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Henry Willis

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Everything posted by Henry Willis

  1. There are still very many of these fine little jobs going strong and, thankfully, unaltered. We restored this one last year http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=N09603 and we're currently doing this one http://www.npor.org.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi...ec_index=N18122 DW
  2. As you say, B*** S*** - it used to work and now it doesn't. AND, anyone who would let a tuner start cutting up a pipe that was perfectly OK until the last two tuning visits deserves THAT tuner. After the winter we've had, I'll go with either (or both in extreme circumstances) d) & e) above. You'll probably have to take the offender out and shine a strong light up it (pipe, not tuner). DW
  3. Oh I knew that, but I just hadn't heard by then that it was actually on on that day. They were here for hours and recorded a huge amount of stuff, so I think they might be using some of that for a different programme, perhaps in the future. For Mr. Richell's information: It would have been difficult to interview HW4 as he lives in India and has done for several years now. Unlike some, I don't have much time for newspapers! DW
  4. Oooh! Thank you for drawing my attention to it Peter - they hadn't let ME know! DW
  5. Try here: http://www.organstops.org/_apps/Illustrations.html There should be most things that you would need there (including 5 Heckelphones!) DW
  6. It's not a reed, it's a Contra Gamba - "Purrs like a pussy cat" as Tony Bufano used to describe it, God rest his soul. DW
  7. St. James's Florence (http://www.willis-organs.com/florence_general.html) is an English organ with just that - G.O Octaves Graves & G.O. Octaves Aigues. The Great Bombarde is not a 'Trumpet' but instead a more French voice and so you are right that there isn't the tonal body in the bass. The Great Mixture has had to be changed (by introducing another break) as the Aigues made it too high, too soon! DW
  8. I think that you might be confusing two episodes: Wadsworth added the Solo organ, in collaboration with Cavaille-Coll (C-C sent out the parts and Wadsworth put it in). DW
  9. Indeed Apalling. But is this so very different from what most of us in 'the trade' see on a daily basis: white, plastic bulb holders, lighting switches, both white-covered and plain copper 'Pyrotenax' cable, screwed with round headed screws (usually of the wrong gauge, resulting in the splitting of the plastic) into extremely venerable quarter-sawn oak or mahogany music desks, drawstop jambs etc.? I was told only yesterday of an instance of a call-out for a fault: "The (mechanical) swell box isn't working!". An electrician had run a cable right across the swell front, cable-clipping it to each shutter in turn. SOLID! I saw a few days ago one of the nicest early Wordsworth & Co (Leeds) organ that I've seen, very much as it was built, but the CONSOLE!!!! It's like Blackpool illuminations! all of this carried out with 100w pearl lightbulbs in the aforesaid white plastic holders screwed on to the soffit and kneeboard and controlled by a lovely 4-inch-square, white plastic switch on a two-inch-deep backbox. To top off this oeuvre extraordaire ..... a mirror held in place in the middle of the (formerly) lovely Walnut music desk by a 2 1/2" no 14, black-japanned roundhead screw and, to the left, a white plastic speaker box. WHY? DW
  10. This has been discussed (and corrected) several times already, but here goes again: The FIRM of "T.C.Lewis" was, basically bust from 1900 and John Courage set up "Lewis & Co." in 1901 - as a LIMITED COMPANY (Registration No 70718) in which Lewis initially worked but in which he had no control. Somewhere along the line, he more-or-less fell out with Courage and left to work with others and also on his own on - presumably the working for others was when he needed the money? Courage got tired of Lewis & Co. making losses and even by 1914 was in discussions with the partners in HW&S (which was NOT a Limitied Company and therefore could not, legally, take over Lewis & Co.) with regard to a merger of some kind. Henry 2 couldn't do anything about 'buying in' then as he was still paying off his father's debts. In 1919, after the end of WWI and when HW&S needed more staff (and better premises) the discussions were re-opened, the Willis contingent bought the shares of Lewis & Co, and because of the legal limitiations the Company became "Henry Willis & Sons & Lewis & Co. Limited.". John Courage was also included as a Director of the firm and stayed on the Board of HW&S (as far as we can see from the minute books) until 1926. At about that time the title of the Company (still 70718) was changed by dropping the Lewis & So. Ltd.. Henry Willis & Sons Ltd. is still Co. reg. No 70718 Thomas Christopher Lewis was never involved with "Henry Willis & Sons & Lewis & Co. Ltd." or with "Henry Willis & Sons Ltd.". DW
  11. Not only an INTERESTING thought, but also a true one. There is only one company named "Henry Willis & Sons Ltd" Mr. Oakley. Our Company Registration number is 70718, registered in 1901. I took over as Managing Director, installed in that position by HW4, on the 2nd Oct 1997 and the shareholding was subsequently acquired from all of the former shareholders on the 28th of November of that same year. There was no "change" of company, winding-up, cessestion of trading etc., only a change of Directors and then share holders - as is often the case in limited Companies. Henry Willis, Henry Willis & Sons and then Henry Willis & sons Ltd (to quote all three names) has traded continuously since 1845. As to the quiet implication that we can't be the same as we don't still operate from Petersfield - sorry, have I missed something there? We moved our Head Office (and Registered Office therefore) to Liverpool in 2001, where we have had a Branch since 1854; we still have a southern Branch, though not in Petersfield. For information we have been with the same Bank for 143 years. Now back to the subject: The drawing which you have referred members to doesn't shew the complete action - this is only the dual-membrane exhaust and supply valve chamber and does not include the motor springing arrangements. Be aware that lodged Patent specification drawings rarely, if ever, gave a full or accurate view, for obvious reasons. Interestingly one of the Witnesses is named Spackman - as in Charles Spackman Barker. I'll look out the original documents on Monday, if anyone is interested. The 1889 patent action is referred to in the firm as "Willis Lever" and we have restored six actions of that type in the past few years, another one to come in soon. DW
  12. Heavily coated in 'stardust' if I'm not mistaken. DW
  13. Henry Willis


    Is this analogy fatuous or serious? Are you awarding points to the situations (i.e. the 'rooms') or not? DW
  14. He's not alone: the pedal specification for St. Matthew-in-the City includes 10 2/3 - 6 2/5 - 5 1/3 - 4 4/7 as independent ranks. We first considered doing this in our proposal with Stephen for the Miami-Dade concert hall organ which never happened. DW
  15. That isn't possible actually: Lewis (&Co) did work in 1911/12 but CC was dead in 1900. DW
  16. Thank you John, I'm glad that you all had a good time. I would resent the above comment, if I weren't so used to it from that quarter - even though it is a libel. DW
  17. This, of course, refers to the name of The Ale. Actually, it's gone a little further than we expected, as there will now be TWO different brews: 1. 'Cheeky Pheasant' 2. 'Pipe Dreams' This is the trouble with leaving arrangements in the hands of the shop floor! DW
  18. In 'Mirabilis' days we only did complete takes, no editing. We were extremely fortunate in using great players who did get things down in a single take - this was especially wonderful with FJ, when we did the complete Bairstow disc: he was about 73 then I think. The "set it and leave it" technique was one I used generally. All of the red light stuff only serves to get players wound up and nervous before they've even played a note. DW
  19. In which case, I'm reliably informed, the correct protocol is that there should be an 'independent' adviser called in to advise the DAC where the DOA is directly involved with the job. DW
  20. This is not so far off the mark actually. We maintained this organ from 1953 as HW&S and it was in the hands of Ingram (whom we 'absorbed' at about that time) for 30 years before that. Interesting instrument with a spectacular case (as we see from its appearance in the (too small) gallery of its new home. Originally two manual Bevington, all mechanical, built for Puddleston Court; 1905 Hill Choir organ added with pneumatic action - the C-side of the choir to the left of the organ and the #-side to the right; removed from Puddleston Court and into St. Bartholomew's, Holmer in 1934. HW&S overhauled it in 1960. We have provided estimates for the straightforward cleaning and selective re-leathering of this organ for over 30 years, approximately every six years, on request but nothing more ever carried out. Notwithstanding, the organ performed perfectly well, with no soundboard problems or action problems other than occasional burst motors or purses. The last time an 'estimate' was requested, three were sought: we stated that only that work required to be done should be done (cleaning, repairs to pipework and re-leathering of the pneumatics). However, the two other quotes were for "Restoration" and therefore much higher. Restoration was not required as the organ had little, if anything, wrong with it. We were told to submit a further quote for 'Full Restoration' but said this was not required and therefore did not quote for this. Our tuner in Hereford had already been informed that the organist of the church had stated a preference for an electronic substitute but we genuinely believed that common sense and the fact that this instrument was such a visual part of the church would prevail over personal preference of a transient body! Not so. The higher quotations for the restoration of the organ were obviously used as a convenient means of persuading the Parish to take a cheaper option (note, cheaper, not less-expensive) and depressingly a faculty was granted for the removal of the organ. Unfortunately, this get worse: the faculty granted for the installation of the organ in its new home allowed for electrification and so the damage is complete as authorised by the Diocesan Advisory Committee and its organs adviser. A shame, and shameful I'm afraid, in several directions. DW
  21. OOPS! That's us completely in the bin then! DW
  22. Oh dear oh dear oh dear - the stereo-type for Liverpool isn't accurate these days I'm afraid, especially for the City Centre, basically quite close to where we are. Your car will be safer here than in many other places even according to 'official' statistics for car crime: apparently Manchester, London and Birmingham are worse, by far. As to parking here: there are about 15 spaces on the main road (St. Anne Street) at the front of the building, you can park all the way up the street to the left side of the building (Birkett Street), there is also then the road which runs round the back of the building to our loading entrance (Mansfield Street) and if all that space is occupied, there is Richmond Row, which is 50 yards to the left of the building in St. Anne Street. Visitors might also like to know that we are 6-8 minute's walk from Lime Street Station, St. George's Hall, The Walker Art Gallery etc.. DW
  23. Sorry we won't see you Quentin. What MPK didn't say and what isn't announced on our website is that we've commissioned a Special Brew from the George Wright Brewery in St. Helens, for the occasion and this will be administered free-of-charge to needy travellers! Any members intending to come might therefore consider the train!! DW
  24. Amazing - and very clever! I was reminded of my favourite Tom & Jerry moment (the look to camera at the closing of the key-fall) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNG7qwu1SAg DW
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