and sound boards. The structure has been reinforced and the Swell box rebuilt to overcome issues with maintenance and operation. Continue reading

Faith in Music Workshop

A ‘Just A Day’ Workshop presented by The Venus Bushfires

7th September 2015

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at St John’s, Hyde Park Crescent, W2 2QD

TheVenusBushfiresThrough a combination of performance, led discussion and group activities the session will explore music’s role in our engagement with faith and spirituality.

JustADayThe Venus Bushfires (Helen Parker-Jayne Isibor) is a Nigerian born London raised composer, singer-songwriter and performance artist. The Venus Bushfires is a collective of one and many of which she is the only constant member. In 2008 she founded the Just A Day initiative, which designs and facilitates world-class expressive arts workshops.

Her musical and expressive arts career includes performing with Sir Paul McCartney and Miley Cyrus and work with Christian Dior, Sony PlayStation, Disney, Saatchi Gallery (London), London Fashion Week, Victoria and Albert Museum, Oxford University, BBC World Service, HRH The Prince of Wales, World Health Organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam and UNICEF. Her performances and workshops span the globe, from Benin City to Brazil.

Continue reading

Stencilling Workshop

Stencilling Workshop

An opportunity to learn and try some pipe decoration

11th October 2015

After the 10am Service at St John’s Hyde Park

EHolfordWShop1Elizabeth Holford has been responsible for the restoration of the decorative pipes of Betty, the 1865 Hill Organ at St John’s.

Stencilling was extensively used in the Arts and Crafts movement at the time Betty’s pipes were decorated. Recently undergoing a revival, this is an opportunity to learn about and try stencilling under the tutelage of an expert art restorer.

Everybody is welcome to join in the workshop.

During the Service Elizabeth Holford will also lead a workshop in Kids’ Club.