ORGAN OF THE MONTH 44: February 2006

St Columba's, Sutton Coldfield
(Nicholson, 1960)

Click on the thumbnail to obtain a full-size image


This Nicholson organ is a rebuild, with much extension work, of a much older Nicholson instrument in Bishop Ryder Church, Birmingham.  There are just 738 speaking stops, with only one independent rank (a Bourdon) for the Pedal Organ.  So the large stop list (see Specification) is mainly derived from just six (extended) ranks of pipes.  Two new Mixtures were added to the Bishop Ryder organ's specification by Nicholson's in 1960 which, with the mutation extensions, go some way to overcoming the limitations of the original Victorian tonal structure.  It will be apparent from the specification that some Swell Organ stops are, unusually, also playable from the Great Organ. The instrument benefits from a generous acoustic.

The organ is divided into two sections on either side of a wide West End balcony, which also houses a detached console (see left photograph above).  All the pipes speak: there are no dummies in the display pipes of what is essentially a case-less arrangement.  The console is compact, with tab keys for all stops & couplers.  The present organist is Malcolm Lowe.  BOA member Richard Mason was organist here from 1976 until 1999.


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Last modified: February 04, 2006