The Organ

AUGUST 2015 414The organ in St Andrew’s Parish Church Moretonhampstead was built by Hele and Co of Plymouth and Exeter in 1905 and replaced an earlier instrument of inadequate tone. Mr A. R. Tilby commissioned the organ in memory of his wife Pauline who died on 6th December 1903. It was to be, “constructed of the highest quality materials and of high class workmanship and tone.” It is quite evident from its construction that no expense was spared and indeed that the instrument has five completely independent 16’ stops and no extension or borrowing of pipes at all within it. This is extremely unusual for a Devon parish church organ where compromise was often reached when commissioning a new instrument.
The instrument is situated in the north choir loft, has three manuals and pedals containing thirty-four speaking stops and five couplers and is of the following specification.
Manual Compass: CC-g (56 notes)
Pedal Compass: CCC-f (30 notes)

GREAT ORGAN (10 speaking stops)AUGUST 2015 410
1. Double Diapason 16
2. Open Diapason 8
3. Violin Diapason 8
4. Stopped Diapason 8
5. Claribel 8
6. Principal 4
7. Harmonic Flute 4
8. Twelfth 22/3
9. Fifteenth 2
10. Trumpet 8

SWELL ORGAN (12 Speaking Stops)AUGUST 2015 412
11. Lieblich Bourdon 16
12. Open Diapason 8
13. Rohr Flöte 8
14. Gamba 8
15. Salicional 8
16. Voix Celeste 8
17. Principal 4
18. Suabe Flute 4
19. Mixture (19.22.26) IIIrks
20. Oboe 8
21. Cornopean 8
22. Clarion 4

CHOIR ORGAN (6 Speaking Stops) (unenclosed)
23. Dulciana 8
24. Keraulophon 8
25. Lieblich Gedact 8
26. Wald Flute 4
27. Spitz Flöte 4
28. Dulcet 4
29. Clarinet 8

PEDAL ORGAN (5 Speaking Stops)
30. Open Diapason 16
31. Violone 16
32. Bourdon 16
33. Violoncello 8
34. Bass Flute 8

35. Choir to Pedal –
36. Great to Pedal –
37. Swell to Pedal –
38. Swell to Great –
39. Swell to Choir –

Because it was so well built originally, little has needed to be done to the organ since. An electric blower was fitted in 1946 in memory of George and Laura Brimblecombe, although the original hand blowing facility is still available if required! The organ was cleaned and overhauled in 1988 by Michael Farleigh of Budleigh Salterton but little was altered. It was fitted with a balanced swell pedal and the swell mixture was sent away to be recast at a slightly higher pitch than before. Other than that, the organ is ostensibly the same as it was originally conceived in 1905.
Above the console an elegant brass inscription reads, “I will praise the name of God and will magnify Him with thanksgiving”. The front pipes of the organ on the south side are from the basses of the Great Open and Violin Diapasons, and the pipes facing west are from the pedal Violoncello. All the front pipes are diapered, (stencilled), and look very fine indeed!
Alfred Richard Tilby lived until 1908 and was fortunate enough to hear the wonderful instrument that he left as a memorial to his wife. They are both buried in the churchyard within earshot of this fine instrument and Moretonhampstead is fortunate indeed to have such a fine instrument within its parish church.AUGUST 2015 413