St Mary's Anglican Church
cnr Darling and Stack Streets, Balmain
Hill & Son 1871 (2/11 mechanical)
© PdL 2006
From SOJ April/May 1992
This organ was built in 1871 by Wm Hill & Son, the firm receiving the order (job No. 1398) in November of that year. The Hill order book lists a scheme of 15 stops, however an organ of only 11 stops was supplied. The instrument was installed in early 1872 replacing ''a small but powerful organ by W.J. Johnson'', built in 1848 and probably the small single-manual instrument which survives in a fair state of originality at All Saints Anglican Church, Woollahra having been moved there from St Peter's Anglican Church, East Burwood in 1992.
The case of Hill's organ is simply constructed, made in pine and the front pipes are diapered. The organ remains in largely original condition although the Great 2- rank Mixture was most regrettably removed at some stage. The organ is the earliest example of Hill's work surviving intact in New South Wales.
In 1984 Mark Fisher carried out basic cleaning and repairs - funds did not permit the full restoration of the organ. Mr Fisher has supplied in summary) the following comments:
''The Swell and Pedal departments had been out of action for some years, the wind supply had huge leaks, the whole organ was so filthy it defied description and considerable water damage had occurred at some stage. I undertook to get the organ back into playing condition and the following work was completed:
All pipes removed, cleaned, repaired where necessary. The whole organ cleaned out. Keyboards removed, refelted and adjusted, some key surfaces reglued. Key, coupler and stop action repaired and readjusted - nothing replaced except some leather buttons and felt washers. Pedalboard removed and refelted. Wind supply repaired and capacity increased. Minor repairs to Swell and Pedal windchests and Pedal pallets, some refelting at stop jambs. Revoicing and regulation to some flue pipes only where necessary, some revoicing to the Oboe 8' in the Swell. . . . it is tonally quite different aad much less boldly voiced than its younger stable-mates. Here is a small-scaled Hill sound to which, in the main we are not accustomed.''
The specification is:
Swell to Great
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
(not in original spec.)