How this Organ Came to be Restored

I was first contacted about restoring this Bell reed organ by Mark Jefford who was the regional representative of the American Reed Organ Society for Ireland and the UK. Mark emailed all reed organ enthusiasts in the region in March 2013. The granddaughter and niece of the organist, who played the organ in Mullafarry Presbyterian Church in Killala, Co. Mayo in the 1920's, wanted to restore it. It was in storage in a disused farm house since the early 2000’s. I volunteered to visit Mullafarry to make an assessment of the organ and the restoration required. Since I was in the process of completing the restoration of the Smith Connoisseur organ I was unable to visit until July 6th 2013.

 

Specifications

This reed organ was made by the Bell Organ and Piano Company of Guelph Canada circa 1897. The case is made of walnut.

The organ has 14 stops. There are three sets of reeds, one 16ft pitch, one 8ft pitch and one 4ft pitch. It is tuned to A454.

Stop list starting left to right:

Viola 4ft

Diapason 8ft

Dulcet 8ft (Soft version of Diapason 8ft)

Bass Bourdon 16ft

Bass coupler

Vox Humana

Forte

Treble coupler

Cremona 16ft (Soft version of Cello 16ft)

Cello 16ft

Dulciana 8ft (Soft version of Melodia 8ft)

Melodia 8ft

Viol D'amor 4ft (Soft version of Vox Angelica 4ft)

Vox Angelica 4ft

 

It is a 61 note keyboard with 183 reeds. The keyboard is divided at A/A flat below middle C.

The Forte stop acts on the 4ft and 16ft rank of reeds only. The knee-swell acts on all three sets of reeds.