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St Joseph Wealdstone

Started by 4manual, July 14, 2012, 10:16:09 AM

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The Rothwell Organ of St. Joseph's Church in Wealdstone.
Grade II Historic Organ, a fine example of the work of Rothwell Organs and one of only six surviving Rothwell organs in the world.
b. 1956 destroyed 2012 to make way for a second hand Makin digital organ. Some pipes still in situ with speakers (not well hidden) behind. All other remains went to the skip or cannot be located (sold?).

David Pinnegar

I wonder who was responsible for the installation of the Makin in such a way as to destroy the pipe organ?

I wonder who ordered the skip for the pipes and or any other organ paraphenalia?

Who authorised the affair?

Somewhere along the line perhaps someone should be prosecuted for criminal damage?

Best wishes

David P

Barrie Davis


I think the answers can be seen in the section Organs on Ebay.

I am surprised that an organ builder would allow Makins to put the speakers in without care but it seems this has happened, they are only interested in getting their organ in.

The Priest of St Josephs should be held to issue over this and anyone else in the church that allowed the removal of this instrument, it only proves that Organ Certs bear no legal value, so why issue them?

Best wishes




I doubt that any organ builder was involved.  After all, the organ is owned by the church, not the organ builder.  Sadly, it's common practice for speakers for an electronic organ to be hidden behind organ pipes.  I personally think this is downright dishonest - aside from the all too frequent destruction and damage left behind by unsympathetic "installers".  Being cynical, I wonder if it's a ploy to make it more difficult & costly for the church to return to pipes when the electronic dies - in the hopes of getting another sale?

As far as I known, in Catholic churches, the parish priest is the one who makes this sort of decision - which is why back in the 1970's, at least one electronic organ distributor was targeting RC churches as easier to sell to than most other denominations, because you only had to convince one person.

As to Historic Organ Certs. - they have no legal standing - but issuing a certificate does sometimes make the church concerned realise what they've got, and just maybe try and preserve it.  A typical situation is the Holt (pipe) organ in the former Primrose Hill Baptist church in Huddersfield, that I mentioned in an earlier post.  No-one in the church, or on the Yorkshire Baptist Associations property group knew what they had - it was just another pipe organ.  It took me 1 e-mail to establish who the builder was - but at that point, exchange iof contracts with the developer was only about a week away.  If the organ had been recognised earlier, then maybe a HOC would have meant that earlier efforts to rehouse it could have been made (one can always hope!).  In that case, the stop list alone indicated a fairly old instrument - and as it happens, it's an even rarer survival than the organ at Wealdstone.

Every Blessing


Barrie Davis


I could name one Anglican church where the organ was replaced by a toaster on a temporary faculty, pipework was removed to allow the speakers to be installed and this was stored in the roof of the church. Ron Poole, a for,er deceased member of this forum and I had both been organists of this church, he sent me pictures showing the total removal of the pipeorgan. Needless to say the toaster is still there.

As far as Catholic chuirches are concerned a few years ago I helped a church buy a Viscount to replace a dead Compton electrone, the parish priest only had the power to authorise a payment of £7k as the cost of the organ was over £11k he had to get authorisation from the Cathedral.

Best wishes



Well, I did what I could to alert everyone :'(