Although the Lewis organ at Southwark Cathedral dates from 1897 the original console was destroyed and the current console installed by Willis III in 1952
Although some minor work was done in 1986 many of its components had not been renewed and were becoming increasingly tired and unreliable; certainly no longer able to support the comprehensive and expanding musical ministry of the Cathedral and its Choirs.
The ivory key-coverings were still in good condition but significant wear was evident in the manual keyboards and pedal board. After so many years of heavy use the time had come for new keyboards, transferring the old ivory. The pedal board was given a major overhaul and new contacts fitted throughout the console. New thumb piston units were installed but the existing piston heads, stop knobs and couplers tabs were retained where possible. The opportunity to reposition some of the stop jambs was taken to give a more conventional layout and the console woodwork and jamb plates were stripped and refinished.
Some of the organists’ performance aids were also upgraded and improved, not least the memory systems which now use the latest digital technology, and one new coupler was added: Great to Solo.
All cabling was renewed throughout the console.
The work (August – November 2017) was undertaken by the firm of Harrison and Harrison of Durham who had been responsible for the comprehensive and much acclaimed 1991 restoration of the instrument and who has maintained the instrument since the 1980s. The console work was made possible by a generous legacy from Joan Worker and has put this magnificent organ into first-class working order to ensure its continued reliability for future generations.
Further information about the organ can be found here
The first organ recital since the restoration will be by our Director of Music, Peter Wright on Monday 15 January at 1.10pm. Please do join us if possible.