St John & St Luke Clay Hill, Enfield, Middx.
Registered Charity Number 1151418
St Luke’s Pipe Organ
The three manual pipe organ in St Luke’s church was built in the south transept by Bishop and Son in 1906 at a cost of £600, part of which was met by a donation from the philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. Although the original intention had been to place part of the organ the chancel where it would have been played by means of a console, the whole instrument was able to be accommodated in the transept which has been built deeper than the one on the North for that purpose.
The casing is made of teak as the organ is said to have been originally intended for export to India when built. For many years before and during the Second World War the building became increasingly dilapidated and the organ suffered due to a leaking roof and cold church. The instrument was built with a charge pneumatic action and was originally pumped by hand – using a long handle which remains in place to this day! In 1946 a limited electricity supply was brought into the building and an electric blower was installed for the organ. However, the new blower was noisy, so in August 1952 it was moved into a brick housing attached to the exterior of the south transept.
During its life, refurbishments have provided opportunities to make changes to some of the stops. At one time, the second 8ft Open Diapason on the Great manual was replaced by a Mixture III. In March 1953, the firm of J W Walker and Sons undertook cleaning and repair of the organ, during which the Swell pedal was balanced and the Swell Cornopean and Oboe and Trumpet pipes on the Great were all revoiced. During the 1960s, the 4ft Flauto Traverso stop on the Choir manual was converted into a 2ft Piccolo Harmonique simply by moving the pipes down one octave in relation to the keyboard. The pipes for the bottom octave were removed and stacked in a corner inside the organ.
A major refurbishment of the organ undertaken in March 1973 by J W Walker and Sons which included conversion of the Fifteenth stop on the Great manual to a 4ft Wald Flute, although the stop head was left unchanged. At the same time, the grey metal pipes at the front of the organ were decorated by Mr Ian McCoig, a professional sign writer and former church warden.
Since the late 1990’s, organ tuners had to repair a steadily increasing number of notes often as many as 20 in recent visits. However, they were unable to repair some notes on the Swell and Pedal boards as they were physically inaccessible due to the mass of levers and piping of the pneumatic action. So there was an increasingly urgent need to put the organ in full working order, without failed and un-
2015 Major refurbishment
In the first half of 2015, the organ underwent a six month major renovation by the firm of Tarquin Wiggins Ltd. This work was funded by a £49,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and smaller grants from the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Leathersellers Company. The original pneumatic action was partially electrified to make it much more reliable as well as easier and cheaper to maintain. The opportunity was also taken to restore several aspects of the organ back to their original state and to clean and repair all the pipes, wind control valves and wind trunks.
The original 4ft Flauto Traverso stop on the Choir manual was restored by moving the pipes to their original position and reinstalling the unused bottom octave of pipes. The bottom octave of pipes for the 8ft Clarinet stop on the Choir was found to be missing, so a set of replacement pipes were made and installed. Finally, the photographic engravings on the stop heads were found to have a number of defects due to years of light deterioration. In addition, the red colour of the coupler stops (ie the stops that link one keyboard to another) that distinguished them from speaking stops was found to have almost completely faded. Accordingly, all the disks on the stop heads were removed, re-
Electrification of the action facilitated installation of a row of programmable thumb pistons below each keyboard as well a toe pistons above the pedalboard to enable the organist to pre-
The organ has three 61 note keyboards and a 30 note concave, radiating pedal board. It has 24 speaking stops, contains approximately 1,600 pipes and is listed by the British Institute of Organ Studies in the National Pipe Organ Register. It was awarded a Historic Organ Certificate Grade II in 2010. (Grade II is awarded to an organ which is “a good representative of the work of the builder and in substantially original condition”.) The complete current specification can be examined is another page.
The organ was rededicated by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd & Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres,
on St Luke’s Day, Sunday 18th October.
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