organ170 - Birmingham Organists' Association

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organ 170

August 2016

3 manuals
49 speaking stops

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Mossley Hill

Parish Church



Henry Willis, 1874, 1937, 1953
Sidney Reeves, 1981

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This original "Father" Willis organ was a smaller instrument of 40 stops, with the console at ground level and the case lower inside the arch of the organ chamber.  It had tracker action and was blown by hand.  In 1908, a blowing chamber was built to the right of the console comprising electric motors, feeds and heavy pressure double rise bellows.

Willis & Sons undertook a much-needed rebuild in 1937, at which time the whole organ (including the console) was raised so that it now completly fills the vertical space of the chamber's arch. 

As a result of the church being bombed in 1940, the organ - which had fortunately sustained only limited damage to its case pipes - was dismantled and stored in a country church.  It was eventually restored in 1953, and in 1964 the action was electrified. During 1980, another rebuild was carried our by the local builder Sid Reeves, who also provided a two-manual Nave console from which part of the organ can be played.

Wind pressures range from 4 inches (Great & Pedal) and 7 inches (Swell & Great reeds), to 13½ inches (Ophicleide & French Horn) and 18 inches (Tuba). 

You can listen to Simon Gregory playing another "Father" Willis organ as August 16's Music of the Month.

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