Thomas Trotter's Inaugural Recital on the 29th is a brilliant occasion attended by an audience of patrons, sponsors, donors and friends, and followed by a reception at SEB.
July & August
Weeks of paintstaking voicing have been going on to fine-tune the character of each rank and to adjust every individual pipe to balance with its neighbours. UK reed specialist Dr David Frostick spends a day finishing the reeds. Kenneth Tickell's team make some further visits in August and September to listen to the overall instrument and make final adjustments.
Assembly continues this month and as voicing begins we finally hear some of the new pipework for the first time. A huge effort is made by the team to have as much of the instrument as possible playable for the Blessing of the Organ at a Eucharist on the 24th June. Despite a number of stops silent, the character of the instrument is obvious and organist Alan Wilson is clearly inspired by the striking colours. A reception follows and the Rector congratulates consultant John Norman and builder Kenneth Tickell. Voicing is expected to continue through most of July.
The church is closed to the public while the daily work is underway assembling the new instrument, but regular services continue in the Crypt Chapel. Putting new pipework into an existing case is more difficult than building a completely new structure, and there are occasional challenges posed by the interior dimensions of the old case.
The first work to be done in the church is to reconnect power supplies to the loft and to the blower room (situated in the Crypt). Scaffolding is reconfigured to allow better access for large items, and an electric hoist is placed at the top of the scaffolding tower.
The casework is cleaned and polished and the largest Pedal pipes (16ft Sub Bass and Violone) are positioned in the back of the case, as is the Swell box.
Members of the Electoral Roll attending the Annual Parochial Church Meeting get a glimpse of progress - the church is filled with boxes of wooden and metal pipes, action parts, large wooden pipes and the console.
The Rector, Parish Secretary, Director of Music and Assistant Organist board a train at Euston one morning and visit the Tickell workshop in Northampton to see action parts, soundboards, console and wooden pipes all taking shape. At the time of our visit, all members of staff were engaged in working on the St Mary-le-Bow instrument.
Metal pipes made by Shires Organ Pipes of Leeds are voiced and the Chimney Flute rank is assembled on the voicing bench for Alan to play. The Rector has a go at blowing through a newly voiced pipe, with some success...
Early in March
Progress continues running to schedule in the workshop. The upper section of the console starts to take shape, and some of the largest Pedal pipes are made.
Back in London, part of the Swell box structure is installed within the case in preparation for assembly of the organ in April.
Consultant John Norman pays another visit to the Tickell workshop and takes more pictures of the work being done there - including the first sight of the console with its elegant keyboards.
With scaffolding erected as high as the roof, Kenneth Tickell's team move in and have the old Rushworth & Dreaper instrument removed from the John Hayward case within three days. This allows for the removal of further parts of the building frame and for internal measurements to be completed.
Action components are already being constructed in Tickell's Northampton workshop.
During the six months that we are without our main organ, the four-stop chamber instrument, on permanent loan from organ tuner Michael Broadway, provides all we need, accompanying everything from cantata arias to congregational hymns.