War Memorial Gary Trouton

Organ replant dedicated

March 2002

Christchucrch Whittington gets a new instrument

There was a good congregation at Christchurch, Whittington on Sunday 10th February, to hear the Archdeacon of Wisbech, the Venerable James Rone, dedicate the newly-rebuilt organ to the service of Almighty God.

The instrument, which was originally in St.James' Church, Harpur Hill, near Buxton, Derbyshire, was donated to Whittington Church by the Derbyshire congregation. It was removed from Harpur Hill, in Autumn 2000, (to make way for before a new electronic organ) , and transported to Norfolk that same evening.

Several days later it was carried into Whittington Church by several stalwarts of the village, and the work of refurbishing it began. Pipework has been cleaned, the action rebushed and several adjustments made to the chests.

However, the main, time-consuming, work has been carried out during 2001 by Eric Eves and Ken Elsey. They have, between them, constructed a totally new case for the instrument, following a design by Chris Young and agreed with the Diocesan Organ Adviser. This incorporates redundant display pipework from Christchurch, Southport. Parts of the removed pew-benches and pew-ends have also been incorporated into the console.

Special guests at the service on 10th Feb were Mr & Mrs Keith Martin. Mr Martin was responsible for fetching the organ from Derby when originally purchased for St. James', and Mrs Rachel Martin has been the organist at the Harpur Hill Church for many years. They both agreed how much better the organ sounded in Whittington Church, now that it is out in the open. In a similar situation to that of newly restored organ in Wretton Church, moved from the now closed All Saints' Church, Stoke Ferry, both instruments were previously housed in vestries off the chancel of their churches, with only console and display pipes visible. At least half the richness of the tone was lost by these locations, and is now heard fully in their new, open situations.

The Whittington organ is a one manual and 30-note pedal instrument, tracker action to the manuals, pnuematic action to the pedal chest. It has six stops:

Should you wish to view the fine work done by Eric and Ken in constructing the splendid new case for this organ, contact Jenny Elsey or Roger Warner, or come along to a morning service, 9.30 am, first Sunday of the month, when you can both hear and see this new Whittington treasure.

Chris Young

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