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Die Orgeln der St. Lawrence Church in Alton (Hampshire, England)

Geschichte der Orgel(n)
Geschichte der Orgel(n)

The Bryceson Organ of 1830
The earliest record of an organ at St. Lawrence is in 1829 when at a vestry meeting on 27th. Feb 1829 "it was resolved that a barrel organ be erected in the church. Provided that the cost of the organ and every expense incurred by its erection be paid for by subscription". The organ was purchased from the builders Bryceson, stood in a gallery at the west end of the church (obscuring the west windows) and had the following specification:

Open Diapason 8'
Stopped Diapason 8'
Clarabel Flute 8' (was possibly a 4' stop)
Principal 4'
Twelfth 2'
Fifteenth 2'

The Speechly Organ of 1866
In 1866 the Vicar and Churchwardens inaugurated a vast plan of restoration which included the purchase of a new organ. Meanwhile, the Bryceson organ was moved to the Town Hall where the parishioners worshipped for almsolst a year whilest the church underwent restoration.
The "New Organ" by Henry Speechly and Sons possessed 33 speaking stops, 1960 pipes, 3 manuals and pedals. It was built as a cost of £850 provided by Mr. Montague Burnett whose family had raised and given much of the money. The new organ was openend 3rd Oct. 1868 and at this time the church was establishing a musical tradition, under the direction of the then organist, Mr. Newman, with the formation of a choir of 8 trebles, 3 altos (boys), 4 tenors and 4 basses. This organ must have been the largest in any southern Parish church at that time. In 1893 the organ was restored by Henry Speechly and Sons of the Camden Organ Factory at a cost of £850. Dr. WG Alcock, assistant at Westminster Abbey, reopened the organ on 11th. Dec. 1895.

Twentieth Centry Refurbishments
Two further overhauls were undertaken by Speechly in 1907 and 1939. By 1965 the action was not functioning adequately and a thorough overhaul was despereately required. Following tender action, Wood, Wordsworth & Co of Leeds were invited to undertake the work of rebuilding. The specification was prepared by the firm in close consultation with Cyril Diplock, the present organist. The overriding consideration was that there should be no major alteration to the existing tonal characteristics to the existing of the Speechly organ - which makes this organ such a wonderful instrument popular with visiting distinguished national and international organists of repute.

Martin Cross Restoration of 1993
By 1993 the electric action had become unreliable, so Martin Cross of Essex was entrusted with the latest restoration and continue to tune and maintain the instrument. Again, no tonal changes were made or desired as part of this scheme assuring that the Church of St. Lawrence can again be proud that it's organ has been restored to its traditional position as one of the finest parish church instruments in the South. It is also why the Parish Church of St. Lawrence Organ Socienty has established such a high standard of Organ Concerts for the past 32 years. Over 250 top blass organists have visited Alton to demonstrate both their skills and the organ's sound qualities to give countless members of the public the benefit of professional concerts of the highest standard.

Pedal Organ Great Organ Swell Organ Choir Organ
1 Harmonic Bass (from 3) 32' 19 Double Diapason 16' 35 Open Diapason Sp 8' 51 Contra Dulciana (from 55) 16'
2 Open Diapason Sp 16' 20 Open Diapason No 1 8' 36 Stopped Diapason Sp 8' 52 Open Diapason Sp 8'
3 Bourdon Sp 16' 22 Open Diapason No 2 8' 37 Salicional Sp 8' 53 Lieblich Gedackt Sp 8'
4 Dulciana (from Choir) 16' 22 Stopped Diapason 8' 38 Voix Celeste Sp 8' 54 Viol d'Amour Sp 8'
5 Principal Sp 8' 23 Dulciana (part from old Hill pipes) 8' 39 Principal Sp 4' 55 Dulciana (part from old Hill pipes) 8'
6 Bass Flute (from 3) 8' 24 Princiapl 4' 40 Stopped Flute part Sp (from Sp Double Open Diapason + 24 new pipes) 4' 56 Spitz Flute WW 4'
7 Dulcet (from Choir) 8' 25 Flute Harmonique 4' 57 Wald Flute Sp 4'
8 Fifteenth (from 5) 4' 26 Twelfth 2 2/3' 41 Fifteenth Sp 2' 58 Dulcet (from 55) WW 4'
9 Flute (from 3) 4' 27 Fifteenth 2' 42 Mixture 19/22 Sp 2 ranks 59 Gemshorn WW 2'
10 Dulcetina (from Choir) 4' 28 Mixture 19/22/26 3 ranks 43 Contra Fagotto Sp 16' 60 Dulcetina (from 55) WW 2'
11 Octave Flute (from 3) 2' 29 Sesquialtra 12/17 (Reverting to old Sp Spec of 1866) 44 Cornopean Sp 8' 61 Tierce T.C. (from 55) WW 1 3/5'
12 Mixture 19/22/26 WW 3 ranks 45 Hautboy Sp Oboe 8' 62 Larigot WW 1 1/3'
13 Trombone Sp 16' 30 Trumpet 8' 46 Clarion Sp 4' 63 Sifflote (from 55) WW 1'
14 Trumpet (from Great) 8' 31 Clarion 4' 47 Tremulant 64 Scharf 2/26/29 WW 3 ranks
15 Clarion (from Great) 4' 32 Swell to Great 48 Swell Super Octave 65 Corno di Bassetto Sp 8'
16 Swell to Pedal 33 Choir to Great 49 Swell Sub Octave 66 Trumpet (from Great) Sp 8'
17 Great to Pedal 34 Great to Pedal Combs Coupled 50 Swell Unison Off 67 Clarion (from Great) Sp 4'
18 Choir to Pedal     68 Tremulant
      69 Choir Super Octave
      70 Choir Sub Octave
      71 Swell to Choir

Sp = ergänzt von Speechly & Sons
WW = ergänzt von Wood, Wordsworth & Co
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mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Alton Organ Society (Sue Hawkins)
weiterführende Links:

Webseite Alton Organ Society
History of the Alton Organ Society (PDF)