organ173 - Birmingham Organists' Association

Go to content



organ 173

November 2016

4 manuals
59 speaking stops

Click here for full spec

Albert Hall



J J Binns, 1909
Harrison & Harrison, 1993

Pass your mouse over a photo
for a brief description

Click on the photo to obtain
a full-size image

Click here for
Organ of the Month archive
(contains over 170 organs)

The IAO's Midlands Organ Day in 2016 was based at the Albert Hall, which houses a largely unmolested example of the work of the famous Yorkshire builder, James Jepson Binns.  He was also responsible for an instrument of similar size built for Rochdale Town Hall four years later.

The hall was constructed as a Wesleyan Methodist Mission and was designed by prominent local Methodist architect Albert Edward Lambert.  The cost of the organ (£4500 in 1909, equivalent to about £½ million today) was financed by Jesse Boot, later Lord Trent, founder of the Boots company.  Its specification was drawn up by C W Perkins, Birmingham's City Organist at that time.

In 1985 the Albert Hall closed after its Methodist congregation merged with another local church and the building was purchased by Nottingham City Council, after which a major reburbishment took place.  During this time the organ remained silent.  As a result of this and the ravages of the building's modification works, a major restoration was necessary.  An appeal was launched and Harrison's work began in September 1992 under the guidance of consultant David Butterworth. During the recent Midlands Organ Day, David gave the opening recital.

The Binns Organ Trust was founded in 1993 with the object of maintaining the instrument and promoting interest in it.

You can listen to Nottingham City Organist John Keys playing this organ as November 16's Music of the Month.

Back to content