Organs of distinction  JohnPage, Organ Builder



Restoration of the ex-Irvin's Marenghi

Main riser and back pipe chests

The main riser (in three sections) was cleaned inside with a pipe-cleaner and fitted with new leather gaskets. The chests, which are merely thick laminated boards with horizontal channels to carry pipe-wind to the various ranks, were blown out after stubborn pipe feet had been removed (done by softening the glue with denatured alcohol, fitting suitable dowels into their bores, and carefully easing them out using bottle-top grip pliers), then treated with shellac on external surfaces.

At this point I installed the newly restored action push-rods, so I could blow out dust from the action channels.

These chests had warped over the years, so I had an adjustable steel support made. This would be fixed to the RSJ holding up the main chest in the centre (perhaps not an original fitting but nonetheless very welcome). I needed to modify the stay mountings for the trumpet rank of the clarinet mixture to take account of the chest's warping. At each end, the chests rest on batten supports mounted on the case sides, and these needed to be re-positioned to prevent twisting and undue strain.

During the school summer holiday in August 2004 I busied myself on the keyframe at home. This work will be described in detail later. Graham Atkinson telephoned me from time to time. On one of these occasions he stated that he was considering transferring the organ from the lorry back onto its open trailer (newly made by Benny Irvin in the 1990s). This was an excellent idea. Better still would have been not to have transferred it in the first place. The entire outfit would have fitted under the shed roof, out of the sun's direct and damaging glare. Unfortunately, it remained only an idea, and nothing came of it.

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