The organ was built and installed by, the then internationally known Sheffield firm of Brindley and Foster in 1901. It is located in the North Transept and can speak freely into the Church. At inception it had 26 speaking stops spread over three 58 note manuals and a 30 note pedal board.
In 1973 the organ was overhauled, enlarged to 33 speaking stops, and fitted with a new draw-stop console located in the South Transept. An early solid state system provided the interface between the organ sound boards and console.
Failures in the solid state system, sound board motors and difficulties in accessing various wind chests prompted a further overhaul in 2000.
This overhaul included the fitting of a new solid state system, re-leathering of the sound board motors, installation of new solenoids and the provision of comprehensive registration aids. Lastly in 2007 a humidifier was installed to counteract the problems caused by widely varying humidity levels.
Don Knott seated at the organ stop console, playing for a Christmas Tree Festival
List of organists
Mr. Whitehead 1945 - 1957
Harold Fulleylove 1957 - 1966
Peter Crowther 1966 - 1977 (afterwards choirmaster of Sheffield Cathedral)
Don Knott 1987 - 2019
Margaret Wadsworth and Pam Thomson 2020 onwards
Brindley and Foster
The business was established by Charles Brindley in 1854.
He was joined by Albert Healey Foster in 1871 and the company acquired the name Brindley & Foster.
Charles Brindley was born in Baslow, Derbyshire, in the early 1830s. He retired in 1887 and died in 1893.
Brindley was a follower of Edmund Schulze. He built solid instruments with powerful choruses using Vogler’s Simplification system. Pipes placed in chromatic order on the soundboards allowed for a simple and reliable key action and permitted similar stops to share the same bass, keeping both space and cost to a minimum. The Swell organ was often mounted above the Great in the German manner.
After the partnership with Foster they began to manufacture more complex pneumatic mechanisms for stop combinations; he also concentrated on the production of orchestral effects.
The business of Brindley and Foster was bought by Henry Willis & Sons in 1939. See links below for more information on their organ building.
Knott, J. A Study of Brindley & Foster, Organ builders of Sheffield 1854-1939 (2nd ed. 1985) available on ebay.co.uk