St Katharine's Church Organ

Not many village churches can boast about an organ of the quality of this instrument built in 1934 by the highly regarded Percy Daniel and Co Ltd of Clevedon, Somerset.

Undoubtedly there was an earlier organ at St Katharine's but little technical information can be found, although it is known that it incorporated some pipes from the organ of St Bartholomew-the-Less (in the grounds of St Bartholomew's Hospital, London) when that organ was replaced in 1825. Therefore it seems safe to assume that these pipes were made in the 1700s and some of these same pipes still form part of today's organ.

The 1934 organ was given by a prominent local family in memory of Peter Smithers, killed at an early age in a riding accident. It was sited as you see today, with a chest of pipes on each side of the west end of the church. The choir stalls were donated in 1959 - this time by friends of the family and the village at large - in memory of Sir Waldron Smithers, Member of Parliament and organist here for some 49 years.

Without doubt it was a fine organ in its time but, like human organs, wear and tear requires remedial action, which was undertaken in the 1970s and 80s. What you see and hear today is the complete restoration undertaken in 1998 by local company, Martin K Cross.

The blower was moved to the loft above the vestry. All the pipework was cleaned and a new rank of pipes, a "Fifteenth" was installed, replacing a "Flageolet" stop, and giving a new brilliance to the sound. The old pneumatic action, which for years had suffered from the ravages of brittle leathers and hungry mice, was replaced by electro-pneumatic action and a solid state switching system. The keyboards were renewed and several pedals affected by woodworm replaced. The whole instrument is now in tiptop order: a fine tribute to all those who have donated funds over the years.

In 1998 Martin K Cross, restored the 2-manual instrument, moving the blower into the vestry loft and replacing a "Flageolet" rank with a "Fifteenth". The old pneumatic action, which for years had suffered from the ravages of brittle leathers and hungry mice, was replaced by electro-pneumatic action and a solid state switching system.

Organ Specification

Below is the organ specification, as built by Percy Daniel of Clevedon, Somerset in 1934. It was then rebuilt in 1998 with modification and replacements by Martin K Cross.

SWELL Principal 4'
  Open Diapason 8'
  Stopped Diapason        8'
  Salicional 8'
  Vox Angelica 8'
  Mixture 2' ranks
  Oboe 8'
  Tremulant  
GREAT Open Diapason 8'
  Geigen 8'
  Wald Flute 8'
  Gamba 8'
  Principal 4'
  Flute 4'
  Fifteenth 2'
PEDAL Contra Bourdon 32'
  Bourdon 16'
  Bass Flute 8'
  Violoncello 8'
COUPLERS            Swell to Great Swell Sub-Octave
  Great to Pedal Swell to Great Octave
  Swell to Pedal Swell to Great Sub-Octave
  Swell Octave Swell Unison Off