The replacement in the 1970s of the long unusable five-manual 1940 Central Space Console by a two-manual console underlined the need for a duplicate five-manual console in the Central Space for concert work. Thanks to a gift by the late Victor Hutson the Cathedral was able to commission David Wells Organ Builders Ltd to design and construct the Recital Console.
This stop, the gift of Alan Dronsfield, is of course, inspired by the two Willis examples at St Paul’s Cathedral (12 1/4 sec reverberation) and Sheffield City Hall (minus 1/4 sec reverberation) and has spun-brass tubes with flares. It is harmonic from C#38. The diameter at bottom C is nominally 75 mm (with a flare of 130 mm). This is some six notes larger than the St Paul’s example. The LCO shallots have parallel openings with flat heads, whereas the St Paul’s example has closed shallots with long openings.
The eventual need for a central space section for the organ had been appreciated soon after the completion of the original installation in 1926 and provisions had been made for it on the Central Space console fitted in 1940. Work was in progress on the pipes and parts when the Willis London works were destroyed by enemy action in 1941.
By the time that David Wells Organ Builders Ltd had built and fitted the new Recital Console the Cathedral had been completed and a clearer idea formed of what was required to support a full congregation in this enormous space. Funds became available from the family of Eleanor Wright in 2007 for a Diapason Chorus to be installed on the (liturgical) south side of the Nave under the tower space.
Bourdon 16 Central Space on Bombarde
Open Diapason 8 Central Space on Great
Principal 4 Central Space Octave
Fifteenth 2 Central Space Sub Octave
Mixture II – VI rks