Servicing the Organ
This organ was built by Henry Willis & Sons of London in 1898-1900. It is consequently among a select group of organs in which'Father' Willis might have had a hand - he was the greatest organ builder of his generation and considered the 'Father' of the profession.
The organ had not been serviced to the extent of dismantling and cleaning out the pipes since at least the 1980's.
Many repairs in the Chapel had happened around it, and so cleaning and servicing was needed, also removing dents in pipes, dealing with broken reeds and repair to the damaged blower.
The Friends launched an appeal in September 2017 for £5,250 to achieve the repairs and cleaning. All the money was raised selling refreshments and donations at concerts during the autumn and, crucially, from an individual benefactor. The work was undertaken by Richard Bower in March 2018, and this fine organ is now in excellent health once again.
We were give a copy of Extracts from The Church Wardens' accounts of 1616 to 1660 compiled by Edward Milligen Beloe in 1926. There are some interesting entries which give a snapshot of the times.
There is record of payment from the bellfounder John draper in 1616 for exchange of a large bell for two smaller ones. The clock bell at St Nicholas'Chapel is signed and dated by him.
In 1617is recorded a sum of 6£ 1s 1d for the construction of the 'Consistorye' which included beer and bread for the workforce and shortening of the old communion table.
Bellfounding is mentioned in Common Staithe and in the 'Towne of Jermans'. Founding, maintenance and ringing is mentioned quite a few times, the bells being rung for the Bishops visit in 1637 and the ringers receiving 3s.