1766 and all that – a talk by Dr Jim Berrow

Continuing St. Peter’s Church 250th celebration the Halifax and District Organists’ Association are pleased to present:

An Illustrated talk by Dr JIM BERROW

7.30pm on Saturday 8th October 2016


1766 and all that. (The Nicholson family of organ builders).

A talk of two related halves. The first concerns the issues surrounding the organ that John Snetzler supplied to Halifax parish church in 1766. The circumstances were controversial, with colourful participants and some of this story has been told elsewhere, but there is one connection that has not been explored.

Learn how the township and men of Sowerby tried to influence the installation of this organ.

The second part moves from Halifax to Warley Town and the events that surrounded and formed the life and subsequent organ-building career of Richard Nicholson (1788-1862). It charts his move across the Pennines, a commission in which the Brontës were involved and the subsequent family diaspora that took place, as at least twenty organ builders from his wider family spread their talents across the north of England and the midlands. The successor firm thrives and, today, is one of the oldest continuous businesses in the country.

The talk should appeal to local historians and organists’ alike.

Dr Jim Berrow was an executive producer of music, arts and religious programmes with a major broadcaster, producing programmes for ITV, Channel 4, US PBS, Polyphon/WDR Cologne and the Arts Council. After retirement be became an independent researcher and has been involved in music, architectural history and conservation matters. He was the third Secretary of BIOS and now advises the Dioceses of Lichfield and Birmingham on historic pipe organ issues and is a member of Chester Cathedral’s Fabric Advisory Committee. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow in the University of Birmingham and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Free Admission – Retiring Collection.