His organs are characterised by the beautiful imitative reed tones, bright upperwork and reeds, and the very ‘English’ full swell sound. His workmanship, particularly in the construction of the soundboards, swell boxes, and pneumatics was second to none, evidenced by the large number of organs that still survive, including our own at Redland Park. A very interesting example of Father Willis’s work exists in St Monica’s Chapel, on the Downs, where the organ has recently been restored exactly as originally built, complete with pneumatic action.
A truly delightful instrument to play and more importantly, to listen to. In 1888 Willis electrified the action of the organ in Canterbury Cathedral and this was still working successfully when the instrument was dismantled shortly before the 2nd. World War. Henry Willis died in 1901 but his work was continued by his sons and descendants; the firm is still alive and well today.