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Pipemaker George checking the repair on an organ pipe

Repairing &
restoring organ pipes

Repairing and restoring organ pipes forms a significant part of our work. Although a well made metal pipe can last for two hundred years or more, wear and tear inevitably take their toll.


Lead pipes can buckle under their own weight, solder joints can fail, corrosion can eat away the metal, tin pest can cause damage and the accumulation of dirt and grime can render a pipe speechless.


You may rest assured that the members of our experienced team at Shires Organs Pipes have the appropriate techniques to deal with these and other problems. 

Bent and buckled pipes before and after repair in our workshop
Pipes that were hopelessly bent are rapired to look like new

Our skilled pipe makers are sometimes asked to repair what may seem to the casual eye like basket cases. But where there's a will – and a decent soldering iron – there a way, as these dramatic before and after pictures show! These difficult repairs, were carried out with typical care by George Fowler, pictured top.

Restored pipework by Shires on the organ in Christ Church, Spitalfields, London

Restoration of 18th century Bridge organ in Christ Church, Spitalfields

Restored gilded organ pipes

We were privileged to be involved in the comprehensive restoration of the Richard Bridge organ of Christ Church Spitalfields, London.


​Bridge, who died in 1758, was one of the leading craftsmen of his day, and his instrument was a musical and visual tour de force complementing the architectural grandeur of Hawksmoor’s church, which is now recognised as one of the high points of the English baroque.


This fine instrument had been silent since around 1960, unplayable through decay and neglect until its meticulous restoration in June 2015 by William Drake Organ Builders.


​We were delighted to be entrusted with the restoration of metal pipes and the careful manufacture of new ones to match those which had disappeared over the years.

Repaired and restored pipes in the front of the Spitalfields organ
A badly bent trumpet before and after repair in our workshop

The trumpet
shall sound

No organist could have blown his trumpet with a pipe in this sorry state.


The 8' stop had been so badly damaged due to previous poor attempts at repair that we thought it best to replace it with new metal.


Old sections were cut off and opened up to act as a template, thus enabling a perfect fit.


We are pleased to say the resulting tone was commanding and clear and that this trumpet should sound for many more years to come.

4-Shank resoldered..jpeg

Reed repairs for a transatlantic Walker organ

We were invited by Dave Brown of Buzard Organ Builders to repair some reeds for the restored/ reconfigured 1958 Walker organ which his company is moving from the City Temple, London, to St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago.


As can be seen above, we retained as much of the original metal as possible and replaced with tick side metal as per the original metal. We also took the opportunity to resolder damaged joints.

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