A Life Full of Pipe Dreams (by Guy Russell)


A Life Full of Pipe Dreams

Guy Russell gives the reader a rare insight into some of the darker arts of organ building through this retrospective of his life in organ building. The book divides into three main sections, the first being autobiographical in which we learn about Guy’s early years as a choirboy and student organist at Wimborne Minster through to his time with Nicholson & Co.

The second section concerns itself with voicing, devoting a chapter to each of the tonal families of pipework while a third section addresses to specifications, pipe scaling and tonal finishing. The book concludes with a reflection on the role of the organ adviser together with a selection of recent project stoplists.

Highly accessible, the reader should not be fooled by the convivial writing style, for these pages contain the wisdom of a lifetime and a wealth of knowledge and reasoning behind some of the most significant British organs of the last thirty years.


  • Foreward ... Dr Roy Massey
  • Introduction
  • The Early Days and Sticky-out Brass Trumpets
  • Sorcerers and Warlocks
  • The Nicholson Sagas

  • ... Interlude ...

  • Flutes
  • Diapasons and Principals
  • Mixtures
  • Strings
  • Reeds
  • Tonal Finishing
  • Scaling and Specifications
  • Advisers
  • Mixture Chart for Auckland Cathedral
  • Nicholson Specifications over the last Ten Years

  • ... And Finally ...

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