Tenterden Unitarian Church September 2017
A pipe organ was installed around 1876 but in recent years its condition has deteriorated to the extent of being only partly playable, and prone to complete failure, with recurrent action faults and collapsed pipework. Faced with constant expensive repair and conservation of a listed building, the small congregation simply cannot afford, at present, the 5-figure sum estimated for restoring the organ.
As organ music is appreciated by the congregation and central to the worship, the decision was taken earlier this year to “mothball” the pipe organ for future renovation, and install a Viscount Cadet 31 instrument. Installation was recently completed, being personally undertaken by Jeremy Meager who was painstaking in his work to conceal the wiring to the external speakers which have been placed adjacent to the pipe organ in the gallery. The console location is unique! At the back of the chapel, on either side, are two small vestries – with a unique feature! They each have a large wooden sash panel that can be opened through to the chapel – an innovation many years ago to allow the vestries to be used for overflow seating (sadly not needed these days!) To avoid the complication of obtaining permission to remove a pew or two from the listed building to site the console, it was decided to site it in one of the vestries (which was only used as a store room) and open the wooden sash panel to give the organist a clear view of proceedings, and maintain the visual integrity of the chapel interior. Many organists (to the irritation of some colleagues!) refer to their instruments/lofts etc as their “office”. This description seems perfectly apt here!
The two organists who share the duties – Stephen Williamson and Andrew Butler – are delighted with the organ, as are the regular congregation.
Andrew Butler Organist.
|Pedal (10 stops)||Great (10 stops)||Swell (11 stops)|
|Open Wood||16||Double Diapason||16||Rohr Flute||8|
|Open Metal||16||Open Diapason||8||Salicional||8|
|Bourdon||16||Claribel Flute||8||Voix Celeste||8|
|Bass Flute||8||Harmonic Flute||4||Stopped Flute||4|
|Great to Pedal||Tremulant||Tremulant|
|Swell to Pedal||Swell to Great|