ORGAN OF THE MONTH 70: April 2008

Emmanuel, Bentley
(Hawkins & Co, 1956)

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A plaque near the entrance proclaims "This church was built as a memorial to Alfred Ernest Owen by his family.... ".  The Owen family, and particularly Alfred Ernest's son (Sir Alfred Owen), were successful industrialists and local benefactors in the early and mid-20th century.  The headquarters of their business, Rubery Owen & Co., was in nearby Darlaston.

Like the church building, the organ dates from 1956, the work of local organ-builder Hawkins, and has had no major work carried out during the last 52 years.  It is therefore in need of restoration, and the present organist (and BOA student member) Richard Dawson has launched a series of fund-raising recitals on the second Saturday afternoon of each month.  He hopes for minor tonal changes during the rebuild, including the addition of a Swell Mixture.

The organ benefits from the church's generous acoustic and is a very original example of the fine work done by this local firm in the middle of last century.  W. Hawkins & Son was established in Walsall in 1913, and both father & son had previously worked for Nicholson & Lord.  The firm is now located in Lichfield.


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Last modified: August 11, 2008