The 1860 Walker organ from Woodstock Road Baptist Church, Oxford became redundant in 2000 and was purchased and subsequently removed by us to Belfast. It was thoroughly overhauled and the case restored to its original dimensions & colour. A home was found in St Canice's Church of Ireland, Finglas, Dublin where it replaced a collection of recycled organ parts which formed an unbelievable & unreliable instrument. Installation of the restored Walker organ took place in late summer 2001 and has proved to be an ideal and highly thought of replacement.
Organ in Oxford before restoration & relocation (above)
Organ after restoration & installation in Dublin (above)
The organ was originally built in 1860 by the London firm of J W Walker & Son for the private residence of Mr J W Pattison, 2 Montpelier Villas, Queens Road, Peckham, London. Walker's order books show that the organ was to be nine stops with preparation for two extra stops, one on each manual. The Pedal Bourdon was to be 18 notes from CCC to tenor F.
Woodstock Road Baptist church, Oxford, was built in 1897 and was enlarged in 1909. The Walker organ was most likely installed in the original church by George Jackson of Oxford and moved to a new position in the enlarged building. It had most likely received the two prepared for stops by this time (Swell Gamba and Great Fifteenth). Jackson rebuilt the organ enlarging the swell soundboard with a bottom octave including enlarging the swell box, rollerboard and associated action. The Stopped Diapason, Principal and Hautboy where fitted with an additional 12 pipes each, the Principal with reconditioned pipes and the Hautboy with half length resonators. A new 30 note pedalboard was fitted and the pedal pipes were placed along with 12 new top notes on two new chests connected by tubular pneumatic action. The Swell to Pedal coupler was also added that this time.
When we first examined the organ, the front case was a bit dumpy looking, but it emerged that the front pipes had been cut down at some stage. We lengthened these pipes to the estimated original length; the joins were hidden behind the crossrail. The case woodwork had been stripped and remained in an unfinished state for about 10 years. We stained and polished the woodwork a dark plum colour.
The Pedal Bourdon is original Walker (1-12) extended by Jackson and has exhaust pneumatic action worked from the touchbox at the pedalboard. The Open Diapason 8' bass (1-12) is on 2 separate chests with charge pneumatic action conveyed from the soundboard. The Swell soundboard would have been originally tenor C and was successfully extended by Jackson with a new bottom octave. The Great soundboard is unusual with 86 separate pallets and pulldowns. 18 of these originally worked the Pedal (pipes were conveyed), they are now unused. The Stopped Diapason Bass 1-12 has separate pallets worked by a rollerboard together with the main 1-12 pallets.
Overall the sound is very suitable for Finglas. It still possesses the early Victorian voicing in its sweetness and brightness. One particular gem is the Great Flute 4' which is of Stopped Diapason construction. The volume of sound is good and was further enhanced by removing the solid panels behind the front pipe feet.
|Open Diapason||8||1-12 wood, rest spotted metal, 13-25 front pipes|
|Stopped Diapason Bass||8||1-12, wood|
|Stopped Diapason Treble||8||Tenor C, wood, open from C25|
|Dulciana||8||Tenor C, metal|
|Principal||4||spotted metal, 1-12 front pipes|
|Flute||4||Tenor C, stopped wood|
|Gamba||8||1-17 grooved to Stopped Diapason, 18-56 metal|
|Hautboy||8||1-12 metal (half length), 13-56 spotted metal|
Swell to Great
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Manual CC-g (56 Notes)
Pedals CC-F (30 Notes) straight, concave pedalboard
Hitch-down Swell Pedal towards RHS
3 Composition Pedals to Great
Mechanical action throughout
Organ against 'west' wall of church on 'south' side with attached drawstop console (player faces 'west')
Pine case incorporating turned columns, crossrail & panelled returns
25 spotted metal front pipes
Builder : J W Walker & Son London 1860
Rebuilt & Installed : George Jackson Oxford c1900
Rebuilt : ? 1955
Restored & Installed : Pipe Organ Preservation Co Belfast 2001