Rare church organ almost back in tune

RESTORATION: John Faulkner, of W & A Boggis, and Bill Burton, of All Saints, with the organ which is thought to be the last of its kind in the world.

RESTORATION: John Faulkner, of W & A Boggis, and Bill Burton, of All Saints, with the organ which is thought to be the last of its kind in the world.

First published in News by

A PROJECT to restore an organ in a Malvern church, which is thought to be the last of its kind in the world, is nearing completion.

The Nicholson organ at All Saints Church, in Malvern Wells, was built using a rare system of pneumatic control known to organ specialists as Whinfield, after its creator.

But 104 years after it was installed, the instrument was showing its age, and the church secured £42,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £10,000 from the Church Buildings Council to have it restored.

Rodney Briscoe, of organ builders W & A Boggis, has spent several months bringing it back into full working order, and it is hoped it will be ready at the church’s Christmas services.

Bill Burton, of the church, said: “The Whinfield pneumatic system was only installed in a few organs, and most, if not all, of the others have been converted to electronic control. “Our organist Peter Yeadon is looking forward to playing it again, because he’s had to play an electronic keyboard for the past nine months.”

The organ will feature in a concert on Saturday, January 26, when a specially composed piece, Salt, Springs and Spirit, will be premiered. The work, by Winchcombe-based composer Helena Cavan, features community ensembles, including choirs, ukulele ensemble and brass band alongside the organ.

Tickets are available from 01905 426998 or whinfieldorgan.co.uk.

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