The Grand Organ of Albion United Reformed Church,
Built by Lewis & Co, 1895;
rebuilt by Rushworth & Dreaper, 1953
The foundation stone of the Albion Church, Ashton-Under-Lyne was laid in September 1890. This Gothic style church opened on 16 June 1895 and cost £50,000. There was seating for 1,150 people and the stained glass was designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and installed by William Morris & Co.
organ was built by Lewis & Co and completed in 1895. It cost £2200
and was the gift of local mill owner and Mayor of Ashton Mr Abel Buckley
(1835-1908). The opening recital was given by the organist of Glasgow
Thomas Christopher Lewis (1833-1915) was initially trained as an architect and began organ building around 1861. The firm of Lewis & Co. was established in Brixton, South London in 1868, and by 1900 Lewis and his team of craftsmen had built around 600 organs which were famed equally for the exceptional quality of their workmanship and brilliant vibrant tone. Lewis was greatly influenced by the organs of Edmund Schulze in Germany and this is seen in his brilliant flue choruses and Germanic ranks such as the Geigen Principal and Lieblich Gedact. The influence of Aristide Cavaillé-Colls French symphonic organs is evident in Lewiss use of harmonic flutes, strings and chorus reeds.
THE ORGAN PRIOR TO RESTORATION 1953
(Dr. Norman Andrew at the console)
contemporary document which was compiled by the members of the
During the 1930s it was realised that at the very least, a complete renovation and cleaning of the internal parts of the organ was necessary. Unfortunately the 1939-45 war caused the suspension of any contemplated scheme, but the matter again came under review about 1948 when adverse reports on the condition of the organ were made after inspection and tuning.
matter was taken up energetically by Dr. Andrew and the choir, and a
children of the Sunday School and branches co-operated in this scheme
estimate ran to £8,000 and the committee was compelled to revise
Eventually the tender of Messrs. Rushworth & Dreaper of Liverpool for £4,050 was accepted and the order was placed.
Work on the organ was completed by the end of April leaving time for minor adjustments etc. before the Dedication Service on 17th May.
description is accompanied by the photographs shown here, and the signatures
of the Minister, Church Diaconate, Members of the organ restoration sub-committee,
organist and members of the choir.
organ of the Albion Church was rebuilt in 1953 by Rushworth & Dreaper
of Liverpool at a cost of £4050. A new console and electro-pneumatic
action was provided and the only changes were the removal of the Tuba
from the Solo box (elevated to an unenclosed position above it) and
the borrowing of two stops on the Pedal Organ (Open Wood No.2 from Great
Double, and Octave from Open Wood No.1). All of the original pipework
is still in place and despite some small changes to the actual stop
names, Lewiss tonal scheme was treated with
The sum of £2,500 was deemed to be a likely amount to expend, in the absence of any detailed estimate, and of this amount £1,660 was to be apportioned from the Half Century fund.
The scheme was successfully concluded. The Half Century fund passed £2,500 and the above amount was set apart for the organ.
A small sub-committee was appointed by the deacons to consider details of the organ scheme and tenders were invited from several firms of repute.
It soon became evident that the sum of £2,500 provisionally fixed for carrying out the work would be quite inadequate for any scheme that would justify the work of restoration.
standard of Rushworth & Dreapers work is evident from the fact
that the organ remains in working order
1. Acoustic Bass 32 [Quint 10 2/3] RD
2. Open Wood No.1 16 [Great Bass (Open)]
3. Open Wood No.2 (from 16) 16 RD
4. Violone 16 [Violon]
5. Sub Bass16
6. Octave (from 2) 8 RD
7. Bass Flute (from 5) 8
8. Trombone 16 [Posaune]
9. Tromba (from 8) 8 [Trumpet]
10. Tuba (from 47) 8 RD
CHOIR ORGAN (unenclosed)
11. Lieblich Gedackt 8 [Lieblich Gedact]
12. Salicional 8
13. Dulciana 8
14. Flauto Traverso 4
15. Harmonic Piccolo 2 [Piccolo Harmonique]
16. Double Open Diapason 16
17. Open Diapason No.1 8
18. Open Diapason No.2 8
19. Harmonic Flute 8 [Flûte Harmonique]
20. Octave 4
21. Harmonic Flute 4 [Flûte Harmonique]
22. Twelfth 2 2/3 [Octave Quint]
23. Fifteenth 2 [Super Octave]
24. Mixture IV 188.8.131.52
25. Trumpet 8
26. Clarion 4
27. Tuba (from 47) 8 RD
28. Lieblich Bourdon 16 [Lieblich Gedact]
29. Geigen Diapason 8 [Geigen Principal]
30. Rohr Flöte 8
31. Echo Salicional 8 [Salicional]
32. Viola da Gambe 8 [Viole de Gambe]
33. Voix Celestes 8 TC
34. Geigen Principal 4
35. Flautina 2 [Flautino]
36. Mixture III 15.19.22
37. Double Trumpet 16
38. Horn 8
Pedal Compass 30 notes C-f1
Solo to Choir
Solo Sub Octave
Solo Unison Off
3 thumb pistons to choir
6 thumb pistons to Great
6 thumb pistons to Swell
4 thumb pistons to Solo
6 toe pistons to Pedal
6 toe pistons to Swell
Rev Thumb pistons Great/Pedal, Swell/Pedal, Choir/Great,
Rev toe pistons Great/Pedal, Swell/Pedal, Trombone.
Combination couplers: Great & Pedal pistons (drawstop), Pedal to Swell pistons (switch)
Balanced expression pedals to Swell and Solo
The actions are electro pneumatic
Manual Compass 58 notes
C-a3 (keyboards 61 notes) manual keyboards extend to c4, top 3 notes silent
Pedal Compass 30 notes