A brief History of St Peter’s Organ
The organ in St Peter’s Church was built in 1874, so according to my uncertain maths makes it is 145 years old. The builder was P C Nicholson of Newcastle.
It is a tracker instrument, which in laymen’s terms means lots of wooden rods which link the keys to the pipes and allows air to pass through which in turn makes the sound. Due to irregular temperatures and varied humidity, problems can easily occur regarding tuning and notes sticking, which in turn allow the organ to play on its own. An organist’s nightmare!
So care has to be taken when heating the church. Wood is notorious for changing its character.
This instrument is a fine example of the organs being built at the time. We are very proud of it.
If you look at the pipes above the console you will notice the mottled pattern in the metal. This is because three metals are used in the production of these pipes – tin, zinc and lead. These metals together produce a rich tone called the Diapason, which is the basic sound of the organ.
The pedal board (installed in 1949) has just been rebuilt and, now thank goodness, doesn’t rattle when played.
John Roddam October 2019