The Organ - 1977-2003

Article Index

1977 - 2003

In 1976, the original 3 manual Liddiat organ was in poor condition. It was built using cheap Weigle sliderless soundboards, pneumatic action, and the thin leather membranes involved, called splitskin, were becoming hard. The Choir organ soundboard had suffered from a water spillage and a total overhaul and releathering was essential.

The Bristol organ builder John Coulson was consulted and offered to do the work on the Choir organ, but in view of the deteriorating condition of the rest of the organ proposed a major rebuild using the original pipes, but new, traditional slider soundboards.

The concept was accepted by the church and a scheme put forward by John Coulson, Cecil Adams - the organ advisor, and Sheila Foster - the then organist.
Excellent refurbished soundboards were obtained from the redundant Anglican church of Emmanuel in Clifton, Bristol. A two manual, electric action scheme was agreed and the final specification was:


Great Swell
Open Diapason 8 Rohrflote 8
Hohl Flute 8 Gamba 8
Principal 4 Voix Celeste 8
Nason Flute 4 Gemshorn 4
Nazard 2 2/3 Fifteenth 2
Fifteenth 2 Tierce 1 3/5
    Mixture II
    Oboe 8
    Super Octave  
Pedal Couplers
Bourdon 16 Swell to Great
Bass Flute 8 Great to Pedal
Flute 4 Swell to Pedal

The Swell Fifteenth Swell 15th was derived from the Choir Open Diapason plus 2 octaves of trebles and the Tierce pipes were from the Choir 4ft Flute plus 28 trebles. The Nason Flute was made up of ex Great Dulciana pipes, stoppered plus 12 trebles. The Mixture was new pipes and the Nazard from second-hand ones.

The three pedal stops are one extended rank.

As can be seen from the above, much of the pipework is from the original Hill instrument.

The rebuild was completed in 1978 at a total cost of £8283 and the rededication was on 24 September 1978.

Obviously, the Church wished to ensure that the organ remains sound for many decades to come and to that end agreed to a 20 year spring clean which was carried out in May 1996. This involved the removal and cleaning of all the pipework and the cleaning and general maintenance of all the other parts of the organ. 

In 1996, one of the matching keyboards from the Littleworth Chapel organ was fitted, returning the console to its original 3 manual layout. This (top) manual acted as a MIDI keyboard to drive any external electronic MIDI instruments.