Work to the War Memorial Organ

In June 2017, a major project to professionally rebuild the organ, with the aim to secure its future well into its second century, was announced.

The rebuilt organ was showcased by our President in the highlight of 2018: Adrian Lucas gave a virtusoic performance on Saturday June 16th 2018 and provided a wonderfully enlightening demonstration on how the organ works and the enhanced nature of the instrument.

Read how you can support the ongoing work to maintain the rebuilt organ on our organ appeal page, catch up on the regular updates from during the project, or read on for more information about the work.

Pipes from the Memorial Organ packaged for transport

At the start of 2017, OSOS were obliged to consider the possibility of major professional work to the War Memorial Organ at Southend High School for Boys.

Initially, this focussed on the organ blower, which had developed a serious fault in January 2017. In March, this urgent work to the blower began, and from June a comprehensive project to rebuild and expand the organ professionally commenced.

We are delighted that this complete professional refurbishment of both the organ and the organ blower has been able to follow and hope our updates via reports, photos, and videos on this website are interesting and enlightening.

As part of the work to rebuild the organ using modern and reliable electro-pneumatic action (rather than the outdated pneumatic action which was starting to deteriorate with age and required growing amounts of maintenance), the instrument has been expanded, completing the work of adding string stops to the Swell alongside other augmentations of the stop list, adding better controls for the organist, and providing improvements to the layout of the organ chamber to allow better sound egress into the Main Hall. The full specification of the resulting instrument is most impressive!

We are delighted that this has been in the hands of skilled professionals: The Village Workshop organ builders of Finchingfield for the organ enhancements and rebuild, and The Duplex Pipe Organ and Blower Company of Farnham for the blower renovation.

The Memorial Organ Console partially dismantled

See our updates page to see various reports from the project as it progressed, and if you are interested and able to support us in continuing to maintain the organ to a high standard and provide opportunities for students, please see our Organ Appeal page, where you’ll find information on membership, life membership for over 65s, one-off donations, and sponsoring a pipe in the rebuilt organ. We are grateful for your interest, support, and generosity!