Two generations of pipe organ building
The company founder Philip Wood (1929 - 2011) was born and educated in Huddersfield where he began organ studies with Winifred Smith FRCO. At 17 he was apprenticed to the local organ-builders, Peter Conacher.
He was appointed representative for Northern Ireland in 1954 and subsequently became manager for the whole of Ireland. Ten years later he returned to Huddersfield to take up the position of general manager at Conacher.
Two years later Philip established his own firm, Wood of Huddersfield (Organ Builders). The first instrument was built in 1968 and a series of practice/chamber organs followed.
The first major contract was for a three-manual organ of 40 stops in Huddersfield Polytechnic, now the University of Huddersfield. This significant instrument, completed in 1977, established the reputation for the growing firm.
Since then, it has worked on organs in churches, chapel, cathedrals and educational establishments all over the UK. Rebuilds have included St Asaph Cathedral, North Wales, and the famous Snetzler/Hill in Beverley Minster, East Yorkshire. Wood Pipe Organ Builders also look after organs in Wakefield Cathedral, Blackburn Cathedral and Southwell Minster. Our mechanical action instruments include that at Forest School, north east London.
Philip's younger son David joined in 1976. Having come up through the workshop, he has been involved in all aspects of organ building and is responsible for the voicing of new pipework. In January 1999, he became managing director. He serves on the board of the Institute of British Organ Building.
Click to hear Homage to Perotin by the American composer Myron J Roberts. It is played on the three-manual organ in St Giles, Pontefract, by Dr Gordon Stewart. The instrument is in our care.