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The history of the organ

“On Thursday 4th March 1897, a new organ, the gift of Mr & Mrs A C Arding of Brazier Park, in memory of their daughter Margery, was opened by Dr. Basil Harwood, the organist of Christ Church Ca­thed­ral, Ox­ford.

“The instrument which is admirably suited to the building and decorated in a quiet but effective style, is placed in the gallery at the west end of the Church. Dr. Harwood, in his recital, brought out the full powers of the instrument, which proved to be in every way satisfactory.”

Apart from tuning and minor repairs, very little was done to the organ for over 100 years, until 1989/1992 when the firm Foster-Waite undertook some work on it, including general cleaning, an overhaul and the partial replacement of the wooden mechanical tracker system. Regrettably some of this overhaul work has proved to be relatively short-lived as the techniques and materials of the day have not stood the test of time well.

Over the organ’s long and productive life, many fine musicians have have played our organ and enjoyed the experience. A number of local people use the organ for their own enjoyment, and are encouraged to do so, and many young people have learned the basic skills of organ playing at the church.

Our organ has an important place in the hearts of many Ipsden residents, past and present.