THE NICHOLSON ORGAN
The organ was built by John Nicholson (1815-95), who founded Nicholson and Co (Worcester) in 1841. It is thought to have been transferred from elsewhere (possibly Belmont Abbey) around 1870. Originally installed in the tribune on the south side of the sanctuary, it was moved to its present position in 1884.
The instrument has two manuals (swell and great), tracker action and fourteen stops. In order to make tuning easier, in 1974 the Trumpet pipework was removed and, in 1981, replaced by a very bright two-rank Mixture. At the same time, the composition of the Sesquialtra was altered slightly from its original.
The present MD of Nicholsons writes: “The combination of these two changes made the Mixture work on this division uncharacteristically brilliant and glittering. The 1981 Mixture is neither pleasant nor musical. To put this division back as it was would only recreate the difficulties of access that led to removal of the Trumpet in the first place “.
When they dismantled, repaired and restored the organ in 2017, Nicholsons therefore left this division as it was. Their recommendation now is to replace the 1981 Mixture with a Cremona 8’, a “gentle, colourful reed stop of woody timbre, that was a great favourite of John Nicholson and which was often included on his instruments contemporary with St Wulstan’s organ”. The only problem is that it would cost us £7000 + VAT.