St Laurence, East Harptree

Organ Console:-

Console and Pipes:-


History:-

The Organ

David Nash

The organ in St Laurence Church, East Harptree, is mainly the work of W G Vowles of Bristol, being mentioned in a document prepared by him during his lifetime but not published until after his death.  Evidence exists that some of the current pipes, pre-dating 1780s, were included in a previous instrument belonging to The Rector, and then to a certain Captain R J Lawrence.

According to the maker’s plate the organ was originally installed in 1883.  It was located in the place now occupied by the Lady Chapel.  A missing section of the chancel screen bears evidence of where the facade for the display pipes projected into the nave.

Chancel Screen

The instrument was moved by Percy Daniel to an especially constructed balcony in 1926.  The original casework was shortened so as to fit the organ between the west wall and a roof truss.  The horizontal swell box shutters that now open to the back wall of the church were not changed.  In 1973, Percy Daniel added a rank of Fifteenth 2ft pipes to the Swell where space had probably originally been provided for an Oboe 8ft, and provided a balanced swell pedal system with vertical shutters still opening to the back wall.

The organ, obscured by a roof truss from 1926 to 2008

Graffiti has been inscribed by generations of children on the back panel of the organ who pumped the instrument by hand prior to the introduction of electricity.
Recognising that the organ would benefit from an overhaul, Dr Andrew Day (Organist & Master of the Junior Choir) started an organ fund in 1998.  By 2006, the monies collected into this fund enabled quotations to be provided for refurbishing and improving the organ.  After independent assessment by Dr Christopher Kent (Head of Music at University of Reading) and an independent review by Jonathan Price (UK representative of Kuhn Organ Builders Ltd, Switzerland) an order for this work was developed by David Nash (Organist & Choirmaster of the Adult Choir) who project managed refurbishment undertaken by Keith Jones in 2008.  The costs of refurbishment have been met by an anonymous benefactor.

Refurbishment included providing horizontal shutters at the front of the Swell Box so that the sound is projected into the nave rather than towards the back wall, tonal improvement, correction to the positioning of the swell pedal and moving the facade to its rightful position in front of the roof truss.  The object of these changes was to make the organ a more suitable instrument for accompanying congregational singing, improve the playability of certain pedal notes, and to enhance its appearance. 

The refurbished organ was dedicated to Almighty God on 16 November 2008 by the Rural Dean, Revd Jan Knott.

Specification

Great
Open Diapason - 8ft - (1883)
Dulciana - 8ft - (1883) - [1]
Principal - 4ft - (Pre 1780) - [2]
Mixture - 15 19 22 - (2008)

Swell

Lieblich Gedackt - 8ft - 1854) - [1][3]
Viole - 8ft - (1883) - [1][4]
Flute - 4ft - (2008)
Fifteenth - 2ft - (1973)

Pedal
Bourdon - 16ft - (1883) - [5]

Couplers
Swell to Great, Swell to Great Super, Swell to Pedal,
and Great to Pedal.

  1. The bass pipes of the Swell Lieblich Gedackt 8ft are borrowed to provide the bottom octave notes of both the       Great Dulciana 8ft and Swell Viole 8ft.
  2. Moved from Swell in 2008 before which it spoke a     semitone lower
  3. Made from a Stopped Diapason 8ft, which before 1780        spoke a whole tone lower.
  4. Inscribed “Hor” [for Horn Diapason].
  5. Two octaves.

Bristol and District Organists' Association

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