Christ Church Organ...
The First Organ...
Little is known about the first organ, other than it was built new for the building and located in the west end balcony for use with other musicians.
The Second Organ...
Again little is known about the second organ other than it was paid for by Benjamin Bagnall and built by Jardine of Manchester at the time of the extension and enlargement of the church in 1865.
An extensive search of the 'Jardine Papers' archive held at Birmingham Library revealed no more information but confirmed that they did indeed build a new organ for Timperley Parish at this time.
The Third and Current Organ...
The third and current organ was built by Wadsworth & Bro. Manchester in 1899 after the organ chamber roof had been raised. On closer inspection of the pipework inside the organ and some of the drawstop knobs, there are some discrepancies which suggest that this organ may have incorporated some, if not all, of the previous Jardine instrument. Given the timeline, this would not be an unreasonable conclusion, especially as Wadsworth had apprenticed at Jardine in the 1860's. The photograph below was taken at some point between 1899 and 1910 and shows a very different layout to the organ casework than the one we have today.
Further work was completed in 1923 by Wadsorth as the organ was suffering cypherings caused by "condensation of the organ chamber" and no ventilation on the floor level where the Pedal soundboards were placed. A letter to the Vicar explains that the pedal soundboards would need to be removed, renovated and reinstalled lifted 3 feet above the floor to precent recurrence. Also that "steam pipes" be installed around the organ. A further suggestion was to removed and reinstall the whole organ in the South transept - this did not take place. A new electric blowing plant was installed at this point, the organ having up to this point been 'pumped' by hand. The photograph below shows that the casework on the chancel is no longer there suggestive that the West Arches opening into the South Transept had been built by this point.
In 1953 Rushworth and Dreaper Ltd provided a quotation for restoration of the organ. This included the introduction of a modern pedalboard (radiating and concave) which is suggestive that the previous pedalboard had been flat and straight. They also recommended revoicing of reed stops and cleaning and regulation of the flue pipework. They also sought to transfer a number of large bass pipes to a new soundboard to open up the West Arches and introduce a grille in the arch facing the chancel. A copy of the drawing can be seen below next to the grille that was finally installed.
In 1997 Anthony Herod, electrified the pedal organ and lower bass pipes to the great organ. He also cleaned the organ and repaired some of the mechanical action. Tonal changes were also made to the Choir organ, the 8' Salicional and 8' Clarinet stops were dispensed with and replaced by a 2' Gemshorn and 11/3' Larigot were added in their place. It can only be assumed that this was to create a sudo Baroque component to the tonal style of the organ with little success.
In 2007 it became very apparent that the organ required a major overhall and restoration. David Wells Organ Builders of Liverpool were appointed and work commenced in March 2008. The whole organ was dismantled with part of the restoration being completed on site and some of the components taken to Wells' Liverpool workshop. All leather work was stripped and replaced, both on the 3 'belows' which supply air to the pipework and the mechanical action up to and including the 'pallets'.
The electric action installed in 1997 was partly replaced to a more suitable configuration and the Choir 11/3' Larigot was removed and an 8' Clarinet installed to replace the one previously removed. The whole organ was tonally revoiced to account for aging of the pipework and the Choir and Great Mixtures reworked to a more modern system of 'offset break backs' which produces a more pleasing and continous tone to these high pitch voices.
The renovation was completed in July 2008 and the inaugural recital was given in the September by the then Assistant Organist at Guilford Cathedral, Paul Provost (now Rector Chori and Director of Music at Southwell Minster).
Below is a gallery of the console and the facades followed by the organ specification and its evolution as we understand it.
Pedal Key action Electric: Stop action Mechanical/Solid State: Compass - CCC to F Keys 30
16' Open Diapason (i.)16' Bourdon (ii.)8' Octave (extension from i.)8' Bass Flute (extension from ii.)
Choir Key action Tracker: Stop action Mechanical: Compass - CC to c4 Keys 61
8' Rohr Flute4' Lieblich Flute2' Gemshorn (added in 1997)8' Clarinet (original removed in 1997, replacement added in 2006)11/3' Larigot (added in 1997, removed in 2006)8' Salicional (removed in 1997)
Great Key action Tr Stop action Me Compass - CC to c4 Keys 61
16' Lieblich Bourdon8' Open Diapason 18' Open Diapason 28' Harmonic Flute4' Principal2' FifteenthII Mixture (19.22)8' Trumpet
Swell Key action Tr Stop action Me Compass - CC to c4 Keys 61 Enclosed
8' Geigen Diapason8' Lieblich Gedact8' Gamba8' Voix Celestes tenor C)4' GemshornIII Mixture (17.19.22)8' Oboe8' HornTremulant
AccessoriesSwell to PedalSwell to GreatChoir to PedalGreat to Pedal
3 combination mechanical toe levers to Swell organ3 combination mechanical toe levers to Great & Pedal organs combinedCentral balanced Swell pedal