Bristol's Colston Hall organ to be renamed after £250k boost

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Organ being dismantledImage source, Duncan Smith/Colston Hall
Image caption,
The organ was dismantled and removed from the main auditorium of the hall

The organ in Bristol's Colston Hall is set to be refurbished and rebranded as the "Britton Organ" following a £250,000 donation.

It is part of a wider redevelopment of the venue.

The 5,000-pipe, "late Romantic" organ was officially unveiled in 1956 and took five years to complete.

Rosa Corbishley, from Colston Hall, said: "It's the last of its kind in the UK."

Image source, Duncan Smith/Colston Hall
Image caption,
The organ is three storeys high with 5,372 pipes and 4,000 electro magnets

"The organ has been through quite a history of its own, having originally been built in 1869, then destroyed by two fires and replaced," said Ms Corbishley, development director at the music and arts venue.

"It hasn't had any significant maintenance in the last 60 years, so is badly in need of some care and attention to ensure it can continue to perform for many years to come."

The organ has remained largely untouched since it was built more than 60 years ago.

Image source, Duncan Smith/Colston Hall
Image caption,
The organ was dismantled and taken to Durham last year for storage

It was dismantled from the hall's auditorium and taken to Durham last year to go into storage.

The cost of the restoration will run to more than £1m and the J & M Britton Charitable Trust, has donated £250,000 towards it.

Bristol Music Trust is still looking for further donations.

Image source, Duncan Smith/Colston Hall
Image caption,
The organ was originally built in 1869, then destroyed by two fires and replaced

Ms Corbishley described the organ's existence as "remarkable".

In 1909 it made history when two suffragettes hid in it overnight and then disrupted a political meeting in the hall shouting: "Votes for women".

She added: "It hasn't had any significant maintenance in the last 60 years, so is badly in need of some care and attention to ensure it can continue to perform for many years to come."

The repair works are estimated to take two years.