Upon first viewing it was clear that the organ was in very poor condition – I had scrapped ones in better condition – but none the less restorable. The original information was that, 'the stops and knee levers need attention'. Quite an understatement!
It was infested with wood worm, riddled with damp and the stop faces were all missing bar four or five. The oil lamp stands were missing from the side and it had a contrived music desk attached constructed from aluminium strips and a Mason and Hamlin reed organ music desk. There were many reasons not to restore it but I couldn't ignore the enthusiasm of Diane Kelly to see the instrument returned to the church where it was once played by her grandmother. So I decided to restore it.
(Click on images to enlarge)
Due to the wood worm infestation and evidence of fresh activity I decided not to take it home until the end of September when the worm would be dormant. I picked up the organ on the 28th of September 2013. On arrival for pick up the organ was waiting outside ready. When moved, the entire pedal assembly collapsed and was left hanging on by the straps. Off to a great start.
A really fortunate turn of events in the restoration of this organ was the donation of another dilapidated organ for parts by a parishioner, Avril Murphy. Fortunately this organ was also a Bell so it was able to yield valuable parts as a 'donor organ'. Most importantly, the oil lamp stands which were missing, could now be replaced.