The Client

Cube Self Storage assisted an international company with the storage of one of the UK’s largest pipe organs, the Cavaillé-Coll organ from Manchester’s Town Hall.

The Project

In 2018, Manchester Town Hall closed for a major refurbishment project, of which restoration of the organ is a part.  Although the restoration of the organ is a significant task in itself, the duration of the building project is much longer, so it was necessary to protect the organ by dismantling it and placing it into secure storage before its restoration begins.. The organ contains mainly delicate aged timber components, so it was necessary to store it at a constant temperature and at the correct humidity levels.

[ Andrew Caskie, of Nicholson & Co, was on hand to play a few short phrases on the instrument just before the team started work on dismantling it ]

The Solution

Understanding the delicate nature and the unique challenges involved in removing this iconic instrument, Cube Self Storage curated a bespoke loading and management storage plan for the client. To ensure the safe removal of the organ into Cube’s Climate Storage facility, we enlisted the help of our sister company, Edward Baden Relocations, with over 20 years experience in specialist relocations.

The Process

Prior to moving day, a Risk Assessment was conducted to assess the building’s condition. Hardboards were laid across all main access routes.

On moving day, the team reported to site and began laying building protection materials. All interiors were protected by use of hardboard and correx and the main exit doors were layered with paper covers.

The organ was carefully catalogued and dismantled by its eventual restoration contractors, Nicholson & Co. Ltd and Flentrop Orgelbouw.  It was loaded onto six Edward Baden lorries and safely transported into Cube’s Climate Controlled Storage facility – where our storage specialists constantly monitored the temperature and humidity levels.

Project Highlights

  • Working closely with Manchester Town Hall and specialist organ builders in achieving a smooth relocation project.
  • Our specialist team relished the challenge of working with a unique and important part of Manchester’s heritage.

Additional Information

The Cavaillé-Coll Organ (1877 and 1893) from the Town Hall in Albert Square, Manchester is a rare remaining example of a large organ by this firm in the United Kingdom and has been awarded a Grade 1 Certificate by the British Institute of Organ Studies in recognition of the historic importance as the largest surviving corpus of Cavaillé-Coll pipework in the United Kingdom. It is listed In the Institute’s Register of Historic Pipe Organs.

Find out more about the project at www.nicholsonorgans.co.uk/pf/mth

If you require specialist storage services, please contact us or call 0800 027 2668  to speak to a member of our friendly team.