Langton by Spilsby, Lincolnshire, St Peter and Paul, Restoration of the 1860s Henry Bryceson organ

Made by the London builder, Henry Bryceson of Brook Street, Euston Road, according to a paper label behind glass set into the music desk. This label also records a ‘Prize Medal, Class 10 A’ at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Bryceson’s workshop was at Brook Street between 1859 and 1867. The organ was cleaned by E. Vickery in Sep 1908 and perhaps by others before him. The organ was restored by Edward Bennett and team during the winter of 2009, and returned to the elegant Georgian village church in May 2010.

The single manual organ is all enclosed in an oak-grained Gothick softwood case, with gilt dummy wood front pipes. Inside the hinged back panel is a list of ten hymn tunes for each of three barrels. There is no evidence that this was ever a barrel organ, however, and it can be set up and played without its surrounding casework, so the conclusion is that the casework was planned for either a keyboard or a barrel organ. On the same panel is nicely pencilled in large letters ‘Stoke Fleming’. Dimensions of the organ are: Height: 3288mm/ 10′ 9½”. Width: 1610mm/ 5′ 3½”, Depth: main case 1062mm/ 3′ 5¾”.

The manual keys have 54 notes, C-f³. The ‘pull-down’ pedal board has 30 notes, C-f¹. Above the keyboard are the stop knobs, reading, from left to right:

Octave Coupler from c¹-f² only
Open Diapason 8ft C-B open wood, metal from tenor c
Dulciana 8ft from tenor c
Stopt Bass 8ft C-B stopped wood
Stopt Diapason 8ft from tenor c
Prinicpal 4ft

The pitch and tuning remain as found, A=446.6 at 18.7° C, and the tuning an unequal equal temperament, perhaps provided in 1908. There have never been tuning slides. The wind pressure is also as found 88mm.

A trigger pedal operates the swell shutters. Hand- pumped cuckoo feeders fill the double-rise bellows reservoir.

The restoration owes everything to the fund-raising efforts of David Douglas. A restoration report is available from the workshop.