The Church Organ

The following is taken from a report written by Dominic Gwynn, of "Martin Goetze and Dominic Gwynn" who inspected the organ at East Winch in March 2002.

        He reports the history of the organ as...

HISTORY


The National Pipe Organ Register says that the organ came from Diss parish church in 1877, moved by Rayson of Ipswich, who made a new organ for Diss in that year. A graffito noted by Edmund Swift says that the organ was "improved" by Joseph Bullen and Son in 1858. The Great organ is evidently early 19th century (Edmund Swift says T.C.Bates). The blower was fitted by Hill Norman & Beard in fairly recent times.

It looks as if the original early 19'' century organ consisted of a 6 stop organ with a GG compass. This is now the Great organ, The 1858 alterations to the Great consist of an extension to the Open Diapason, on toeboards at the sides, a Gamba replacing a Dulciana (now on the Swell), and a Cremona on a clamp at the front of the chest. Edmund Swift and David Baker envisage a reduction of the organ to this 6 stop organ, perhaps with a small pedal organ and other alternatives.

The 1858 work otherwise enlarged the organ with a new Swell organ, and a Pedal organ. This work is provincial in design and execution, though not unattractive.

The 1877 work may have consisted of providing the two dummy pipe fronts, and perhaps a new console, for the finish looks similar to the casework, and the keys include some not used (Swell C to B and manuals f#3 and g3).

The blower was presumably installed about 30 years ago.

        The report continue, indicating faults with the instrument as.....

FAULTS

The main fault is that the organ is not designed for access, which means that the organ is not as well maintained as it should be. Access would be possible if the blower was not in the way however; the tuner could crawl under the Swell and then onto the tuner's passage board. The key action is inaccessible from the front, though more accessible from underneath.

There are odd patches of woodworm, though not in important places that I could see. The leather of the bellows is not in good condition, which gives the blower more work than necessary (it could not really be described as quiet any more, though not really noisy). There are runnings in the Swell chest (notes speaking next to or between those played), presumably because joints are failing.

Some of the longer pipes are falling over and conveyances are sagging. The organ is not covered by a roofed case and is now dirty. The front pipes have been covered with silver paint in recent times, ill-advisedly.

        Finally, he makes recommendations.....

RECOMMENDATIONS

My feeling is that this organ is adequate for its present employment without alteration. Even if only the Great and Pedal are used, there is no pressing reason for the organ to be reduced in size, for the organ chamber would not be used for any other purpose. At present the congregation sit in the chancel, so the organ is in the ideal position.

The only real reason for spending money on rebuilding the organ is if this situation changes. If services move back to the nave, or the space in the organ chamber is considered useful for other purposes, or if an organ is required for musical events; in other words, if there is a re-ordering, I would then consider re-siting and re-building the organ. As things are, however, I cannot see the point of spending more money than necessary
There is something to be said for leaving the organ as it is, since this is the form in which it came into the church in 1877, with no alteration since. However, if the organ were to be restored or reconstructed, throwing the 1858 work away should be considered. It is not good enough to be worth spending a lot of money on it (which it would need), whereas the original work is.

At the moment the organ is not badly out of tune, but the lack of access is very discouraging. I would be inclined to move the blower to the treble side of the organ, so that the tuner can crawl in at the bass end, under the Swell and over the Pedal action (which would need to be protected with a board), and onto the blower box and the passage board. The trunk could be fixed in a similar manner as at present to the trunk band of the reservoir. This work may well involve a new blower and box, smaller than the present one.

I can imagine the organ lasting for a long time after a clean and repair, for the environment seems stable.
A clean and repair, with removal of blower and easier access would cost around £4,840 + VAT (4 weeks, 2 people ( @ £15.00 an hour),     Add another £1,200 + VAT for a new blower.
For a new organ based on the original Great pipes and chest, without Pedal stops (i.e. with new case and console, key and stop action, and wind system) we would charge around £22,500 + VAT.