Hyde Chapel, The Organ – An Overview
The Organ at Hyde Chapel is the second one in the building, the first one dating from 1822, being transferred from an older building and being removed when the present one was installed.
The new organ dates from 1870 and was a new instrument ordered from William Hill, the fashionable London organ builder. The new organ was opened on Sunday 17th April 1870, played by the well known organist from St Georges Hall, Liverpool, W.T. Best, who was probably the finest recitalist in the north of England at the time.
Hill’s records survive and tell us that the instrument (Job no 1593) had an estimated cost of £550 in 1869. Alterations were done in 1874 which cost a further £45, and then nothing major was done until 1924 when the organ was cleaned and overhauled by Hill’s successors, Hill Norman and Beard at a cost of £158. At this time an electric blower was added at further cost of £178, the organ being hand pumped up to then.
In 1938, the organ was already around seventy years old, and around the time for refurbishment of a pipe organ in normal conditions. A contract was signed with Peter Conacher of Huddersfield who undertook a very thorough almost total reconstruction of the organ using some pipework and windchests from the old organ, the rest being all new. This work cost £1,200 in 1939, a large sum.
The console you see today is from this time and much of the inside of the organ is the same age, including building frame, all wind reservoirs, Swell and Choir boxes. This work was completed in the summer of 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Conachers were an old established firm (and have only ceased trading very recently) but were into innovation and also built some cinema organs. Some of the technology at Hyde Chapel was the same as in their cinema jobs. Electro Pneumatic action with magnetic relays was used and the organ action ran on 15V DC generated by a Metropolitan Vickers dynamo connected to the new powerful J.M Turner of Ipswich ‘Bull’ organ blower in the cellar, as opposed to the old mechanical action of the original Hill organ.
The console has stop tablets (Tabs) like cinema organs and other features such as Pistons (for pre setting combinations of stops), section cancel bars and a crescendo pedal. Some of the console fittings are in fact the same as on their cinema organs.
By 1987 the organ action was giving trouble, so a new transmission system was fitted replacing the magnetic relays and this was connected to the 1939 internal wiring by Jardine Church Organs of Old Trafford. The organ was also cleaned at this time, the whole job costing around £12,000.
By 2012, the old electrics and operating system were failing, and the instrument was in need of cleaning and renovation. The work was entrusted to Gary Owens Organ builders of Eaton Bishop, Hereford. Some of the work was subcontracted. Renatus of Bideford refurbished the console and provided much new internal woodwork and all new wiring. The organ now runs on a Renatus operating system, and the console can be used via MIDI to control other devices. The windchests were refurbished with new actions and all pipework cleaned, the metal pipework being sent to Booths of Leeds for regulation. The total work cost about £88,000, partially funded by a National Lottery Heritage Grant.
1870 William Hill, London
1939 Reconstructed and enlarged Peter Conacher, Huddersfield
1986 New operating system, cleaning, Jardine Church Organs, Manchester
2019 Restored Gary Owens Organbuilders, Eaton Bishop, Hereford
||Lieblich Gedact 8'
||Sub Bass 32'
|Large Open Diapason 8'
||Geigen Diapason 8'
||Open Diapason 16'
|Small Open Diapason 8'
||Rohr Flute 8'
||Vox Angelica 8'
|Stop Diapason 8'
||Wald Flute 4'
||Echo Bourdon 16'
|Claribel Flute 8'
||Voix Celeste 8'
||Bass Flute 8'
||Trumpet 8' (from Great)
|Twelfth 2 2/3'
Couplers and Controls
Swell to Pedal, Great to Pedal, Choir to Pedal (also as pistons). Swell to Great (also as piston), Swell to Choir, Choir to Great, Swell Octave Coupler, Swell Sub Octave Coupler.
6 thumb pistons on Great, Swell and Choir. Optional Gt/Ped combined. 6 General Pistons.
Set and Cancel pistons. Cancel bars for sections. 32' Subbass toe piston. Balanced expression pedals (mechanical). Crescendo pedal (with warning light and position indicator).
Renatus Control System. Transposer. Midi IN/OUT. USB Memory.
Manual compass 61 notes. Pedal compass 30 notes