Holy Cross Church Organ

The organ at Holy Cross was built in 1912 by Cousans of Lincoln for the United Methodist Church on Silver Street in Lincoln. It enjoyed a fine open position with plenty of room for the open metal bass pipes to stand in the case. Unusually, the Great Clarinet was enclosed in its own tiny swell box which it retains to this day.

On the 27th March 1912, Mr.Arthur Meale visited Lincoln to give the opening recitals on the new instrument. It had 22 speaking stops, with a Great Organ ranging from a double open diapason, two unisons, principal and fifteenth; a Swell Organ up to three rank mixture, oboe and crowned by a tromba on 6" wind, together with 3 pedal stops 16 foot open, 16 foot metal and 8 foot metal.

The action was tubular-pneumatic and there were nine pistons and balanced pedals to the Swell and Great Clarinet.

The specification had been drawn up by Mr. J H Lister in collaboration with the builders. Included were a variety of beautifully contrasted quiet tonal colours including an 8-foot hohl flute, stopped diapason and 4-foot harmonic flute on the Great, and the Swell had a 4-foot flute and hohl flute in addition to the viol d' orchestre and voix celestes.

In all the organ cost £540, approx. £25 per speaking stop!

When the Silver Street church closed, the organ was rebuilt for the new church of the Holy Cross and opened by Dr. Slater, the cathedral organist, in September 1941.

The actions were electrified up to a large number of change-over machines, from which complex tubing runs stretch to the soundboards, unit chests and bass chests. A detached console was added.

Unfortunately, the organ had to be crammed into a small chamber on the north side of the chancel, behind arches laced with latticework. Because the Great Division was installed at the rear of the chamber behind rows of bass pipes, there exists an imbalance with the Swell Division. The Great Division is not as loud as the Swell, necessitating unusual coupling of Swell stops to bolster the deficiency. Otherwise the Great will be too soft for accompanying the congregation and the Swell too loud for accompanying the choir.

However, the excellent acoustic in the church also compensates for this problem and when working well the sound emanating from the instrument ranges from ethereal to magnificent!

The soundboards are in a terrible state through overheating and many of the drawstop sliders have either been locked in the On position or working very slowly. This is due to changes in temperature and humidity acting on splits in the soundboard tables.

For various reasons a major restoration has not been elected. Instead, it has been decided to remove pipes, lift upper boards, glue and secure the splits in tables; then to have sliders planed over and re-scored, and bearing surfaces re-graphited for ease of movement. This has been successfully done on the Fifteenth and Stopped Diapason of the Great Division by Julian Paul and Son and now needs to be extended with particular reference to the Swell organ. Fund-raising is on-going in hopes of stabilising the organ for the next decade to come.