St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church
Birrell Street (near Carrington Road) Waverley

August Gern 1888, rebuilt and enlarged Peter D.G Jewkes 1995 (2/24 electro-pneumatic)



© PdL 2006


From SOJ Spring 1995:

The first part of this Blacket building in Old English style was consecrated on 19 May 1864. It consisted of six bays in the nave and a twenty foot square chancel. The nave was lengthened by 18 feet and an organ chnmber added to the north side of the chancel in the 1880s. A west gallery proposed by Blacket at that time was not constructed. Of special note in this building are the two lancet windows near the pulpit which contain the first stained glass made in New South Wales by a professional glassmaker, John Falconer, who also made the other windows on the south side and the sanctuary windows which now incorporate figures by Alfred Handel dating from 1942.

An extensive restoration programme has been undertaken during the past eighteen years culminating in the construction of a west gallery and narthex screen to a design by parishioner Jerry Carroll witich incorporates detail from Blacket's work. At the same time the organ has been moved from the chancel to the gallery.

The original organ was built by August Gern in 1888. Gern was a foreman of Cavaillé-coll, who set up business for himself in England after supervising the erection of some Cavaillé-Coll instruments.


The organ in its original position


The rebuilt organ in the new west gallery


The specification was:

Great
Open Diapason
Leiblich Gedact
Dulciana
Principal
Flauto Traverso

Swell
Hohl Flute
Viole de Gamba
Voix Celeste
Gemshorn
Piccolo
Trumpet

Pedal
Bourdon
Bass Flute

Couplers
Swell to Great
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Octave on Great
Swell Sub to Great

8
8
8
4
4


8
8
8
4
2
8


16
8










TC






TC















Self-recovering pedal
Great to Pedal
Self-recovering pedal
Tremulant in and out.

Compass 56/30.

Gern's lmproved Tubular Pneumatic System throughout.

The stopknobs were arranged in two rows above the Swell keyboard.

Gern's instrument did not remain untouched for long. An inscription inside the Pedal windchest discloses that it was 'rebuilt according to approved principles by E. Ladergast or C. Richardson' in 1894. Richardson completely replaced the manual soundboards and action, and brought the pipefront forward of the chamber arch by adding the curved alcove above the original impost.

In 1960 Noad rebuilt the instrument, providing new cone chests under the Richardson upper-boards, but leaving the Gern ventils and Pedal chest untouched. The Swell Trumpet was removed to the Great on a separate windchest tubed off the Great soundboard and an Oboe substituted in the Swell.

By 1979 the instrument was almost unplayable. In 1980 Peter Jewkes electrified the action in order to keep the instrument alive at the same time supplying new keys and ivory stopknobs and part of the Oboe was transferred to the Pedal as a 4' stop. The Trumpet was replaced in the Swell and a Mixture III added. Following fire damage in 1984 the removal of ash and debris necessitated a major cleaning. A new blower was supplied at this time, and a Great Trompette 8' extended to 16' for the Pedal was added.

The present instrument is essentially a new instrument by Peter Jewkes incorporating what remained of the Gern material. viz, the pipework and parts of the console, the original impost and panelling as well as rebuilt pedal chests. New pipework has been scaled to match the Gern material (with exception of the Great Trompette which is intended for ceremonial use). The show pipes have been rediapered with gilt to the Gern patterns and two new wings added to the pipe front. These include 2 bass pipes for the Dulciana and two dummies. The new organ was built in a new west gallery in 1995.

The present specification is:

Great
Open Diapason
Flute Harmonique
Lieblich Gedact
Dulciana
Principal
Flauto Traverso
Nazard
Fifteenth
Tierce
Mixure
Trompette

Swell
Hohl Flute
Viol de Gamba
Voix Celeste
Principal
Harmonic Piccolo
Mixture
Corno di Bassetto
Trumpet
Tremulant

Pedal
Sub Bass
Bass Flute
Bombarde
Schalmei
Flute

Couplers
Swell to Great
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Swell Suboctave
Swell Octave
Swell unison off

8
8
8
8
4
4
2-2/3
2
1-3/5
III
8


8
8
8
4
2
III
16
8



16
8
16
4
4










B (added 2001)








A















A

B (added 2001)









5 thumb pistons to Great
5 thumb pistons to Swell
5 thumb general pistonms
3 combination pedals to Pedal
Setter piston
SSL solid state capture system
General Cancel
2 levels of memory
Swell to Great reversible thumb piston
Great to pedal reversible thumb piston
Reversible pedal for Great to Pedal

Compass 56/30

Electro-pneumatic action