Organ Location: Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Description: Organ for sale - The Thomas Hardy Organ
There are no pictures available for this organ
‘THE THOMAS HARDY ORGAN’
THE ORGAN OF WEST KNIGHTON
We offer for sale a charming small organ built by W.G. Vowles of Bristol in 1914 and rebuilt only a few years later by Osmond, although the reason for the subsequent work is unclear and may have been as a result of the organ needing relocation within the church.
The organ has a very interesting historical connection in that it was built during the time that Thomas Hardy, the English novelist and poet, was heavily involved with West Knighton church. Hardy was born near there at Higher Bockhampton, and was born the son of a stonemason, and consequently young Thomas went on to study architecture, studying at Kings College, London and winning prizes from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architectural Association. The latter part of his life was spent in Dorset and it is then he became involved with St Peter’s Church, becoming Clerk of Works during a major restoration in 1893 which was carried out sensitively and with much skill under Hardy’s guidance. Hardy remained connected with the church until his death in 1928.
The year 1914 saw the arrival of the organ, just before the outbreak of The Great War. It is very difficult to know where it had originally been placed although it appears to have been adapted when it reached its final position on the south side of the nave, this is possibly the work of Osmond in 1923, although there are no records to support this. A photo does exist from the early days of the organ in this position which show the organ very well in a beautiful sepia print.
In 2011, at some 97 years of age, and loyal service through most of that time, the organ was removed by us having been replaced by an electronic. The organ is small but very charming, and encased in a rather attractive case with painted and stenciled display pipes. In this position, the organ was squeezed into a blind arch and consequently the pedal pipes were arranged behind the Swell Box and at each side of the organ. The blower was also situated outside the case.
The casework is will be fully restored and completed by making side panels, which look like they were always intended. This will ensure the organ becomes a freestanding instrument with a modest footprint.
While not large, the organ has a beautiful tone and consequently may be suitable for a small church, or private individual, who wants an organ that will add character to a room and be a useful instrument in its own right. Alternatively, it may be attractive to someone who wishes to maintain something of historical interest through the Thomas Hardy connection.
The organ is available for sale and the price can be discussed with Jonathan Lane & Associates Ltd. We offer a full installation service as part of the deal and ongoing maintenance and tuning can be arranged.
More information: http://www.organ-builder.co.uk
Pictures: Organ for sale - The Thomas Hardy Organ