ORGAN OF THE MONTH 14: August 2003

Smethwick Baptist Church
(anon, rebuilt by C A North & friends, 1983)

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Following the union of Cross Street and Regent Street Baptist Churches to form Smethwick Baptist Church in 1969, considerable rebuilding and remodelling of the Regent Street site was undertaken.  As part of the refurbishment, it was intended to provide a rebuilt pipe organ from a nearby, redundant Methodist church, but shortage of funds caused this project to be postponed: it was to be fourteen years later when the organ first spoke in its new home.

All the parts of the organ having been transported to and stored in the Smethwick church, the church authorities suggested that the Organist & Choirmaster (then, as now) Alan North, who had some previous experience as an amateur organ builder, might himself consider undertaking the installation the organ.  Clearly, this suggestion was made by those with little awareness of the enormity of the task!  Small wonder that, helped only by enthusiasts from within his congregation, Alan's magnum opus had a prolonged gestation.  Nevertheless, it stands today, in its 20th anniversary year, as an amazing example of D-I-Y organ building.

Tonally, the organ remains essentially the same as the original from Brierley Hill Methodist, but with the addition of an acoustic 32ft (derived from the Bourdon) to the Pedal Organ, and an Oboe to the Swell Organ retained from the original Regent Street instrument.


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Last modified: July 28, 2003