ORGAN OF THE MONTH 15: September 2003

St Matthew's Church, Walsall
(Samuel Green, 1773 / J C Bishop, 1880 / J W Walker, 1952 / Nicholson, 2000)

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There has been a place of worship on this site towering above Walsall market since the Middle Ages and references to an organ go back as far as 1473.  Father Smith provided an organ in a gallery at the east end of the Nave in 1697, but the oldest pipes in the present instrument come from the Samuel Green organ of 1773,.when Rev John Darwall ("Ye Holy Angels bright") was vicar.  Reference in this famous hymn to "Ye saints, who toil below..." does not necessarily refer to the (no doubt good) people of Walsall in the marketplace!

BOA members assembled at St Matthew's one Saturday afternoon last year to hear and play this historic four-manual instrument following the rebuild and extension by Nicholson & Co.  The Walker rebuild, which had added a Solo division with five ranks of pipes extended to provide 15 stops, also provided several spare slides for future additions to the Choir.  That division now has a Nicholson 2ft Italian Principal, Sesquialtera and Mixture II.  Nicholson also provided a Civic Trumpet 8ft  (outside the Solo box) to the fourth manual, a new solid state transmission system for stop action and pistons, and modifications to the wind supply.


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Last modified: August 31, 2003