High Street Pipe Organ

 

The pipe organ was made by Conacher & Co of Huddersfield. It was gifted by Mrs Mary Barton in memory of her late father William Jackson, in 1873 at the Centenary celebration of the 'Chapel'. It is a two manual tracker-action with a thirty note pneumatically operated pedal board CCC to F. It was, of course manually blown. The original specification lists are as follows:

Organ at High Street Centre  Great organ CC to G 56 notes
   Open diapason (metal);  8ft
   Stopped diapason (metal);  8ft
   Dulciana (metal & wood);  8ft
   Principal (metal);  4ft
   Flute (wood);  4ft
   Fifteenth (metal);  2ft

 Swell organ CC to G 56 notes
   Open Diapason (metal & wood);  8ft
   Double diapason (wood);  16ft
   Stopped diapason (wood);  8ft
   Gemshorn (metal);  4ft
   Oboe (metal);  8ft
   Horn (metal);  8ft

 Pedal organ CCC to F 30 notes
   Bourdon (wood);  16ft

 Couplers
   Swell to Great
   Swell to Pedals
   Great to Pedals
   Sub-coupler Swell to Great
   Three composition pedals

Wilton Atkinson, who has provided much of the information for this article recalls being one of the 'blower-boys' prior to the blower being fitted with an electric motor and fan blower in 1933. He reminded me that the 'blower-boys' got a bit bored during the lengthy sermons and some engraved their initials in the woodwork of the organ adjacent to the seat they occupied. The electric motor was fitted 60 years after the organ was installed for £100 and lasted until around 1990 when the burnt-out motor was rewound by a local firm in Lancaster for approximately £120. A major refurbishment was carried out circa 1980, during which the original straight pedal board was replaced with a convex and radial board and the following additional changes made -    Great - the 8ft flute was removed and a 2 rank Mixture added
   Swell - the Oboe was replaced with another Oboe
   Coupler - the Sub Coupler was converted to a Super Swell Coupler

The oboe rank proved a disappointment and in the early 1990s this was removed and a 2 rank mixture added to the swell, which provided a better balance between Swell and Great.

The organ continues to serve the Church well and Trinity is delighted to be included in the annual Lancaster Organ Festival, generally held in June each year. One might ponder the value of cash invested in this instrument and the service it has given, with that invested in organs using digital technology - 'electronic' organs. They are good; they certainly have a valid place in the production of all sorts and styles of music and have improved dramatically as digital technology has moved on but such technology rapidly becomes out of date and just like computers, they need to be renewed every 5/10 years or so. The Conacher organ is now 139 years old with one major 'refit'. That record speaks for itself!

Information about the history and current activities of Conacher and Co may be seen at www.pcuk.net/musiclink.co.uk/conacher/history.html

Peter Morrison of Southport performing at the Lancaster Organ Festival  
Peter Morrison playing Organ at High Street Centre