In February our historic Father Willis organ was dismantled from its Shirley Hall home of 113 years, as part of our Blue Coat For All project. All 10,000 pieces were returned to its makers, Henry Willis & Sons organ workshop where it was constructed in 1874-5, to begin it’s eight month restoration, thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
This term students from our Music and Design Technology departments had a unique opportunity to explore the Willis Islington workshop. Hosted by Willis’ managing director David Wyld, our students gained a fascinating insight into the construction and restoration of this complex instrument. Displaying infectious enthusiasm for his job throughout, David Wyld demonstrated a selection of techniques undertaken by his team, techniques which have been used by craftsmen for over a century.
Liverpool Cathedral Organist Titulaire and Blue Coat For All Ambassador Professor Ian Tracey also visited the workshop. After his tour he remarked: “I have seen the organ being restored in the workshop and I was highly impressed by the standard of the workmanship. It all bodes extremely well.”
Intrigued to find out more? Take a look at our latest Blue Coat For All film by clicking here.