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St Mary's Organ

The scheme for the present organ was drawn up by Mr J E Allott in consultation with Dr A C Tysoe, then organist of Leeds Parish Church, and built by J W Walker & Sons, Ltd, London, incorporating the best pipe work from the old organ. It was opened by Dr Tysoe on Saturday 19th October 1926 and contained 39 speaking stops and 15 couplers.


In 1946 the organ was thoroughly overhauled by the makers and at the same time, a 16ft Contra Gamba was partially prepared for in an attempt to give more definition to the pedal organ; however the pipes were not inserted.


After a further 16 years service, it again became necessary to dismantle and repair the organ and once more consideration was given to the pedal stops. It was felt that a stop of 16ft pitch would not entirely do what was required, so instead of a Contra Gamba, 2 stops of 4ft pitch and one of 8ft pitch (second-hand pipes) were added.


Approximately 21 years later, between 1983 and 1986 the need for further attention to the organ became critical after thieves removed lead from the roof above the organ which allowed water to penetrate into the organ chamber. This resulted in a large part of the organ being unplayable and also had some affect on the choir organ.

It was also apparent that the drawstop action on the console, which was still in its original state and increasingly unreliable, was in urgent need of attention, and consequently replaced with a new ‘capture system’ piston action. Some tonal changes were also implemented to further enhance the organ. The pedal trombone was extended to speak at 8ft pitch as a trumpet. The Nazard was moved from the swell organ to the choir and a Tierce added to the choir. On the great organ, a Stopped Diapason was substituted for the Hohl flute and a new mixture provided.


When the present organ was installed in 1926 the work cost £3500 while the restoration work carried out in 1986 cost in excess of £25000, in recent years the Choir Guild has supported the PCC in the maintenance of the organ.  


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The Present Organ

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