Tring Church Organ - History of organs

A short history of organs in St. Peter and St. Paul, Tring is detailed here. Research of this history is an ongoing process and the author would be pleased to receive any additional information or corrections.

The first recorded organ, manufactured by Hill & Son, was installed in 1827 in the Musicians' Gallery that was, at that time, at the west end of the church. The installation of this instrument caused a mutiny among the singers which was eventually resolved by the incumbent refusing to preach if there was no singing. The Musicians' Gallery was removed in the 1861/2 restoration works in the building. At the same time the organ builders, Hill & Son, estimated for a 'small rebuild' of the organ. This was not carried out and the organ was eventually relocated to the close-by church of All Saints, Long Marston in c1876 where it remains to the present day and is still in regular use.

See specification, Hill & Son, 1827

In 1876 a two-manual organ by Gray & Davison was installed in Tring on a temporary basis. This instrument had previously been installed in the Catholic Apostolic Church, Gordon Square, London. The specification of this instrument is unknown.

In 1890 Henry Jones & Sons installed an instrument which is clearly the foundation of the present-day organ.

See specification, Henry Jones & Sons, 1890

Around 1945 the Henry Jones & Sons organ fell into disrepair and disuse and rather than spend money on it a Hammond Electronic instrument was purchased and used. Eventually funds became available for a partial overhaul and rebuild which was undertaken by N. P. Mander & Co. in 1952. Mander's plate describes the work as "To the Specification of Mr Geraint Jones" who, it is presumed, was engaged as a consultant for this rebuild specification. Geraint Iwan Jones (1917-1998) was an accomplished organist, harpsichordist and conductor. He was also highly thought of as an organ designer and was involved in the specification of famous instruments at the Royal Northern College of Music, St. Andrew's University, the Royal Academy of Music and the Academy of Performing Arts in Hong Kong.

See specification, N. P. Mander & Co., 1952

An organ fund was opened in May 1978 following a very generous gift made by Mrs. Doris Hopkins. This lead to an extensive dismantle and rebuild with extensions and alterations being carried out by the renowned Saxon Aldred of Redbourne. Nine new ranks were included, the pedal department was relocated mostly to the rear of the instrument and converted to electric action. The drawstops were also converted to electric action and a two-memory capture system of combination pistons/pedals was installed.

See specification, Saxon Aldred, 1985
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