Tuesday 19 May 2009

All hands on deck

Yesterday was a landmark day in this final phase of the organ restoration programme: the new console arrived at the Cathedral. It was all hands on deck, with a large group of organ builders on site for what was a very long day.

The Willis Organs van only left the Cathedral just before Midnight; it had arrived in the morning carrying some precious cargo!

Everything arrived in pieces and was brought in through the west doors before being lifted into the organ loft by means of a temporary scaffold.

Here's a first glimpse of the manuals...

... and here the pedal board is seen waiting to be lifted to its home.

Our blog's cameras provided a momentary distraction for the workers as they lifted the first pieces of the new console into place. Even though the console was dismantled there was some fairly heavy lifting to be done.

This is the base of the console on its way up...

... and up - nearly there!

A line of organ builders passed some of the lighter pieces up to the gallery.

Here the pedal board makes its ascent...

...and here the first of the manuals goes upwards, as the remaining two lie waiting in the main aisle. The remaining pipes had already been lifted into place; now everything was ready for the final assembly and wiring.

There is still a lot of work to do and the organ builders are facing another long day today. While it will still be a few weeks until the project is completely finished, everything now looks as though within days we will be hearing the first notes from this finely restored instrument.