At the heart of this new three-manual instrument is the pipework from a large, fine two-manual J W Walker organ built in 1932 for the Great Hall at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys, Leicester. This has been augmented with four well-matched ranks from a contemporaneous extension organ built by Rushworth & Dreaper for St Margaret’s church, Aspley, Nottingham in 1933 and now redundant; these R&D ranks make up most of the Pedal and Choir organs of the new instrument.
In addition, a few select ranks have been retained from the previous St Mary’s organ—most recently rebuilt by John Males in 1986—and suitably revoiced; the Choir Clarinet is former stock from the firm of the late Peter Collins.
Three digital ranks have been employed to add weight to the pedal division where space does not permit the necessary pipework, and some judicious extension / borrowing has been employed to increase the flexibility of the available ranks.
The action is direct electric throughout, with a mobile detached console made by Renatus, and control system by Musicom Systems.
Great to Pedal Swell to Pedal Choir to Pedal Great & Ped Combs coupled
* Rushworth & Dreaper ranks. With the exception of the Choir Clarinet, Choir Fifteenth, and Great and Pedal mixtures, all other ranks are by J W Walker
ACCESSORIES 6 thumb pistons to Great, Swell & Choir Reversible thumb pistons for Great to Pedal, Swell to Pedal, Choir to Pedal, Swell to Great, Swell to Choir
8 General thumb pistons General Cancel thumb piston Setter thumb piston 3 Stepper Advance thumb pistons Stepper Retard thumb piston
6 toe pistons to Pedal & Swell (or Generals 1-6) Reversible toe piston for Great to Pedal Reversible toe piston for Swell to Great Reversible toe piston for 32ft flue Reversible toe piston for 32ft reed Stepper Advance & Retard toe pistons Balanced swell pedal
Capture system with 200 levels of general memory and 9 levels of divisional memory ’DNA’ Recording and playback system with tablet control
from Matthew O’Donovan, Director of Music, St Mary’s, Maidenhead
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jonathan Wallace and his team from Henry Groves & Son for the marvellous three-manual organ which graces our newly-reordered church building. Having had the opportunity during the project’s earliest stages of planning to see and play some other Groves instruments, I was confident that they were the right firm for the job, and I have not been disappointed. The highest level of professionalism, care and attention to detail was shown throughout the project, from its initial design, through the organ’s complex installation (which involved extensive collaboration with the architect and contractors responsible for a major redesign of the 1960s building, and working around unexpected delays in the building work) to its final voicing and completion. All this was undertaken at a very competitive cost and to an excellent standard of workmanship. Jonathan and his team were a pleasure to work with throughout, and we are now blessed with a fine instrument, built to last. 1st January 2021