St Mary and St Giles

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History Research

As part of the Heritage Lottery Funded 'Willis Pipe Organ Restoration and Reach-out' Project we have some history research to do and we need your help.

Please volunteer to help us find more about the history of this Willis Pipe Organ and the context in which it has been played since 1882. Please complete the Volunteer Researcher form and we will get in touch with you with more details.

Several different research activities are planned for this project. When these involve travelling, all reasonable travel expenses will be covered, by prior arrangement with the project team.

You can volunteer for the following:

  • Visit Edinburgh to examine archives in Records Offices
  • Visit Aylesbury Records Office to examine archives
  • Visit Henry Willis & Sons in Liverpool to examine their Ledger books
  • Go through scanned Parish Records box materials and collate all references to the Willis pipe organ
  • Search through Stony Stratford publications for any mention of the Willis pipe organ
  • Examine SMSG PCC minute books from 1970s onwards for any reference to the organ
  • Write emails or letters of enquiry to identify potential sources of further history information
  • Interview those who have personal recollections of the Willis pipe organ
  • Help keep the online archive list up to date (adding paper-based research records)
  • Search online for potential sources of further history information about the pipe organ

The research starts in April 2014 and lasts until approximately March 2015. There will be regular updates about the history research on the organ fund blog.

Download the History Research Plan

History research in progress

You can view the research in progress of the Kirk Session Records for St George's Church in this online spreadsheet.

As the restoration progresses, we are comparing photographs of inside the organ with existing records to update the Pipe Evolution chart, a revised version will be published here shortly.