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.
The new Swell box was built at Nicholson’s facility according to drawings of the organ chamber at St John’s Hyde Park – on installation it fits into the space, as planned, with a 25mm clearance to the ceiling! New foot boards have been installed throughout the restored organ to ensure access can be gained for maintenance in the future.
While the organ is being rebuilt the North aisle has been taken over by trays of pipes and components and Nicholson’s have brought their own workbench and tools so that they can finalise components that weren’t fit together at their facility.
Today the first set of pipes went into the organ, these into the swell box – a mix of metal and wooden pipes. The build is expected to take around two months and so should be completed by the end of September. The decorative pipes have been restored by Elizabeth Holford and company and are in storage at her facility until they are needed for installation at St Johns. It’s been a long time in coming, but it is good to see Betty starting to come back together.