Cumbrian Society of Organists

Review : Visit to Organs in West Cumbria : 10 October 2015

A small but enthusiastic group visited three large Churches offering good acoustics, where the two-manual organs were of suitable size and quality. The organ at St John's, Workington sits on the East Tower Gallery. Rebuilt by Rushworth and Draper in 1965, it has electropneumatic action and a comprehensive stop list making it a very playable instrument. The Quint and 4' Octave flute on the Pedal are an interesting registration. The Great has three pleasing Diapasons, a gentle Dulciana and a bold Trumpet. The Swell reeds favoured French music.

Nearby the Pugin Church of Our Lady and St Michael, with its richly decorated interior, houses the Hill Organ in the West Gallery. This was built in 1906 with pneumatic action, suits the building perfectly and has had no changes since. Fund raising has started for rebuilding this 20 stop instrument, described by AS as 'one you can feel at one with', having a rare quality of balance and resonance. Of note were the Great Flutes 8' and 4' and the Trumpet. Swell Horn and Oboe being excellent for Solo line. Discussion was lively on the comprehensive and compact structure of the organ and case, plus exploration of the Pedal Quint and Great Double Diapason 16'. This will be a place to visit post restoration.

Our Lady and St. Michael Workington

All Soul's Maryport organ, built by Conacher in 1900 has tracker action which is rather heavy when coupled. The sound is pleasing with interesting Swell reeds and a light-hearted Piccolo 2'. Medium to full organ tended to be bass heavy.

An enjoyable day, thanks to Richard Brice for setting up these visits.

National Pipe Organ Register Links

St. John's, Workington
Our Lady Star of the Sea and St. Michael, Workington
All Souls, Maryport - Unlisted