The Organ

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The organ was erected in the West Gallery in 1890, it is the second organ to be used at St. Mary's, the first organ reputedly being sold for £18 to Barley Primitive Methodist Church in 1901.

The present organ was built by the Leeds firm of Wordsworth & Co.. The firm was established in 1866 and was originally known as Wordsworth & Maskell, they supplied new organs and rebuilt existing instruments throughout Yorkshire, Lancashire and Lincolnshire. They also exported organs to Australia, Russia, Canada and the former colonies. The firm, latterly known as Wood, Wordsworth & Co was wound up in 1981.

A plaque on the organ case tells how John Bollard, Church Warden, from1870 - 1890 was largely responsible for the raising of £450 for the purchase of the organ and a further £100 for installation costs.

This magnificent organ has 2 manual keyboards and a pedal keyboard with a total of 21 speaking stops. This is approximately double the number of steps one would normally expect to find in a village organ of this period. The mechanism of the organ is of interest: most Victorian organs have a simple mechanical linkage between the keys and the pipes known as "tracker action", here in this organ two different types of pneumatic action (working on pressurised air) are used, though there is evidence that this has been modifies at least twice and has probably always given problems.

Apart from gaining an electric blower there have been no changes of significance made during the organ's 125 years of life.

On Friday 22nd June 1990, an organ recital, was given in Saint Mary’s by Professor Ian Tracey, organist and choirmaster of Liverpool Cathedral to celebrate the centenary of the organ.

In 2000 it received a sympathetic restoration by the firm of Harrison & Harrison with the assistance of a Heritage Lottery Grant.

In 2016 the organ has been removed to treat the west wall for dry rot. Following the building work the organ will be rebuilt by Sixsmith & Son.

Sam Hudson,the Organist at Blackburn Cathedral, will play on Sunday 4th September to celebrate its restoration.

Detail of one of the organ pipes.

Detail of one of the organ pipes.

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