St John's Anglican Church
Menangle Road, Camden
T.P. Bates (London)1861 (1/10 mechanical)
From SOJ March 1978:
St. John's Church Camden, occupies a splendid position atop a high hill and, with its dramatic spires dominates the landscape for miles around. The church is constructed in a very rich-toned red brick and was designed by Mortimer Lewis, its consecration taking place in 1849. This is a most capable Gothic design for the periods the proportions, curvilinear window tracery, stained glasss and atmosphere within being wholly admirable. The organ was built in 1861 by T.P. Bates, of Ludgate Hill, London, a firm which specialised in building barrel organs, a small example of whlch survives in the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Victoria. The Bourdon 16' was added in 1899, most likely by Richardson. The instrument is located high up on the west gallery, framed by the tower arch, with an interesting Gothic case consisting of three gabled flats. A thorough restoration took place in 1969 by Arthur Jones who replaced the mixture stop which had been removed at some stage. The sound in the building is excellent, aided by the lofty placement of the instrument.
From OHTA News April 2000:
In 2000, Manuel da Costa began a cautious restoration project. It is hoped that this will be able to include a restoration of the original G compass, the original pipe layout and specification.
From SOJ Autumn 2010:
The organ, built by T. P. Bates of London probably in 1860-61, was installed in 1865 in its present position on a west-end gallery specially built for it. Although the organ has remained in its original position, alterations have been made over the years. Richardson reduced the manual compass from GG to C and added a Bourdon rank. The specification, after Richardson’s work, in 1960 was:
Manual: Bourdon 16 (A), Open Diapason bass 8, Open Diapason 8, Stopped Diapason Bass 8, Clarabella 8,
Dulciana 8, Gamba 8, Principal 4, Flute 4, Fifteenth 2
Pedal; Bourdon 16 (A).
Manual to Pedal Coupler. Mechanical action.
In 1969 Arthur Jones substituted a 2 rank mixture for the Gamba 8 and Flute 4, increased the pedal compass to 30 notes, replaced the original stop knobs with modern ones and removed the combination pedals. Since then, Manuel da Costa has worked on the restoration of the organ. This has included the reinstatement of the original compass and the replacement of the Flute 4 removed by Jones.
The current specification is:
Open Diapason bass
Manual to pedal coupler
Photos: Trevor Bunning (Oct. 2007)
Photos: Trevor Bunning (October 2018)