Apprentice finds pipes calling as he follows father’s path

A YOUNG Yorkshire apprentice hopes to hit the right note an organ pipe company in a bid to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Chris Shires, 18, is pulling out all the stops to become the next generation of organ pipe makers at his father Terry’s Leeds-based business.

Friend and colleague John Warr, who taught father Terry his skills, is now passing on his tricks of the trade and his trusty bag of tools to Chris.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr Warr, now 75, said: “All the tools I used have been handed down from retired people in the past and they are tools that you can’t buy off the shelf.

“These were specially made for the trade and one of them is over 100 years old.”

Shires Organ Pipes Ltd has seen its handmade pipes installed at St Paul’s Cathedral in London and Rikkyo University in Japan.

Mr Warr, who has over 60 years of experience in the trade, added: “You can’t let go of it when you have done it so long.

“Each man in this workshop makes his own stop of organ pipes and will make them from start to finish.

“After you’ve finished a set of pipes, you can stand back and think ‘I’ve made that with my bare hands’.

“You get so much job satisfaction from that.”