The Apollo Organ - Rushworth and Dreaper (1910-39)

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Soon after starting to collect these notes in 2003 we learned that Rushworth and Dreaper went into voluntary liquidation in Nov'2002. We wish Alastair Rushworth and the team all the best. Still worrying however, is a rumour (now confirmed) that all the company records were shredded along with those of all the companies they acquired over the years including Comptons who built a large number of important church and cinema organs. This is a very great loss to organ historians. It is however now believed that there are some documents in the Liverpool Records Office on William Brown Street.

Rushworths were founded around 1828 by William Rushworth, a pipe organ builder in Yorkshire. In the late 1800s the company moved to Liverpool. Apparently a piano was sold from the offices almost by accident, and it was then that they decided to sell pianos to the general public. This was the start of the piano retail site. At first pianos were made by Clarence Lyon of London, but not long after, Rushworths began producing classic British pianos alongside their world famous organ building. They also sold other instruments such as zithers and violins, the trade name was ``Apollo''. They became the largest organ builders in the UK. Since 1828 there was continuous family control, with James Rushworth, representing the fourth generation, having led the firm until his retirement in 1990. Alastair Rushworth, was the fifth generation and final Chairman and Managing Director. For more information about the business see the Ph.D. Thesis by Nicholas Wong [216].

Rushworths were situated at the top of William Brown Street, next to the old court building. There used to be a narrow lane between the two buildings, which lead to Gerard Gardens. The organ works was in St. Anne Street and the piano business in Brunswick Road, and according to some accounts the latter was a fairly un-tidy place.

Rushworth and Dreaper had their main factory at 72 St. Anne Street, Liverpool, L3 3DY. Their Web site was at and gave an insight into the history of the firm and the pipe organ business. It was removed from the Internet in 2008. They had their head office and showrooms at 11-17 Islington, Liverpool and later at Rushworth's Music House, Whitechapel, Liverpool. While they continued maintaining pianos, pipe and reed organs until 2002 they did not manufacture new reed organs after 1940. The piano business was latterly under David Rushworth.

The organ building department of Rushworth and Dreaper are thought to have made 336 reed organs over 29 years. Robert Pettengill has kindly supplied additional information to confirm this: In a letter from Alastair Rushworth, Managing Director, I was advised that 360 Apollo organs were built, an average of 13 per year from 1910 to 1939. None were built in 1912 or 1913.

This was not for want of trying as organs were lent to eminent musicians and a full page advert appeared in Musical Opinion in June 1913 as re-produced in Ord-Hume's book [140]. The two models (A and B) were said to cost £60 and £80. A citation from the famous recitalist E.H. Lemare says I cannot refrain from complimenting you upon the great advancement you have made in the introduction of the Apollo Reed Organ... Unfortunately it seems to be little realised that as much benefit may be obtained by practicing on a properly-designed Reed Organ as from a large Pipe Organ. Again, when the voicing and regulating are so artistic much enjoyment can be derived from such a thoroughly well-built Reed Organ as the Apollo. Wm. Faulkes, a composer and organist wrote: It gave me great pleasure to write and tell you how delighted I am with the Apollo Reed Organ which you supplied me with. The Tone and Action are alike excellent, and I can strongly recommend the Apollo to Organists, both for their own use and for their Pupils...

The Apollo Reed Organ Works, which was an offshoot of the pipe organ business, was established at 13 Islington, Liverpool in 1913. It seems that the English manufacturers liked an imaginative name to distinguish their products. The 2MP reed organs were designed as practice instruments. Two models were initially offered: Model A at £60 and Model B at £80. They were sold in London by agents Vincent Music Co. Ltd. (Rogers Piano Warehouse) at 60 Berners Street and also by the Chappell Piano Co. Ltd., 50 New Bond Street. They were also sold in Oxford by Taphouse and Sons, 3 Magdalen Street. The Apollo organ was designed by Walter ``Wallis'' G. Holt, son of John Holt, see Chapter 10. The Apollo organ was introduced in 1910 with a price of £190 stated in the catalogue. Production ceased for two years in 1912-13, but then continued until 1939. Wallis Holt worked for Rushworth and Dreaper until he retired in 1967 at the age of ninety-one [87?]. The photograph shows the Cathedral Organ Works, a picture from the 1914 Apollo brochure.


A copy of the 1913 catalogue is in the Olthof Collection and shows the A and B models. There is an accompanying letter from 1914 to a client about the prices etc. These soon went up to £72 for the Model A and £95 for the Model B and the latter lost its Swell Diapason.

Specification of Model A (5 ranks of reeds)

Swell:                         Great:
Tremulant                      Forte
Oboe 8'                        Dulciana 8' (derived from Diapason)
Wald Flute 4'                  Open Diapason 8'
Salicional 8' (from Oboe)      Bourdon 16'
Swell Octave                   Pedal:
Swell-Great                    Sub Bass 16'
Swell-Pedal                    Bourdon 16' (derived from Sub Bass)

2 composition pedals
1 swell pedal
hand and foot blowers with wind indicator

This specification has 3 ``derived'' stops, the larger model possibly had a derived Salicional 8' in the Swell department, but only for the first couple of years of production. Jason Fisher and James Battersby noted that an early advertisement shows a Diapason 8' in place of the Swell Salicional, and a Violone 16' in place of the Great Bourdon. The octave coupler is also missing. Jason also suggested that the Model A probably had one reed chest underneath the manuals as in many other American style suction instruments rather than the separate Swell chest above the manuals as in the Model B. This could well explain the significant difference in cost.

There were however not many Model A organs built and I did not know of any still in existence until one appeared on e-Bay in Aug'2006 (see below). It was obviously considered that the additional £20 for the model B was good value, giving twice the number of reed ranks.

In June 2013 we came across what may be an even rarer model which is not listed in any of the known catalogues. It is a 2M instrument with no pedals described in Chapter 21 below.

Specification of Model B (10 ranks of reeds).
Manuals are 61 notes and pedals 30. Keys are in grained celluloid,
Pedal board is radiating and concave.  

Swell:                         Great:
Tremulant                      Principal 4'
Oboe 8'                        Dulciana 8' (derived from Clarabella)
Flute 4'                       Clarabella 8'
Gamba 8'                       Open Diapason 8'
Bourdon 16'                    Violone 16'
Swell Octave                   Pedal:
Swell-Great                    Sub Bass 16'
Swell-Pedal                    Open Diapason 16'

4 composition pedals: 
  1) Gt. Dulciana 8' and Pedal Sub Bass 16'
  2) All Gt and Pedal stops except Violone
  3) Swell Gamba 8'
  4) All Swell stops
1 Swell pedal either latch-down or balanced

The Great reeds are divided between front and back, the Diapason and Principal reeds being at the front underneath the manual. The Violone and Clarabella reeds are behind and are enclosed completely in a chamber. If either the Clarabella or Violone stops are drawn, then the mute is opened as well as a swell shade on the chamber. Drawing the Dulciana opens the Clarabella mute but the chamber remains sealed and the sound is more subdued. This mechanism is from the US Mason and Hamlin patent of 1877 as explained in Chapter [*].

The Swell reeds are mounted on an inverted windchest in the upper part of the casework, again two sets at the front (Oboe and Bourdon) and two at the rear (Gamba and Flute). The following photo shows the rear of Jason Fisher's instrument.


Some of the early Model ``B''s had an extra Open Diapason 8' stop on the Swell, see below. The names of the stops also changed slightly. It is believed that this specification was not produced after c.1920 (thanks to James Battersby for information).

Some photos of Louis Huivenaar's Apollo serial number 1249.

I have a page sent by Robert Pettengill that lists all the organ stock numbers and the years of production. Also listed are the R&D numbers that have something to do with the showroom. Robert said: They also gave me a sheet that shows cost detail - wages, materials, polishing and carriage - in pounds shillings and pence for numbers 1047 through 1067. I also have a photo copy of what was probably a sales brochure. It has 12 pages. The specification from this sales catalogue is reproduced below. Another sheet from the production record, showing the end of 1930 to the beginning of 1932, numbers 1266-1286, is in the posession of Brian Styles.


This is the main specification for these organs. Although there were minor differences to external appearance and internal layout over the years the list of stops was pretty constant, as will be seen.

By 1932 the instruments had a built in BOB blower and straight case sides which became fashionable at the time. Their contemporary advert says: Rushworth's Improved Electric Apollo Pedal Reed Organ. Revolutionary in construction and in design, the new Rushworth ``Apollo'' Organ introduces the newest practical developments in Reed Organ building. Built to RCO dimensions every artistic and mechanical feature has been perfected, whilst the concealed electric blower, inaudible in operation, surpasses the highest expectations. For the Home, Small Church and Education Institutions, it is eminently suitable, whilst for the student the stop combinations provide adequate variety.

The full story of Rushworth's pipe organ business is told by Laurence Elvin in his fine book describing the history of organ building in England Pipes and Actions [57]. David Wyld, who has taken over the Willis pipe organ business, has also acquired what remains of Rushworth and Dreaper's business including a couple of Apollos. David Wyld can be contacted at:

Henry Willis and Sons Ltd.,
Rotunda Organ Works,
72, St. Anne Street,
Liverpool L3 3DY

Tel: +44 151 298 1845
Fax: + 44 151 207 5252

Stock numbers:

Based on the information sent by Alastair Rushworth to Robert Pettengill, here is the inventory of organs produced by stock and works number. Numbers start at 1000 and we assume the number listed is the first organ produced that year. We are thus able to calculate how many were produced each year, which is in fact quite variable. This however does not agree with the sales ledged for 1914, indicating that organs were not made to order, but in fact a few were held in stock. Organ number 1061 for St. Andrew's London, now belonging to Robert Pettengill, was the first produced in 1914 but in fact sold on November 26th that year. Through 1914 16 Model ``B''s were sold and only 3 Model ``A''s. The R&D stock number used in the showroom is also sometimes stamped on tha back of the instruments.

Year R&D No. Organ Works No. Number produced
1910 first year 1000 26
1911 3189 1026 35
1912 - - 0
1913 - - 0
1914 3340 1061 7
1915 3384 1068 21
1916 3474 1089 12
1917 3521 1101 5
1918 3547 1106 12
1919 3595 1118 18
1920 3641 1136 2
1921 3651 1138 19
1922 3695 1157 18
1923 3746 1175 2
1924 3770 1177 26
1925 3857 1203 13
1926 3908 1216 4
1927 3930 1220 24
1928 4015 1244 10
1929 4054 1254 21
1930 4097 1265 13
1931 4159 1278 12
1932 4190 1290 12
1933 4223 1302 8
1934 4259 1310 9
1935 4307 1319 1
1936 4316, 4323, 4364, 4353, 4360 1320, 1322, 1332, 1334, 1336 17
1937 4389 1337 8
1938 4396, 4410 1345, 1354 5
1939 4427 1360 not known

We have had some difficulty interpreting this information. Rushworths records for 1931 say that there were 13 instruments finished in 1930: numbers 1259-1271. There were 9 in 1931, 1272-1278 and 1281-1285. Number 1266 was built in Dec'1930 and the first one in Apr'1931 was number 1272. The first in Jan'1932 was number 1979. Number 1278 was in fact built in Nov'1931 and 1265 is likely to be Nov'1930. This, plus other circumstantial evidence, indicates that these records are from company accounting years which start in November.

Another thing we noticed is that the organs were not all finished in numerical order, so at best the information is only approximate and cannot be absolutely interpolated.

More recently, via Pam Fluke Pam who has the Rushworth & Dreaper order books, we know that number 1336 which carries shop number 4360 was sold in Apr'1937.

Some known instruments are dated by otuer sources as follows (case or shop no. in parentheses):

1910 - 1000,
1911 - 1026 (3189),
1914 - 1061 (3340),
1915 - 1063, 1068 (3384),
1916 - 1809 (3474),
1917 - 1099, 1101 (3521),
1918 - 1106 (3547), 1114,
1919 - 1118 (3595),
1920 - 1136 (3641),
1921 - 1138 (3651),
1922 - 1157 (3695),
1923 - 1175 (3746),
1924 - 1176, 1177 (3770),
1925 - 1203 (3857),
1926 - 1216 (3908),
1927 - 1220 (3930),
1928 - 1244 (4015),
1929 - 1253, 1254 (4054),
1930 - 1265 (4097),
1931 - 1278 (4159),
1932 - 1290 (4190),
1933 - 1302 (4223),
1934 - 1310 (4259),
1935 - 1319 (4307),
1936 - 1320 (4316), 1332 (4353), 1334 (4364),
1937 - 1337 (4389),
1938 - 1345 (4396), 1348, 1354 (4410),
1939 - 1360 (4427)

These organs are exceptionally well made, by reed organ strandards at least. Brian Styles noted that having had to move one (with the invaluable help of Ian Thompson), I became somewhat familiar with the construction. They are quite amazing. First of all, what appears to be the case (framed-up panels of solid English oak) really is just a case - you take out some screws and they [the panels] lift off, one by one. The "works" are attached to a chassis of stout timbers and not to the case panelling at all. The pedalboard and keyboards slide out. Then all the action can be removed simply by undoing screws, leaving you with a basic waist-high structure which will just about go through a [32''] British door. It's still desperately heavy, in spite of the removal of a mountain of heavy bits.

It is clear from Brian's photos that this procedure is so simple that it can even be achieved by his cat, Oscar. The challenge, as always, is to put it back together again!


This construction is clearly very similar to the Holt, as indicated in the pictures of the 3MP instrument rebuilt by Cambridge Reed Organs 10 and also in the rear view of Malcolm Bennett's organ. There are a number of differences in detail, such as the location of the Swell reservoir and the organisation of the upper manual action and couplers, for which both companies held patents.

Jason Fisher's 2MP/10. Number 1348

Jason Fisher bought the 2MP Apollo organ from Phil Fluke's collection in 2004. This is from June 1938 and one of the last built.


It was installed in Christ Church, Bolton-Le-Sands, Lancashire in 1939/ 1940 where it remained until 1994. The following photograph by Mr. Francis Towers is reproduced from Jason's Web site (see below).


The organ was installed in the drawing room of the Ridney Manor Farm, Gloucestershire, in July of 2004. It is used regulary as a practice instrument and also for general entertainment at the house. The organ had been maintained by Rushworths for many years, and is in excellent working order. General servicing was carried out regularly, and the organ was tuned whenever neccesary.

This late Model B Apollo is a compact instrument of dimensions 63'' x51'' x58'' (including pedals). It carries serial number 1348 and Phil said it would have cost £133-11/3d originally. In addition to the usual Model B specification it has had a reversible Swell-Great coupler pedal fitted later. It also a Mecvent blower in the lower right hand side of the case.

The organ is of course built to RCO standards throughout, note especially the way the Great reeds are set back to give enough knee room.


The case is solid oak, there is no veneer. The manuals were made by R.F. Vesty and Co. Ltd. London and are of the highest quality, the keys being capped in grained celluloid. The Swell keys overhang the Great, and the naturals are cut away on the underside, the Great naturals are treated in the same manner for uniformity.

The swell pedal is balanced and is quite effective. Other models (as at Hennock church) used the hitch down swell pedal which can be just as effective.

Everything in these organs is built to a very high standard, this is evidenced by the stop mechanism shown in this photo, making the action as smooth as a tracker action pipe organ.

You can find out a lot more about this organ including the internal layout on Jason's excellent Web site temporarily hosting here Note that it also appears in the ROS DB as entries 3424 and 3579.

There is a fantastic recording of a Bach fugue here:

Robin Slowe's 2MP

We now return to the earliest ones built.

A very early 2MP instrument appeared for sale on Charles Birkin's Web site at the end of 2002. This is a Model B which was built in or before 1913 and has 6 Swell stops, 5 Great stops, 2 Pedal stops and 4 couplers. Note the Swell sound apertures are simple rectangular openings above the music desk rather than above the keyboard and the stops knobs arranged with the outermost higher than the inner ones. It has Great keys with straight faces as on older instruments and the Swell keys have a simple sloping face.

This was until recently the oldest Apollo instrument we knew of. It may have the same design as the Holts, with the Swell chest and action at the top of the instrument and a small bellows between that and the Great action and chest at keyboard level. Later instruments had the Swell chest lowered and a reservoir above as in the picture at the beginning of this chapter. The design may have been ``improved'' and the console height lowered around 1914-5. This is however speculation until I see the inside of one of these early instruments.

This organ however has a balanced Swell pedal which was unusual for reed organs in 1913 (but of course normal for pipe organs) and four combination pedals also very rare in reed organs. Actually I suspect the swell pedal is a later modification, but a good one. There are no foot treadles on this one, so it must have been hand pumped originally. It was for sale by Robin Slowe of Newmarket for £ 950.


Here is what Robin told me: Hi Rob, I bought the organ from Cambridge Reed Organs a few years ago. It had come out of a church - I think that Bruce Dracott (who is Cambridge Reed Organs) told me he had got it from Shropshire somewhere but I am not sure of that. There is a hand written pencil note on the frame inside it with a date in April 1913 and a name (Alfred or Albert Smith I think) which I thought may have been one of the people involved in making it. There are a couple of reference numbers on the case and on the Swell organ - I don't have a note of those but could probably get them and the date and name out sometime if it would help you. I shall attach a few pix which I have - I have a few more if you want. Best wishes, Robin.


This organ is different from most of the others in that it has an extra Swell stop and the Swell sound apertures are at the top of the case rather than just above the keyboards.

The specification of this Apollo is as follows:

Swell:                         Great:
Oboe 8'                        Principal 4'
Flute 4'                       Dulciana 8' (derived)
Open Diapason 8'               Gamba 8'
Salicional 8' (derived from Oboe?) Open Diapason 8'
Bourdon 16'                    Violone 16'   

Swell Octave                   Pedal:
Swell-Great                    Sub Bass 16'
Swell-Pedal                    Open Diapason 16'

4 combination pedals
balanced swell pedal

Terry Hill's Apollo in Australia. Number 1025

I was contacted by Terry Hill from Melbourne, Australia in mid 2008. The rear of his instrument is stamped with serial number 1025. It also carries the Rushworth and Dreaper shop number R&D3174 and another number, 10591 which we have yet to identify. This puts the date at late 1911, and this Apollo is the penultimate one produced that year.

Its specification is slightly different from Robin Slowe's and was confirmed by photos of the console.


Swell:                         Great:
Tremulant                      Principal 4'
Gemshorn 4'                    Dulciana 8' (derived)
Oboe 8'                        Open Diapason II 8'
Salicional 8' (derived from Oboe?) Open Diapason I 8'
Open Diapason 8'               Double Diapason 16'   
Bourdon 16'

Swell Octave                   Pedal:
Swell-Great                    Bourdon 16'
Swell-Pedal                    Open Diapason 16'

4 combination pedals
balanced swell pedal

It seems that Rushworths soon got more adept at voicing reeds to produce string tones - or at least chose more interesting stop names.

Terry, who was born in Liverpool, is a member of the Organ Society of Victoria, and he bought this instrument from another member. It is currently dismantled and awaiting restoration.

Robert Pettengill's Apollo in Michigan. Number 1061

Robert Pettengill bought his Apollo organ when he was living in London in 1982 and he subsequently contacted Rushworth and Dreapers to get more information. He has since moved to Michigan, USA, and taken the organ with him. At the time he bought it, it required extensive restoration, mainly bellows and leathers throughout. He worked on it over several years with some "technical" advice from a man in his area who restored smaller harmoniums. He finally got it all back together, admitting it was not a perfect job but playable. It has since developed some ciphers which of course are very annoying, so needing further attention. In 2004, he was looking to find someone who might just take the whole thing and restore it and has contacted The Conklin Reed Organ Museum


This is what Robert wrote: The organ I have is number 1061 manufactured in 1914 for St. Andrew's in London. I bought this organ from a private residence from a Ms. A.E. Froude. She said her deceased father had played this organ. I wrote her a letter in February 1998. In it I asked her about any history she could give me about this organ including her father's experience with it. I pledged to put this information with the organ as a sort of memorial. Unfortunately she did not respond.

This Model B also has 6 Swell stops so is probably a similar specification to Robin Slowe's and Terry Hill's instruments. It however has the stop knobs sloping the other way, so this change in design must have happened in 1913-14, or to customer preferance. It also has the ``under cut'' Great keys to match the Swell keys. It also has foot treadles and a latch-down swell pedal so would have been hand and foot pumped. This is the second-earliest instrument by Rushworths that I know of, and also has the high-up sound vents indicating the Swell chest is possibly still at the top of the instrument.

Note that the stop knobs are staggered in a pattern away from the console as apposed to into it in the earlier two instruments. This change in console layout therefore happened before 1914.

Robert has been very helpful to ensure historical accuracy by sending me copies of the Apollo sales catalogue and paperwork relating to production figures he received from Alastair Rushworth in 1989.

In November 2014 Robert wrote as follows. Sadly I must report I have sold no.1061 manufactured 100 years ago this month. We are moving to a much smaller house....

Of course the 100th birthday of no.1061 is eclipsed by the 100th anniversary of the start a few months earlier of what would become The Great War. What was thought might be a short skirmish, maybe ending by Christmas, became the four year grind we now know and are remembering by various memorials including ceramic poppies filling the moat of The Tower of London...

So no more tinkering, disassembly and reassembly of no.1061. More time for my other interest (which may be of some interest to U.K. friends): I am a Winston Churchill enthusiast and member of The Winston Churchill Society of Michigan. For anyone particularly interested in Great War remembrances I have written an essay about an American volunteer who joined British forces two years before the United States entered the war. This American volunteer, Harry Butters, by chance met Winston Churchill in the trenches near Ploegsteert. Thus my interest.

I assume the new owner of no.1061 will enroll in your very exclusive club.

Indeed we were contacted in Feb'2015 by Heather Minion She said it had an uneventful 300 mile move from Michigan to Illinois, USA. We are enjoying practicing on the organ and look forward to doing some restoration work on it, as well.

HVN-0101. Number 1064

My number 1064 the specification seems to have changed to four speaking stops plus Tremulant (making 5 in total) on the Swell which has been used since.

Apollo organ in St. Helen's. Number 1089

I visited St. Mark's Church, St. Helen's in October 2007. They have Apollo number 1089, the first built in 1916. It has a separate BOB blower which may be a later addition. By this time the case had the usual fretwork sound openings as will be seen in other pictures below.

Apollo organ in Florida. Number 1094/5

An Apollo organ was advertised in Ocala, Florida and sold on 13/1/06 for a price of $ 1526.

This is also a relatively early model B (5 Swell stops) with hand and foot blowing equipment so a latch-down swell pedal. It also has a separate blower. It was said to have both serial numbers 1094 and 1095 on the back which dates it to 1916. I have no idea why there are two numbers.

Llantrisant. Number 1100

A few of these early instruments had a different case style with no sound vents. Number 1075 (unfortunately scrapped) was like this, and so is this one from Llantrisant, Wales. For sale early 2009, it is now owned by Claus Seiler and being restored.


Ian Ball's. Number 1104

Ian Ball of Worcester acquired this one in mid-2009. His comments about it are as follows.

I have fallen in love with the reed organ. I've replaced and made airtight the trunking from the ``sucker'' box, which I've made more sound-vibration proof, and regulated the touch depth and it is lovely. I enjoy the resonance and feeling of being in touch with a real instrument that teaches you how it likes to be played. The colours are remarkably good too, especially the caged full swell, meaning I happily work hard on romantic repertoire for ages, whereas a ``chiff-machine'' or ``digibox'' would have bored me hours earlier, no matter how sensitive the action. As for pre-1800 music, the light, early firing action when un-coupled is ideal, and the slight tendency for the Great reeds to bounce when you play ``uber-staccato'' makes me really work to relax and keep fingertips in touch with the surface of the keys to control the release. A useful discipline. The prompt speaking Swell Gamba and Great Dulciana are all you need to practice well into the night without disturbing sleeping children or the neighbours. It's also a joy to have a console which is ergonomically perfect; I've played too many small new pipe organs over the years which give me back or leg ache. The only thing I'd change is to swap the RCO pedalboard for a Franco-German straight-concave one, which I find more comfortable and all purpose.

The slightly heavy touch of the action when coupled also gives me a good workout. It was ideal when preparing for a recital at Tewkesbury Abbey last week, which I have hitherto always felt exhaustingly heavy when the divisions are coupled. Not so now!

I do wish the Apollo's reeds were more easy to tune, however. I have an annoying bottom G on the pedal Bourdon which needs a few ounces of brass scraping off!

Ian offered his Apollo for sale in Oct'2013.

Minehead Masonic Hall. Number 1106

I was informed of this one in 2009 by Anthony Eaton of Minehead who was selling it on behalf of the local Masonic Hall. It has no sound holes and is very similar to number 1100 above. In September I was contacted by Paolo Viadana from Italy who had just bought the instrument - he had been looking for one for a while. Paolo is an organist and self confessed harmonium and reed organ fan. He had sold his electronic practice instrument to make room for the Apollo and says it is the best bargain of his life! He later said My Apollo is now ready: it's very good for home rehearsal, more than an electronic!.

Some photos of Paolo Viadana's Apollo serial number 1106.

John McCann's Apollo

This instrument was for sale in 2003 by John McCann in Dublin. It had recently been restored by Rushworths. Here is what John told me: I bought the instrument from the Rushworth factory in Liverpool only about 2 years ago. I know they have one or two others still in stock. Mine was made in 1920 and I'm the third owner. It no longer suits me to have it - it's too big for the house, and I now have access to a better [sic] instrument for practice. The organ was reconditioned prior to sale, and they took photos of the insides of it through each stage of re-assembly.

HVN-0040. Number 1114

Said to be from c.1912 but the production list would suggest 1918.

St. Mary the Virgin, Hennock. Number 1198

This one was for some time in the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Hennock Village, Dartmoor and was installed in 1954, see Web site at It has its original hand pumping equipment with treadles and a handle on the right hand side. It is a later model, but similar to Robert Pettengill's with latch-down swell pedal. It has since been fitted with an external blower. A picture of this organ was sent to me by Jason Fisher showing it when he was able to play it and explained that everything was in working condition. It is the same specification, but rather earlier in manufacture, than his own instrument.


The organ was sold one-Bay at the end of 2009 and its current whereabouts were not known to me until I was contacted by David Butler in March 2017. This is what he told me.

I have been fortunate in purchasing a third Apollo for the Munster (County Cork Ireland) Province of Freemasons, joining 1177 and 1322, both in Cork city premises; this one 1198 now located at Freemasons' Hall, Youghal. It's history as set out below summaries all I know. It is listed on the Apollo website, kindly maintained by Rob, but without its serial number, which I now supply. The number is quite early, and would suggest 1924. Here is the text I am considering for the commemorative plaque. The history from 1954 to date is clear; the history from 1924-54 is less so. All that I have to go on is via Watkins and Watson, who kindly dated the retro-fitted blower to the year 1950, from its serial number and the location it was made for, Ullenhall, Warwickshire - a village of two churches; the parish church of 1875 with a pipe organ and the surviving chancel of the medieval church of St Mary, which has nothing currently that I am aware of, but which saw significant renovation in the 1950s and early 1960s. It would appear to have been located there.

Apollo - Two Manual and Pedal Reed Organ, No. 1198 Built in 1924 to Royal College of Organist specifications and encased in solid English oak, this is Opus 198 of 360 of these instruments built between 1910 and 1939 by the firm of Rushworth & Dreaper at Liverpool. The organ contains 548 reeds, across ten ranks and retains its original hand or treadle pumping mechanisms; now also powered by an electric motor, a ``Discus'' model, made by Watkins and Watson. It possesses many similarities to the Apollo organs in Freemasons' Hall, Cork, Royal Arch Chapter Room (1924) and Lodge Room (1936) respectively.

Following a period of service at The Old Church of St. Mary, Ullenhall, Warwickshire, this organ served 55 years at St. Mary the Virgin Church of England, Hennock, at the edge of Dartmoor, in Devon, from 1954, until sold by the Parish Council, during 2009, to an organist in Sidmouth, Devon; he intended to refurbish it for use as a house practice instrument, a project never realised, resulting in the re-advertisement of the instrument during the autumn of 2015. It was purchased and brought to Cork for refurbishment by Pádraig O'Donovan Organs, Cork during 2016 and installed in our lodge room at Freemasons' Hall, Youghal, on 21/11/2016; the same day, its predecessor, a two-manual Bell (Canada) reed organ was removed to The Masonic Hall, Waterford, as a gift to the brethren of Waterford from the brethren of Youghal.

2M/6, e-Bay *1322

This very unusual instrument appeared for sale in June 2013 in Montgomery, mid-Wales. It is different to the others, because there are no pedals.

It was previously in a local chapel which was converted for dwelling. We are currently trying to locate the new owner.

Geoffrey Morgan obtained the specification which is as follows

Swell:                  Great:
Tremulant               Principal 4'
Oboe 8'                 Dulciana 8'
Flute 4'                Clarabella 8'
Gamba 8'                Open Diapason 8'
Bourdon 16'             Violone 16'
Swell to Great          Sub Bass 16'
Super Octave            Sub Octave

two knee swells
two treadles


Another Apollo in the USA

An advert appeared in the ROS Bulletin, November 1986, as follows. Rushworth and Dreaper two-manual and pedal reed organ, c.1910. Seven sets of reeds, good playing condition. Blower in silencing cabinet included. Price $ 2,500.

It is interesting in that this is said to have 7 ranks, which may be a mistake. Is it the same organ as now in Florida?

Our Lady Help of Christians, Tarleton. Number 1141

Rev. Nicholas Davis advertised this one in Sep'2009 and contacted me. It had been unused in his neighbouring Roman Catholic church for over 20 years. Nicholas, who had worked for Bishop and Sons, organ builders in London, immediately recognised the instrument's worth and after having the BOB blower overhauled, brought it back to life playing for saturday evening Vigil Mass each week.

Unfortunately however, this Apollo developed a few problems after 87 years and there is no-one at Our Lady's who can play it. The decision was made to part with it to buy an electronic instrument. It was sold on e-Bay to a buyer in Italy. The Apollo is located in a gallery 12 feet above the ground and we have yet to remove it.

tarleton1.jpg tarleton3.jpg

Interestingly this Apollo has no blowing handle and probably never had one. There is no slot in the case side and also no bellows tell-tale.

Eldon Road Methodist Church, Ashton, Preston. Number 1146

This one came up for sale on e-Bay July 2007. It had been used regularly for services at the church from 1946 until Christmas of 2006 when the church was closed - sterling service for 60 years!. I visited to view the instrument and to check further details. It was still all complete and working, but unfortunately the power to the church was no longer connected so blowing was kindly done by hand by Derrick, the key holder. More usually a small BOB blower had been used. The organ bears a brass plaque with the inscription:

           Memorial Organ
   Installed by subscription from
past and present Scholars and Friends.
  Dedicated Sunday 19th November 1946.
        by the Rev. T.D. Corbett.

It also bore a label as follows:

Tuned and maintained by David Ropson ACMIT
        including Edward Ropson MCMIT
             Organ Specialists
           ``Edgerton'', 1A Weld Road,
         Birkdale, Southport PR8 2BX
           Southport (0704) 68006


It was eventually sold to Mathieu Delmas in Paris and Brian Styles and I helped move it in Oct'2007. The power was on this time and the organ filled the church with sound for one last time!

Derrick told me that the church also had an electronic organ for a while, but the organist always preferred the Apollo. She also had a small 2-rank American organ by the Thomas Organ Company of Woodstock, Ontario for practice in the vestry. The stops of this small instrument are Piano, Diapason, Dulcet, Principal, Bass Coupler, Forte, Treble Coupler, Vox Celeste, Melodia, Echo. I am pleased to say that this instrument has also now been sold.

Here is a YouTube video of Apollo 1146 being re-assembled in France: More pictures here. It is good to see the instrument again, now in its new home.

Philip Waddington's Apollo. Number 1171

Philip contacted me in November 2005 to say his Apollo organ is now fully installed and working in his house in Reddish near Stockport. The organ was dismantled to be moved from Calthwaite Church in Cumbria in December 2004 by Victor Saville, who also maintains it, and re-assembled in July 2005. It still has the hand and foot pumping mechanism, but is powered by an external BOB suction unit.

The organ I assume is a model B. It has only five Swell stops (Tremulant, Flute 4, Gamba 8, Oboe 8 and Bourdon 16), and hand and foot blowing equipment. The BOB suction unit was added in c.1980 as an external unit connected to the back by flexible pipe.

The organ was put in All Saints, Calthwaite in 1913 (shortly after the church was consecrated) as a new instrument from R&D, replacing an harmonium, according to the church guide book. The organist for many years according to the church was a Mrs Annie Simpson,who pumped the organ by foot before the blower was installed. The church decided to sell as they could not find anyone to play, and so invested in an electronic that could provide pre recorded music.

I found it from an e-Bay listing, which attracted no bids, as it had a reserve price of £450. After the auction ended, I contacted the church and arranged to buy it privately for this sum, although it cost me considerably more than this to have it dismantled, moved and rebuilt. There are still one or two bits to do, due to parts that went missing in transit; such as the rod which activates the swell to great coupler, and the lattice work under the great.

I love the instrument and it is great to be able to practise at home. It is seeing me through my final RCO diploma and it is beyond me why anyone would choose an electronic over one of these organs.

Philip later said he thought the serial number is 1171, which puts it at 1922, not 1913. In fact we do not believe Rushworths built any Apollo organs in 1913. This one is finished in light oak.

This instrument is currently being relocated to St. Anne's High School, Stockport, where Philip now teaches.

Tommi M. Lewis's. Number 1209

Unfortunately someone had left this instrument outside in the rain. Here is an amazing set of photos from Tom Lewis who has re-build it:

See also YouTube, and

He told me some of the story. The last owner acquired it as a complete organ, but with the major wet damage he had to start a restoration. He however gave up when he acquired a working Apollo, but decided to keep all the reeds as spares. He also had a Estey Model-T (a 2MP instrument), not in great condition, which was to be used as a donor. The main problem is that the reeds are of different dimensions, so Tom has completely re-made the pedal chest. In early 2012, he was basically at the last major step, modifying the Estey reed chests (grand and solo) to fit on the Apollo, he told me they are almost the same. With all the major work done so far, he is now wondering if it is possible to fit some additional ranks of reeds, for instance a 32' pedal.

The instrument was fully functional again in Mar'2012, and there is a YouTube video to prove it:

Peter Godden's. Number 1211

Peter Godden contacted me in Sep'2006 with the following information: I have R&D Apollo reed organ serial no 1221 [actually its 1211]. I bought it in 1996 from St Christopher's Church, Ramsgate and had it brought up to Lincoln by Cambridge Reed Organs. It has since been moved twice and currently languishes rather in a grotty Marley-type garage attached to my vicarage. This home for the past 6 years has done it no good, but it is all playable. It may go temporarily into Spridlington Church Lincolnshire during 2007 while their historic pipe organ undergoes restoration.

I also have a digital organ indoors, but would be very sad to lose the Apollo, although it's size is a problem - I would just never be able to get it into this house, dismantled or otherwise.

I was contacted in Sep'2012 by Christopher Brook to say that he had bought the Apollo from Peter Godden.

St. Augustine of Canterbury RC High School, Werneth, Oldham. Number 1222

Philip Waddington wrote to me on 30/1/06 as follows: I thought I would let you know that at the school where I am Head of Music, St. Augustine of Canterbury R.C. High School, Werneth, Oldham, we are having an Apollo Reed Organ installed in the hall tomorrow (tuesday).

We have bought it from Willis' in Liverpool and it will be used for accompanying hymns and for voluntaries in assembly and school Masses.

According to Willis' it was removed from a church in Surrey in December 2004 and has an external blower. I will try and supply you with a serial number and photographs once it has been delivered so you can add it to your Web site if you wish.

As you know I am a great fan of these instruments and it is giving me a great sense of satisfaction to know that one is being brought back into the use for which they were originally intended.

apollo_st.augustines6_small.jpg More pictures.

Philip has since changed job and the Apollo has been sold to a new owner.

Thomas Becher's. Number 1223

This one is of course identical to the above number 1222 and is one of 24 built in 1927, as confirmed by St. Mary's R.C. Church in Crowborough where it was originally installed. It was at first hand and foot pumped, and only received an electric blower on 28/1/1968. This was a 0.25HB BOB fitted by Rushworths at a cost of £95. The organ was also serviced at the same time. In 1978 the organist suggested that it really needed a full overhaul if it were to continue in service at the church. It was however only sold in 1991 after alterations to the building and the sad purchase of an electronic instrument. By this time the Apollo was in even worse condition and was eventually restored in 2000 by Mr. Wachtendorf in Holland.

A short time later Apollo 1223 moved to Norway when it was acquired by Wolfram Syré in Larsnes. He kept it until 2007 when it again moved, this time to Germany where it is now owned by Thomas Becher in Saarbrücken.

Tom's Flikr stream shows the instrument in its current condition. As can be seen, during 2012-13 he added Midi and Hauptwerk to the instrument. Whilst definately not original, this seems to be a sympathetic addition.

Moore Methodist Church. Number 1235

This Apollo was advertised on e-Bay *6209, on 19/4/2007. My workplace is a 10 minute walk from Moore village, so I went to visit the church on 16th April.

This is a very sad (but of course quite common) story. The Methodist Church in Moore is a very attractive building, but with a dwindling congregation and only a handful of volunteers trying to keep it going it has fallen into dis-repair. It has therefore been sold to turn into ``dwellings'', the house to be pulled down and a new one built and the church to be separated into two - I am told they will keep the stained glass windows. This is a desireable village location and when complete will fetch high prices!

The Apollo still stood majestically at the front of the main hall, with everything around it already dismantled. I was told that e-Bay was a last resort as the Methodist organ advisor could not find a home for it. This instrument looks identical to the one a Hennock, but has the black name plate above the manuals rather than the white one as does Philip Waddington's at Werneth and Louis Huivenaar's number 1249.

It was purchased by Szilard Toth of Hungary who has a keen interest in reed organs. He collected it and carried out some restoration work. It was subsequently bought by Dominik Gückel in Stuttgart. Note that the bench is newly made.


It was again for sale in mid-2015 because Dominik had acquired the 3MP Holt from Erdington (may be back with Szilard Toth?).

Louis Huivenaar's. Number 1249

Some photos of this instrument were shown at the beginning of the chapter. It is very similar to the one shown above, RFG4849. It does however have the grille under the Great manual, so this fits with it being slightly later but otherwise similar to St. Werneth's School and St. Mary's Hennock, but does not have the straight side panels, so is clearly earlier than Jason Fisher's. We believe this change in the case style came in around 1933-5.


Bagillt United Reform Church

A similar instrument is in regular use in North Wales. The following information was sent to me by Minister Ruth Browning and Jean Needham, the organist at Bagillt UR Church.

This organ was purchased by the church from Rushworth and Dreaper in Liverpool in Feb'1929 at a cost of £155. The bill for the organ is at present in the Hawarden Records Office. It was originally winded by hand pump and treadles (both of which still work) but was many years ago converted to electric blower. In 1967 the organ was dismantled and renovated at a cost of £75. The organ has been serviced annually, at least to our knowledge, for the last 30 or so years by Mr. Keith Edwards of Robert Edwards and Co.(est. 1973) Pipe Organ Builders, of Tattenhall, Chester and was last serviced in October 2007.

The instrument was moved in late 2008 to Pennorth in Brecon.

Wannes Vanderhoeven's Apollo. Number 1268.

Wannes Vanderhoeven is an organist and organ teacher in Mechelen, Belgium. He sent me the following note in Sep'2006: In the attachment you will find a photo of my Apollo, in the house of its former owner. At this moment, I cannot provide more pictures: the instrument is packaged and protected, since I'm renovating the room where it's placed in. I hope to be able to restore the Apollo next year; when I bought it, it was still in very good condition (one stop was not working, and the wiring of the wind engine has to be adapted so that it can function on AC 220V, it was still provided for AC 380V 3 phase...). As far as I know, not many specimens of this instrument can be found in our country; I coincidentally got the occasion to acquire mine on an e-Bay auction. It had been the practice instrument of a lady organist in a village church at the countryside, "in the middle of nowhere".

A few months later he did however send pictures. Click here to view.

Wannes informed me that this instrument was purchased in Oct'2016 by Luc Louvot of Bonne-sure-Menoge, France.

e-Bay item *4319

Philip Waddington told me this one was in St. Thomas' church, Rhyl, it sold via e-Bay for £155 on 21/4/2006. It is a standard late model instrument with 5 Swell stops and balanced swell pedal.


The location of this organ is not known, but it is shown in Fritz Gellerman's database. It is of intermediate status, with treadles and no sound grille under the Great manual.


Cynwyd Parish Church. Number 1271

Information on this organ, in addition to that from the Cynwyd 150 anniversary Web site, is from Leonard Harrison. He was able to ascertain that the number inside the organ is 1271. He sent me a photo of the organ in the church. It is now electrically blown (vacuum really of course) - that job was done in Apr'1990. You can see the electrical blower at the side of the organ. At the same time a lot of money was spent on getting the organ taken away to a firm in Rhuddlan to be done up. Keith Edwards of Morgan Edwards and Co. of Tattenhall (Cheshire) did more work on it during Feb'2007 costing £500. This Apollo in Cynwyd is still working, but we don't think it will be done up again as it is musically not wholly satisfactory for the church and reeds are nearly impossible to get.


Len informed me that in the Corwen area of Wales, there are two other extant instrument - at Dinmael and Gwyddelwern.

James Battersby's. Number 1275

Brian Styles bought this in July 2006 via e-Bay from a seller in Elsworth, Cambridge. According to papers which came with the organ, it had originally been sold to a church in the Manchester area. This one has now been sold to James Battersby. I helped Brian finish the installation and restoring in early Oct'2006.

apollo_1275.jpg More pictures.

This one is finished in light oak and therefore looks similar to Phil Waddington's. A difference is that the latch down swell pedal is in the centre of the instrument which has no treadles. One thing about this instrument which I noticed when I played it is that it is very load. Brian has recently begun to enquire why this is. It seems that the later instruments, like Jason's 1348, have a much softer tone.

Francis Dunstan's Apollo. Number 1277

I was contacted on 26/4/06 by Francis Dunstan who said: I have just stumbled on your Web site (now entered as a Favorite) giving info on Reed Organs.

I have Apollo number 1277 which seems to follow the 2MP Catalogue Specification Sheet given.

I bought it from Halvosso Methodist Church (near Penryn, Falmouth , Cornwall,) in approx 1980, and Ian Thompson helped with the initial tuning about 5 years later and kindly gave me the use of a blower. This church in which I was baptised is now closed.

The organ had been given to the Church by a Mr Herney Spargo, a Granite merchant and Quarry owner and member of the Church and I believe that he got it from the vicar of Mabe Parish Church, also near Penryn.

At present it needs more attention but is playable for the most part, and I use it for practice.

I am most interested in your Website and hope you will find these notes of some use.

Mr. Dunstan notes that he also has a 2MP Estey and a 1M instrument by George Woods.

The Masonic Hall, Tuckey Street, Cork, Apollo Number 1322

Dr. David J. Butler, Provincial Librarian and Archivist of the Munster Freemasons, contacted me in Jan'2012 with the following story about this instrument.

His search for an organ commenced during Nov'2011, when he was approached by the secretary of the Cobh Masonic Lodge, Co. Cork, with a request to have their Smith American Organ (1M, 5 ranks of reeds, presented 1918) returned to them. It had been transported to the Provincial Grand Lodge Room (regional HQ) in Cork city in 1986, as their lodge was very damp and there was no organist for their monthly meeting. It however took until 1995 for them to renovate and dry line the building and the instrument was never returned.

David later called upon a local lady, in his native South Tipperary, to discuss the music at their forthcoming carols service, to which she annually brings her choral society. After they had finished, he inquired as to whether she still had her 2MP reed organ which he had seen and played once or twice in the decade she owned it. She said yes, and he asked to play it again; it was covered in music, and dust, but working well. On explaining their requirement, she immediately offered it for sale, and the rest, as they say, is history.

At the start of 2012 an organ builder known to both David and the owner of the organ, Stephen Adams of Carlow, Ireland, moved it to the Lodge. It dismantled beautifully and is now located on the first floor room of this 1770s building, which was The Assembly Room of Cork city, c.1770-1844, when purchased by a Masonic Lodge of the city. The room is 45' long, 30' wide and has a 20' ceiling.

The instrument is stamped on the reverse R&D4323 and Organ Works No.1322. The works number is also stamped under the leather reservoir inside the back of the organ, while R&D4323 and 1322, as well as the date 1977, is pencilled on the works lower down. It would appear this was an R&D in house service.

The organ has an external Millns blower, Swiss made, and straight sides with the Union Jack effect sound vents to the front. It is of medium dark English oak panelling, with centrally balanced swell control, 4 composition pedals, and the usual Apollo stops across 10 ranks of reeds. There are no treadles.

The provenance is as follows. The organ was quite likely located in the UK until the 1970s; recent servicing by Padraig O'Donovan of O'Donovan Organs, Clonakilty, West Cork (who also serviced Apollo 1177, see below) has revealed printed, in red pen inside the swell reservoir, in block capitals, ``P. NOBLE. JAN. 1941''. Quite likely the organ was serviced by this person at the time. Elsewhere inside the organ, in black pen, is written ``W.T. Parr, 1/7/'65''. This person's name is also stamped into the wood inside the organ: immediately beneath the works number 1322 is ``W.T. PARR'' without a date.

Richard Knight told us that Bill Parr was was the piano workshop manager for Rushworths in the late 1960s early 1970s and left thier employment in around 1974. Richard worked with him and believes he was the last reed organ tuner they employed.

I was more recently contacted by Sandra Roberts, Bill's daughter. She told me: My father left Rushworths in 1973, having been made redundant as you suggest, he being the last of the Reed Organ repairers and tuners. I remember going with him to many Welsh chapels to do emergency repairs as a favour long after he retired. He passed away in Oct'2007.

I am currently in touch with Jonathan Rushworth who is busy writing the family history book and I am just writing my memories now for his book. I have worked at Liverpool Philharmonic for over 36 years now too hence my current connection to the Rushworth family as one of our supporters.

It was located in the Cork Municipal School of Music for some decades, prior to when David first saw it there in 1995. This could possibly be later since the pencilled (servicing?) date of 1977, possibly earlier, he hopes to follow up with the school archivist. It was replaced in 1996-7 by a small 5 stop pipe organ, and was stored ``in disgrace'' under the main staircase until its eventual removal from the school in about 2000, when it was purchased by David Deady, a Dublin based piano tuner who worked at the School. He, in turn, sold it to Maureen Ahern, of Cahir, Co. Tipperary, who owned it for around ten years from 2002.

David told me that the organ is now playing well, and has received some minor adjustments and tuning here and there. Many of the stops are very fine and of pipe organ quality.

and Apollo 1177 2MP/10

So successful was the above re-location that David Butler acquired a second Apollo, number 1177 from 1924. This had been in St. Peter's Church of England, Poulshot near Devizes for forty years, from 1972 until the end of Feb'2012 when the church officials succumbed to pressure to purchase a new electronic instrument. Previous to this, it was located at St. Francis of Assisi Church of England, Woolbrook, near Sidmouth, Devon. That church was built in 1928-32, and it would appear that the organ was provided from old R&D stock direct from the factory about that time. It remained in the church until 1972, when replaced by the current pipe organ. It is hoped to locate a photograph taken of the two organs side by side in the latter year.

The organ has now been installed in the upper floor room (45' by 30' by 16'), which is The District Grand Royal Arch Chapter Room of Munster. It has been internally cleaned and serviced and, as David explained: was installed in time for a very occasional meeting of The Grand Lodge of Ireland, on 31/3/2012, in the presence of The Deputy Grand Master and The Grand Secretary, at which a newly revived lodge was constituted and consecrated. The chapter room was being used, even though it's a lodge meeting, as the room has a far larger capacity.

Apollo Number 1336

A previously unknown instrument came to light in Nov'2014 when it was purchased by Nicholas Davis of Tarleton. He had previously maintained number 1141 before it was sold to new owners in Italy.

Pam Fluke provided information about the origins of this one. It was built in Apr'1937 for All Saints, Great Crosby (Merseyside). The total cost was £114-16/6d of which labour £52-18/9d and materials £48-5/6d.

Nicholas said, All Saints was a new mission in the Parish of St. Luke on the Thornton side of Crosby. The 1930s mission church is now the parish hall, a replacement brick church having been built in the 1950s. A page on their parish Web site notes the purchase of this first organ in 1937.

It is not known when Apollo left Crosby, but inside there are notes of several tuning visits from the 1960s pencilled round the swell chest. A piece of letter headed paper sellotaped by the exhauster records that the organ was at St. Nicholas Church of England Primary School, Blundellsands from Mar'1975. The head teacher signed the note - G.A. Crompton.

2MP late model

This one appears in a FaceBook albumposted by Gabrielle Lewis. The instrument is Hooe, Plymstock and is owned by John Hart.

2MP early model

This one was found in Ealing during a probate valuation, see

Rathauspassage Hamburg

Another late 2MP Apollo and a wonderful YouTube film, in German, but the sound tells it all. A noted by Ian Thompson: obviously a very well maintained instrument, and in good tune. Was it originally in a church? Interesting that a British reed organ was imported; after all there were many excellent German RO builders such as Mannborg, Lindholm and Hörügel, to name only three.

This instrument was for many years in a small church in Sussex before being bought in semi-derlict stat by an organist and then via Marburg [?] to its current location.

The Rathauspassage is a shoping and restaurant venue on the S-Bahn entrance managed by Pastor Nils Petersen to inspire and give work to long term un-employed people, see here The video is here: .

ROS Database entry 1397 2MP/10

The ROS database contains only one entry (1397) for Rushworth and Dreaper, a 2MP Apollo organ serial number 4082 which is said to have a pedal Sub Bass 32' stop. This is almost certainly incorrect. According to the above table this organ should date from 1929.

ROS Database entry 2646 2MP/10

ROS DB entry 2646 is said to have been built in 1920, although I suspect it may be a rather later. It has a balanced swell pedal and ``straight'' side panels, which dates it at c.1932.

These later instruments measure (including pedals) 62'' across, 502 deep and 57'' high.


e-Bay item *1419 Model A

This small instrument, which is probably a Model A, appeared on e-Bay in Aug'2006. The seller noted: This organ used to be played in a church in mid Wales, but the organ was saved as the church was being demolished. It was then moved to Wokingham.

2x 61-note manuals
30-note pedalboard

Swell:                         Great:
Flute 4'                       Flute 8'
Oboe 8'                        Open Diapason 8'
Diapason 8'                    Violone 16'

Couplers:		       Pedal:	          
Swell-Great                    Bourdon 16' 
Swell-Pedal                    Sub Bass 16'

1 latch-type swell pedal
hand and foot blowers with wind indicator

This appears to be a relatively late produced instrument judging from the case style. It may have been built around the time of Louis Huivenaar's Model B, which would date it to around 1928.


Old Rannoch Church in Kinloch Rannoch, Perthshire

This instrument is recorded on YouTube in Aug'2014 played by Matt Edwards It is said to be in regula use in the church.

Apollo organs recorded by Haycraft

The notebooks of Frank Haycraft [100] contain references to several reed organs observed in the early 20th Century including the following ones by Rushworth and Dreaper. We show the name of the building, and the notebook page and reference taken from the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) secondary sources database.

St. Germain, Bobbingworth, noted on p20 BOA TL5305

Twyford Avenue Primitive Methodist Church, Portsmouth, noted on p89 BOA SU6501

Romford Police Station, noted on p022, BOA TQ5188

St. Mary Magdalene, East Bilney, noted on p20 BOA TF9519

Hope Bowdler Church, noted on p22, BOA SO4792

St. Mary's Luckington, noted on p80 BOA ST8383

Organs in Uganda

John L. Dixon M.A. wrote an article in The Organ [42] describing organs in Uganda from 1877 onwards. Dixon originally came to Uganda as a UK Government officer in the Survey Department as an amateur organ restorer. He turned professional and worked on many reed organs in that country which only had a small number of pipe organs at the time.

His article around 1976 mainly describes the few small pipe organs that he came across, but contains interesting references to some of his ``bread and butter''. One in particular was a 2MP/10 built by Rushworth and Dreaper for All Saint's Church in Kampala and replaced by a pipe organ around 1955. The R&D reed organ had 4 ranks of reeds on each manual and 2 on the pedal, so was a substantial instrument. It was hand blown most of the time and only had a blower fitted just before being replaced. It was in the organ loft above the vestry, which had a dangerous opening into the church just above the Chaplain's stall. It was moved to St. Mark's Church in Entebbe and continued to give good service into the late 1970s. We do not know of its later movement. The replacement by the way was a failure, being an electonic organ (no manufacturer given) which quickly started to have component failures. I really don't know why reed organs are so under valued when they can give good service for 100 years or more and, as Mr. Dixon states, were affordable.

2MP with detached Console

I saw this advert in the Cinema Organ Society Newsletter, Mar'1976: For sale; two manual and pedal reed organ with detached console and electro-pneumatic action. Very unusual instrument. £ 300. Southsea, Hants.

I contacted Mr. Davidson the seller on 17/3/1976 and he gave me the following specification:

2x manuals, keys from a Wurlitzer (?)
single row of electric stop tabs above manuals:

Swell FF                  Great:	       		
Swell PP                  Violone 16'	       	
Great to Pedal            Open Diapason 16'    	   
Swell to Pedal            Open Diapason 8'     	   
Swell to Great            Clarabella 8'	       	   
Swell Octave		  Dulciana 8'	       	
			  Principal 4'	       	
Lieblich Bourdon 16'      Pedal:	       		
Gamba 8'                  Bourdon 16'	       	
Oboe 8'                   Sub Bass 16'	       	
Flute 4'                  Octave (electric action)
Tremulant                 Great and Pedal PP   	
			  Great and Pedal FF      

8-stage swell pedal via electric action

The FF and PP stops are electric combinations. The couplers are also electric.

It appears that this was originally an Apollo Organ and was re-built for a Mr. Hudlas, a founder of the RAC of Barnes, London, by whom is not known. The reeds and action are contained in a cabinet which measures 4'5''h x4'w x1'10''d. This is finished in oak in an attractive 1930s style and separated from the console by about 10 feet of cable allowing either to be moved and also contains the electric action and Discus suction unit. This must have been quite an amazing instrument and extremely un-usual. We would very much appreciate any further information about it since 1976.

Another advert appeared in the Cinema Organ Society Newsletter, June 1978: For sale, unique 2 man. and ped. reed organ (61/30), electric action, det. console. Reeds and action in separate cabinet. Separate Discus blower in silencing cabinet. Needs some attention to put in playing order. Offers in the region of £ 200. ... Details from R.G. Nicholls, Reading. Was this the same instrument?

Register of known Apollo organs by Rushworth and Dreaper.

It is believed that a large proportion of the 336 Apollo organs produced are actually still in existence. We will attempt to document them in this register. Any known to have been destroyed will be noted as such. If you have additional information please mail to the Apollo mailing list

Louis Huivenaar says there are now more than ten in The Netherlands.

Size Date Serial Number Comments
Early - high console, plain sound vents
2MP/10 1911 1025 R&D3174 Terry Hill, Melbourne, Australia, currently dismantled
2MP/10   1050 R&D3318 Abingdon; parts on e-Bay Dec'2018; bought for restoration?
2MP/10 1912   Perivale, London; sold e-Bay June 2005
2MP/10 1913   ROS-3566
2MP/10 April 1913   R.Slowe
2M/8     Montgomery, Wales; sold e-Bay June 2013
  c.1914   Wm.Faulkes
  c.1914   Mr. Lawrence
  c.1914   H. Cecil Rickett, Overton Road, Sutton, Surrey
  c.1914   St. Andrew's Pres. Church, W. Kilburn
  c.1914   Claud A. Wilks, 30 Evington Valley Rd., Leicester
Model B 27/4/1914 1047 Williams *
Model B 2/6/1914 1048 Hays ?? *
Model B 26/5/1914 1049 Lyon and Hall, Brighton *
Model B 5/6/1914 1050 Langridges then Webb, Walthamstow *
Model B 27/7/1914 1053 Christ Church, Bilburn (?); then ?? Museum *
Model B 6/8/1914 1054 Siloh Congregational, Chwilog, Carnarvonshire *
Model B 8/8/1914 1055 Nicholson, Neston *
Model B 7/9/1914 1056 Backhouse, Walton *
Model B 28/9/1914 1057 Green Bros., Warwick *
Model B 7/11/1914 1058 Steel, Australia *
      Drenthe Harmonium Museum, NL
Early - none or plain sound vents below music desk and Great
Model B 9/2/1915 1059 Vincent, London *
Model A   1060 *
2MP/10 26/11/1914 1061 St. Andrew's London *; Ms. A.E. Froude, London; R.Pettengill, Michigan; H.Minion, Illinois
Model B 15/12/1914 1062 Porter, Yorks.; St. Eades, Middlesboro *
Model B 9/2/1915 1063 Cutting, London *; Netherlands HVN-0101
Model B 18/3/1915 1064 Brooks, Exeter *
Model B 6/4/1915 1065 Morgan, ?? *
Model B 12/5/1915 1066 Ogden, Buxton *
Model B 2/6/1915 1067 ?? Church, West Audsley *
Model B   1072 being restored by L.Huivenaar 2016
  1915 1075 1953 J.Batts' father, Llandrindod Wells, Wales; 1957 moved; Aug'06 broken for spares by B.Styles and J.Battersby
2MP/10     a church in Essex, sold c.July 2006?
2MP/10   1099 Haslemere; Willis; S.Parker, Dewsbury
2MP/10 1916 1100 Llantrisant; 2009 C.Seiler
2MP/10   1106 A.Eaton, Minehead Masonic Hall; 2009 Paolo Viadana, Italy

Middle, with fretted ``Union Jack'' sound vents

    1089 St. Mark's Church, St. Helen's; Jan'08 G.Williams, Pontcysyllte, Llangollen; July'08 B.T.Lerche, Faaberg, Denmark
2MP/10 1916 1094/5 6/1/2006 e-Bay *4790 in Ocala, Florida
2MP/10   1102 repaired by Louis Huivenaar
2MP/10 1917 1104 Dr.T.Bennett, Gloucester; Sep'2009 I.Ball, Worcester; J.Johnson, Ashford Bowdler; 2019 donated to Whitton church, Tenbury Wells
2MP/10 1920   J.McCann, Dublin
2MP/10 1920   ROS-2646
2MP/10   1114 repaired by L.Huivenaar 2005 HVN-0342
2MP/10   1141 Our Lady Help of Christians, Tarleton; sold e-Bay *1569 Sep'2009 to someone in Italy
2MP/10   1146 1946 Eldon Street Methodist Church, Ashton, Preston; 28/9/2007 M.Delmas, Paris
2MP/10 1913 (?) 1171 All Saint's, Calthwaite, Cumbria; late 2004 P.Waddington, Reddish nr. Stockport
2MP/10 end 1923 1175 St .Dominic Catholic Church, Queenstown, SA *; 1955 Catholic Mission; 2000 Queenstown; E.Russell
2MP/10   1176 Netherlands HVN-0204
2MP/10 1924 1177 St. Francis of Assisi Church of England, Woolbrook, nr. Sidmouth, Devon *; 1972 St. Peter's, Poulshot, nr. Devizes; 2012 Dr.D.J.Butler, The Royal Arch Chapter Room, The Masonic Hall, Tuckey Street, Cork, Ireland. Note, has no sound vents. Pumping pedals and retro-fitted Discus Blower.
2MP/10 1924 1198 St. Mary, Ullenhall, 1954 St. Mary, Hennock, Devon; 2009 Sidmouth; Nov'2016 Youghal Freemasons, Cork
2MP/10   1209 T.Lewis
2MP/10   1211 St. Christopher's, Ramsgate; P.Godden, Lincolnshire; C.Brook
2MP/10 1927 1222 Surrey; St. Augustine of Canterbury RC High School, Werneth, Oldham
2MP/10 1927 1223 R.C. Church Crowborough; restored 2000 C.Wachtendorf, Wilhelmshaven, Germany; W.Syré, Larsnes, Norway; Oct'07 T.Becher, Saarbrücken, Germany
2MP/10   1226 N.Pitts, Stamford; broken c.1996; B.Styles has some parts
2MP/10   1235 Moore Methodist Church, Cheshire; 19/4/2007 S.Toth, Hungary; 14/7/2008 D.Gückel, Stuttgart; for sale 2015
2MP/10   1249 L.Huivenaar at one time
2MP/10 30/10/1928 1253 B.Styles; 2005 J.Battersby; Sept'06 L.Huivenaar for restoration; 2007 Volckaert Hospice, Netherlands
2MP/10 1929   Bagillt U.R. Church; 2008 G.Williams, Pennorth; 2010 for sale again
2MP/10   4082 ROS-1397
2MP/10 c.1930   church in Market Harborough; e-Bay Nov'2009
2MP/10 12/1930 1266 ?? *
2MP/10 12/1930 1267 ?? Chapel, Northwich *
2MP/10 12/1930 1268 Antwerp *; c.2006 Wannes Vanderhoeven, Mechelen, Belgium; 2016 Luc Louvot, Bonne-sur-Menoge, France
2MP/10 12/1930 1269 Christian Science ?? *
2MP/10 12/1930 1270 ?? School ?? *
2MP/10 12/1930 1271 Corwen *; Cynwyd Parish Church, Llangar, nr. St. Asaph, electric blower added Apr'1990 *
2MP/10 4/1931 1272 Murray, Sheffield *
2MP/10 4/1931 1273 Sunderland *
2MP/10 4/1931 1274 Rimmers, Southport *
2MP/10     Stirling; for sale e-Bay May'2012
2MP/10     Edinburgh ?; village near Brussels; 2016 for sale (info from Wannes Vanderhoeven)
Middle, with latch down swell pedal in centre
2MP/10 13/6/1931 1275 Notre Dame, Wigan *; St. Matthew's, Oldham; J.Hicks, Elsworth, Cambridge; Jul'2006 B.Styles; Oct'2006 J.Battersby; S.Toth, Hungary; 2012 National Cemetry, Budapest
2MP/10 7/1931 1276 ?? *
2MP/10 7/1931 1277 Penryn, Truro, Cornwall *; F.Dunstan, High Wycombe
2MP/10 11/1931 1278 ??, Newton le Willows *
2MP/10 1/1932 1279 Admiralty ??, Simonstown (?) S.A. *
2MP/10 1/1932 1280 ?? *
2MP/10 12/1932 1285 ?? D.R. Church, S.A. *; Dec'2019 A.Jacobs, Johannesburg
2MP/10 2/1932 1286 Venterstad (?) D.R. Church, S.A. *
2MP/10   1289 Pulburough, W.Sussex; Feb'2012 e-Bay *7360 Germany
2MP/10 12/1933 1302 1st Church of Christ Scientist, Bracknell *; G.Abrahams; for sale 2012
2MP 1931-33?   mid-Ireland; St. Colman's Church, Templeshanbo, Enniscorthy
Late, with built in blower
2MP/10 1927-8   restored by L.Huivenaar for a client in 2005.
  1935   New Eltham Methodist Church, London *; replaced 1961
2MP/10 1936 1322 (pre-1977-2000) Cork Municipal School of Music, Cork, Ireland; 2000-01, D.Deady, Piano Tuner, Dublin; 2002-12, Maureen Ahern, Cahir, Co. Tipperary; 2012: Dr.D.J.Butler, The Lodge Room, The Masonic Hall, Tuckey Street, Cork. Millns Blower.
    1329 Meidinger blower, seen by L.Huivenaar, Jan'2007 in good order
Very late, with blower, balanced swell pedal and straight case sides
2MP/10 1936 1332 B.Dracott; Sep'2010 Andrew Hayden
2MP/10 1936 1333 Haverfordwest; e-Bay 31/7/2021
2MP/10 1936 1336 All Saints, Great Crosby *; ...; 2014 Nicholas Davis, Tarleton
2MP/10 1938 1347 (6?) Chinley Primitive Methodist Church, Derbys; 2006 B.Styles
2MP/10 June 1938 1348 Christ Church Bolton-le-Sands; Saltaire Museum; 2005 J.Fisher, Stockton
2MP/10 June 1939 1350 Brynwern Chapel, Dinorwic; G.Morgan; D.Frostick
2MP/10 1938-40?   a Catholic Church in The Netherlands. Louis Huivenaar has info
  late   Almer, Dorset (off the A31) seen recently by G.Morgan.
2MP/10 late   Hooe, Plymstock
So far undated
2MP/10     Henry Willis and Sons, Liverpool
2MP/10     for sale in The Organ, August 1998, 01282 STD code *
2MP/10     St. Thomas Rhyl; sold e-Bay 21/4/2006
2MP     Uist MacDonald, Scotland
2MP     Edward Mitchard, Oxford
2MP     Greg Abrahams
2MP     D.Wyld, for sale, Sept'2006
2MP     D.Wyld, for sale, Sept'2006
2MP     D.Wyld, for sale, Sept'2006
2MP c.1928-9   in The Netherlands restored by L.Huivenaar
2MP     Cor Ardesch, Dordrecht, The Netherlands *
2MP     in The Netherlands *
2MP     in The Netherlands *
2MP     in The Netherlands *
2MP     in The Netherlands *
2MP     in The Netherlands *
2MP     in The Netherlands *
2MP     in The Netherlands *
2MP     in The Netherlands *
      St. Germain, Bobbingworth *
      Twyford Ave. Primitive Methodist Church *
      Romford Police Station *
      St. Mary Magdalene, East Bilney *
      Hope Bowdler Church *
      St. Mary's, Luckington *
Model A     Church in mid Wales; e-Bay *1419 Wokingham
      Yarnton parish church, Oxford, seen by ICLT 15 years ago but sold off *
      West Wycombe parish church, seen by ICLT c.1955 *
      Pamber Heath parish church, Hampshire, seen by ICLT c.1955 *
      Norfolk, VA, USA
2MP     in St. Mark's, Entebbe, recorded by J.L.Dixon c.1976 *
2MP     Barnes, London; Southsea c.1976. Rebuilt with electric action *
2MP     College near London; Spalding, for sale in parts on e-Bay July 2007
  post 1924   c.1999 South Shields Seafarers' Mission, listed in NPOR D05402
      Saron Chapel, Coedpoeth; G.Williams, Llangollen; found to have serious mouse damage probably not restorable
      Usk? info from B.Styles
      Stanton St. Bernard, Wilts. See Wiltshire and Swindon Archives D/1/61/131/91
  c.1913?   2004 sold in Carlisle at auction
      Leslie Wilkinson; died
      Dinmael, Wales
      Gwyddelwern, Wales seen by L.Harrison c.1995
      Windsor Parish Church, seen recently by G.Morgan.
      a church in Oxfordshire, was owned by J.Rhodes
      Tom restoring, noted on Liverpool History blog c.2011
      one sold in St. Peters, Missouri ?
      Saltaire Museum; 1998 Croxton Parish Church, Lincs.
      Newmarket; broken Mar'2014 reeds for sale on e-Bay
      St. Martin's Deesford from 1946 until 1966
      Old Rannoch Church in Kinloch Rannoch, Perthshire YouTube video Aug'2014
      Sidford, nr. Sidmouth, Devon seen by G.Morgan c.1967
      Church in Scotland; friend of S.Parker June 2012
      Scotland near Edinburgh?; Belgium, belongs to a piano technican; for sale Oct'2016
      Wm.Faulkes, Anfield, Liverpool
2MP/10     Ealing;
2MP/10     South Africa;
2MP/10     Ladach Instruments, Germany;
2MP/10     Hamburger Rathauspassage, Germany; restoration Babel Orgelbau 2019

Key: * indicates information is taken from R&D record sheets or other historical source, in some cases current status of this instrument is unknown.
? indicates some doubt about the information.
?? indicates that I could not read the copy.

J. Wallis and Son (1848-c.1921)

We have moved Wallis to this chapter because we do not believe they manufactured their own organs.

wallis_name.jpg wallis_name2.jpg wallis_name3.jpg wallis_name4.jpg wallis_name5.jpg

Joseph Wallis founded his company in 1848 and was succeeded by his son James and later by H.E.H. Standish and George Wallis as heads of the firm. They were established in 1848 at 6-7 Providence Street, Walworth as a music store, and from 1858 were at 6 Union Street, Borough SE, moving to no.14 in 1865. The firm moved to 133-35 Euston Road in 1867, where they remained until 1928. They became J. Wallis & Son in 1885.

The London Post Office directory lists factories at 50 Isledon Road and Thane Villas, Holloway (c.1914), with other premises at 53B Carysfort Road, Stoke Newington (1915-19).

Wallis is known to have made concertinas for some time. They also made woodwind and brass instrument, but other makes may have the Wallis stencil. They produced the Wallis Patent Table Organ, harmoniums and American organs at 133-5 Euston Road, London, but were later registered as making only parts and reeds and in 1921 just making pianos and players. Some of the instruments we have seen were probably supplied from other makers, for instance as the ``Improved Parisian Model''. It has also been suggested that their concertinas were actually made by Lachenal or Jones.

Joseph Wallis and Sons were also recorded as piano makers, and their upright models do turn up regularly for sale. Around 1883, the firm's name changed to Joseph Wallis and Son. Around 1889, they became a limited company and seem to have finished around 1930.

In the 1878 Paris exhibition they were exhibiting materials for musical instruments and a selection of flutes. Indeed the company was principally known for the Giorgi model flute and various brass instruments.

In the 1885 London Exhibition, they were award a bronze medal for cheap and good cottage harmonium. They also received medals for an electrograph for music, good quality flutes and holdfast violin pegs. They had catalogue entry nos. 3,555 and 3,569.

Their instruments were exported around the world, there seem to be a number of pianos in South Africa. The Table Organ and also Wallis Folding Organs were being advertised by Chrisp and Son of Gisborne, Poverty Bay, New Zealand in Sep'1898.

Patent Table Organ

One of these instruments was for sale in Feb'2012 by David Shuker, a restorer in West Malling. The asking price was £850 because it had been completely overhauled, fitted with two rows of new reeds and a newly re-made foot pedal from drawings in the patent. It has three stops (front set, rear set, tremulant) and a Forte. This is a rare survivor of a by-gone age (others are known).


It has been said that the Table Organs were a joint venture between Wallis and Kasriel of Paris, in fact there was a joint patent in 1895. There is a similar looking instrument by Kasriel in the National Museum of American History I is said to have been made around 1848-52. This is probably an evolution of the Guide Chant which was used in some French churches.

RFG-4342 piano-cased organ



ROS-3921 is another Wallis harmonium with seven stops. Its name plate shown above claims it to be a ``broad reed organ harmonium''.


This small harmonium in the Woodville Organ Museum was restored in 2013. It has the same name plate as above. Stops are Forte I, Dulciana, Diapason, Expression, Melodia, Vox Humana Forte II.

Plumley Collection

There is said to be a Joseph Wallis harmonium dating from c.1860 in the Plumley Collection in Arundel, see


This one is a small suction instrument.


Here is a somewhat larger one advertised in Jan'2013 from a vendor in Milton Keynes.


A small suction organ appeared on e-Bay Jan'2008. It looks to be a fairly late one.


A single rank instrument in very poor condition was advertised on e-Bay, *6350 in St. Neots, Mar'2013.


This one was advertised in Rotherham, June 2013. It carries metal plaques denoting some of its history.

Presented to ???
??? Sunday School
  March 23 1904

This Organ was transferred from
 The Crescent Church, Spalding
     11th December 1955

 Members of the Congregation
found Interferring with this
   Organ will be Severely
 Reprimanded and Forbidden
to Practice with the Choristers
   Reverend T.~Hardie ???
     November 1871


e-Bay *7941

This one with an oak case was advertised in Dec'2013 and said to have been used in a church in Carlisle. It measures 46'' x23'' x48'' and was originally sold by Charles Thurnam & Sons, Carlisle; the company still exists and are listed as printers and office equipment suppliers.

I contacted the seller and was told that the 16 stops are as follow: Forte, Bass Coupler, Harp Aolian, Principal, Sub Bass, Diapason 8', Dulcet 8', Vox Humana, Echo 8', Melodia 8', Voix Celeste 8', Dulciana, Flute, Saxophone, Treble Coupler, Forte. It also has two knee swells.


Reed Organs Web site no.388 2M

A quite impressive 2M suction instrument was avertised on Chris Hampson's Web site in Feb'2021 no.388. The seller was in Pocklington near York.

Upper Manual:       Upper Manual:  
Basoon 8'           Viol d'Amour   
Dulcet 8'           Oboe 8'        
Diapason Treble 8'  Principal 4'   
Cor Anglais 8'      Flute 4'       
Lower Manual:       Lower Manual:  
Clarion 4'          Fife 4'        
Bourdon 16'         Salicional 8'  
Clarinet ??         Saxophone 16'  
Bass Coupler        Viol d'amour 8'
Diapason Bass       Treble Coupler 
Manual Coupler 

Above manuals:
Vox humana


This looks almost identical to the one advertised for sale in Westcliffe-on-Sea in 2020 which is believed to be by Humphreys, see Chapter 11.

Rob Allan