Current Members of the IBO Board

Andrew Moyes (President)

Andrew worked first as a control system designer for GEC Traction, then as Rolling Stock Electrical Engineer for Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway and Rolling Stock Engineer for London Underground’s new Jubilee Line Extension.  His involvement in the organ building craft started in the early 1980s when he worked with Alan Taylor on several projects including the very first application of microprocessor control to a church organ. In 1994, he applied himself full time to organ building and became Managing Director of Nicholson & Co. in Malvern.  During his tenure, the firm has moved to modern premises and has built and rebuilt organs in Malvern, Christchurch and Bridlington Priories, Southwell Minster, Portsmouth, Gloucester and Llandaff Cathedrals. He was bemused to find himself being consulted by the BBC on the script for the overhaul of the fictional Ambridge church organ in The Archers!  He has previously served twice as a board member

Gordon Blackledge

Gordon joined the organ building world in 1978 after leaving school and have remained in full time employment within our craft ever since. Apprenticed with Henry Ainscough Ltd of Preston and continuing the learning curve for a total of eleven years before having the opportunity to quench my thirst for knowledge within the trade and broaden my experience, at J W Walker & Sons Ltd. For the last nineteen years I have been gainfully employed by David Wells Organ Builders Ltd.
 
I consider my self very fortunate, not only having covered most aspects of our profession, but also privileged to have worked along side some of the great artisans of yesteryear, who not only offered advice, but took the time and patience to pass on vital practical skills.
 
Outside work I enjoy walking, gardening, choral conducting & accompaniment, and I am Organist and Director of Music at a busy town centre Church.
 
A second chance at becoming a board member of the IBO would give me the opportunity to work with other members in maintaining the high and recognised profile, throughout and beyond the organ building world. Promote the work and standards already set by our organisation, with forward thinking in order to safeguard our future as professional organ builders and indeed our heritage. 

Richard Bower

Richard Bower studied the piano at school and that lead to Graduation from the Royal College of Music as an organist. Interest soon moved beyond the console; turned down by the established firms because of age he joined E & W Storr, organ builders in the home city of Norwich;  Edward Storr was apprenticed directly to Ernest Norman and talked about the men there so I still feel a special affinity with Norman & Beard’s work. My own apprenticeship turned to partnership and proprietorship and in 1980’s the name turned to Bower & Company building new tracker actioned organs. The 1990’s saw the arrival of my CAD and this enabled several suspended actioned two manual organs and interesting reconstructions including Gibraltar Cathedral and Hampstead Parish Church. The study and restoration of Holdich has been special and his éclat never fails. Preservation of our history is important and there is so much past excellence out there but often later alteration has destroyed the integrity. Richard’s weekend job is on the organ stool as Director of Music at a market town church. Playing fires the appreciation and the improvement! The control of the pallet in relation to pipe speech is the essence of our craft, without it the digital world will prevail. The challenge is to lead our future generation to appreciate, restore and develop our craft.

Simon Brown

Simon grew up in Dorset and his interest in pipe organs began here. In 2000 he began working for Kenneth Tickell and a training in all aspects of new tracker organ building followed. Simon spent seventeen years at the company working with great colleagues on over 40 new organs. From early on time was spent in the voicing room and this increased until around 2004 when Simon took over voicing full-time. A number of outings were organised over the years, and Simon arranged a workshop trip to see and play organs in Hamburg and the north of Germany.
 
In 2017 Simon found himself back in Germany working on the tonal restoration of the Steinmeyer organ in Mannheim. On his return to the UK he began working full time in his own company, Ark Voicing. He has a workshop in the centre of Northampton.
 
Simon holds a Batchelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Acoustics and Music from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) at University of Southampton.
 

John Davey

I first became interested in the organ as a treble in the choir of St. James the Greater, Leicester, where the organ is without casework and the exposed pipework captured my interest.I continued singing alongside playing the French Horn and the piano as a music scholar at Millfield School in Somerset.I studied for my B.A. in English Linguistics at King’s College, London, where I was a choral scholar in the chapel choir.
 
After completing my studies I spent a year gaining business experience in the south-west before moving to Northern Ireland for two years.
 
Between 2008 and 2016 I lived and worked in France, during which time I got married, was elected as a local councillor, transplanted a two manual and pedal Porritt to my local church and served on the scientific and technical board of the CPRB (the Breton equivalent of English Heritage).
 
In 2016 my family and I moved to the Isle of Wight to begin a full-time role with Andrew Cooper and Co.Moving back to the UK has enabled me to become involved in church music again as assistant DOM at All Saints’ Ryde, where I am trying to recruit more children, which I see as a vital part of the development of music for the future.
 
In my spare time I keep bees and two classic cars. The bees sting less than the cars! As the father of two young boys I am keen to help the IBO with the recruitment and retention of the next generation of organ-builders because action is necessary if we are to attempt to secure the future of the trade. I would also like to help foster the closer working relationship that is developing between the I.B.O., consultants and D.O.A.s. 

 

Michael Farley

Born and brought up in Devon Michael Farley began organ building in 1974 forming his own business in 1985. Since then he has carried out much work throughout Devon, Somerset, Avon, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight as well as some abroad including Malta and Gozo. 
The work outgrew the workshop on the old Farm where he lives in Budleigh Salterton and now operates from 2 workshop units on an estate nearby. He has been the organist at Ottery St Mary Collegiate Church for 33 years and more recently became a Churchwarden.
 

Jake Holmes

'Originally from Surrey I started to learn the organ about ten years ago after becoming fascinated with the music of Bach and having played the piano since I was about 7. Being interested in all things mechanical, I quickly became interested in what happens behind the keys and started working for H&H as a tuner’s assistant. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to train as a tuner, moving to Bristol for 2 years to manage a busy and growing tuning round. There I enjoyed maintaining a variety of organs of all shapes, sizes, and mechanisms in a round that stretched from Swansea to Winchester.
In early 2016 I relocated back to London to succeed Andrew Scott as H&H London tuner where I’m responsible, with the assistance of 2 able colleagues, for maintaining a broad range of instruments as well as standing by for major events and concerts. As a candidate for the IBO board I am particularly interested in helping to promote high standards of tuning and maintenance (as well as pragmatic and meaningful training in this area) which is often the first point of contact clients have with organ builders.'

 

Eric Shepherd

Born appropriately in Shepherds Bush, and moved to Edgware in 1964.  I come from an organ building family, my father having founded the business in 1927.   I started working in 1970, having left school at 15.  I worked with my father, until his death in 1971, and with my older brother John.   I had been working on Saturdays and in school holidays, and could not wait to leave school to start work.   I first helped passing pipes out of an organ for cleaning before I started school.   I enjoy the variety of work, with all types of actions, and tuning and maintaining a large number of organs.  We have had a long association with the BBC, and have tuned and maintained the organ at Maida Vale studios for 27 years.
I am passionate about organs, and organ music, and go to a lot of recitals, no only on our organs. 
 I have been on the Organ Club committee for 20 years, and was President for two years. Whilst I was President I arranged a tour to organs in Ireland, and shortly afterwards arranged a tour to Paris, with help from a few others, when we heard most of well known organs there. I have several thousand CDs, mostly organ and choral, and also make recordings of recitals on our organs, and of recitals by organist friends on other organs.  I have produced several CDs.  I am not really a player, having come from the old school of organ builders, but I have one or two party pieces to try out an organ.  I am a founder member of the IBO, and have been to many meetings, and weekend events.  I would work with other board members to help with events etc