Organ rebuild project

The organ at St. Andrew's Church is being restored at an estimated cost of £110,000

Read about the Organ Rebuild project (below)...

History of the Organ

To watch a short interview recorded during the start of the works with Colin Marston,  St. Andrew's Organist                                    click on the link below:


During the last six months the PCC has been discussing the proposed rebuilding of the organ in St. Andrew’s, which was last refurbished in 1991. This rebuild alleviated many of the faults the instrument was showing at that time but some of these are now resurfacing while, inevitably over the course of time, others are appearing. It is usual that organs need some sort of major attention every 20 or 25 years.

The PCC has received two estimates for the cost of the work that needs to be done and has agreed in principle to accept the estimate of Andrew Carter (Wakefield). A.J.Carter Ltd is an accredited builder in the IBO (Institute of British Organs) register and has recently completed an excellent rebuild of the organ at St. Patrick’s, Patterdale.  Andrew is also currently carrying out work at St. Oswald’s, Grasmereand carrying out a phased rebuild of the organ at Bradford Cathedral.  The firm also maintains and tunes the organs in Leeds Town Hall, Rochdale Town Hall, Leeds Minster, Grimsby Parish Church, Sheffield RC Cathedral and others and would take over the maintenance and tuning of St. Andrew’s organ after the rebuild.

The main areas of concern identified in his report are:

(1) the replacement of the leatherwork on the bellows (the bellows are the original ones installed in 1868 when the organ chamber was constructed and something  rather simpler and less cumbersome is proposed)

(2 ) to clean and re-voice the pipe work

(3) to incorporate a more modern and quieter drawstop system

(4) to overhaul completely the pedal organ, which has caused a number of problems in recent years

(5) to update the electrical system and technology to modern standards

(6) to restore the highest notes on the organ, which were not dealt with in the 1991 rebuild.

In addition the PCC has agreed to two changes to stops on the organ, which should enhance its sound, and to the painting of the pipes visible at the front of the organ case, which will greatly enhance their appearance.

The overhaul will take up to six months to complete and it is planned that the work will take place in the first few months of 2015. It is not envisaged that this will cause disruption to the regular worship of St. Andrew’s, though scaffolding will need to be erected on the organ side of the chancel for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the work and again in the last month when everything is put together again and this may involve some occasional weekday closures.

The total cost of the rebuild will be between £100,000 and £110,000 of which about 80% is in hand through the generous legacy of the late Donald Richardson and money already in St. Andrew’s Organ Fund.  We may be able to raise some of the remaining costs through grants but there will also be a number of fund-raising events in the next year or so, which we hope will be well supported by members of the congregation and others, and the opportunity for individuals to donate to the fund. Further information about these will be available in the coming weeks.

We are fortunate in having at St. Andrew’s one of the finest organs in the county and the rebuild should ensure that the organ is kept in good condition for many years to come.

Colin Marston, St. Andrew's Organist

April 2014