Everyone at Shires was devastated to learn of the fire in June that destroyed the factory of Dobson Pipe Organ Builders in Iowa, USA.
We are delighted, however, that the company, founded in 1974 by Lynn Dobson, is continuing in business in a workshop in Lake City. With typical resilience, it is focusing on service and restoration while making plans for a new headquarters.
It has been a privilege to supply pipes to Dobson in the past few years, including ranks for its 99th organ for Saint James’ Church in Sydney, Australia, which was under construction in Iowa.
Workers were about 3,000 hours into the estimated 17,000-hour project when everything was lost to the fire, including our string stops. So we were greatly touched when the company reordered them from us for the Sydney organ.
We salute the courage and optimism of this great firm and offer John Panning and his team our best wishes for the future.
As the New York Times remarked: 'Dobson Pipe Organ Builders may have lost its building, its tools and some of its archives, but its staff remains, steeped in the kind of technical expertise that is passed from one artisan to the next.'