Background to the Current Organ
The original two-manual organ was built in 1866 by Wadsworth, and rebuilt in 1897 by Alexander Young. It was rebuilt again in 1961 by Smethurst.
In 1985 the organ was inspected by Rushworth and Draper who had maintained the instrument for a significant number of years. They reported that basically the instrument is of sound construction and apart from electrical mechanisms may be expected to function well for many years to come. An estimate was submitted for replacing the electrical mechanism for £13000 plus VAT. They were assured that when these repairs were completed the organ will remain reliable and not need any further major works until 25 years. They were true to their word.
Philip Underwood (organist and choirmaster at the time sitting at the former organ console prior to renovation).
You can see the original organ to the left. Please NB the wooden pipes to the front.
The Organ Casing.
Carved by a master carpenter from Mobberley working for Browns and Son Builders of Wilmslow. Mr Brown commissioned the casing as a memorial to his wife. The carvings are in keeping with those behind the main altar depicting beehive, dog, lion and strawberry.
The spoons and scissors were to remember Mrs Brown sewing while she enjoyed a cup of tea. The workmens tools were the trade mark of the master craftsmen involved in the creation of this organ casing.
Proposed Organ Schemes 2012
The former organ case with the new 2018 pipework is situ.
The New Principal Pipe Organ from 2018.
The organ underwent a comprehensive restoration in late 2017 after £250,000 was raised to save and restore the organ. It was upgraded to a 3-manual specification with 42 speaking stops.
‘We hope very much that the community of Wilmslow will make full use of this exciting venue which is there for the benefit of all in accordance with the intentions of its 15th century builders.’ (Philip Underwood).
Some images of the new pipe organ taken in 2021.
Photos taken by Tim Harvey the current Director of Music within the parish.
The Opening Organ Recital Saturday 10th March 2018
The organ recital was given by Roger Fisher (former Organist and Master of the Choristers of Chester Cathedral).
Fantasie in E flat – Camille Saint-Saens.
Prelude – Hansel und Gretel – Englebert Humperdinck
Pastorale in F major – J.S. Bach
Woll O’ the Wisp – Gordon Balch Nevin
Sonata No 1 in D minor – Alexandre Guilmant.
Left to right: Peter Johnson, Robin Dixon, Roger Fisher, Geoffrey Coffin, Philip Underwood.