Cartwright & Cartwright
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Several BOA members visited the Stoke area on what turned out to be an extremely wet Saturday earlier this year. The first visit was to a RC church in Wolstanton, where we heard a heart-warming story of great enterprise and patience over 13 years as the local community raised £125,000 to build a fine new organ here.
The project was masterminded by resident organist David West and local organ builders Keith Cartwright and his son Philip. It began in 2004 when Dave visited Engedi Methodist Chapel, Brymbo, North Wales and rescued a II/19 instrument by Rushworth & Dreaper dating from the 1920s following the chapel's closure in 2003.
This alone was insufficient for the size of the St Wulstan building, but more ranks from other redundant instruments were gathered over the years as fund-raising continued. Platforms had to be constructed on either side of the west-end choir gallery to take all the extra pipework (see central photo) and a new console was provided with modern playing aids.
Great care was taken by the builders to source compatible ranks of pipes and careful voicing has produced an instrument speaking with a coherence in the choruses that belies it multifaceted origins. The organ now comprises over 2500 pipes and the parish can be justly proud of what it has achieved.