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The Turvey Website The history and families of Turvey in Bedfordshire, England

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Turvey Church Organ

Turvey Church Tour - Part 4

This is the console of the organ.  You can see that there are four keyboards (called manuals).  The white 'buttons' are the stops and these change which pipes are used and hence which sounds come out!

This is where the phrase 'to pull out all the stops' comes from; if you do then you will make a grand noise!

The organ was built by Hill and Sons in 1855. It has four manuals and a set of pedals and is built over the former mortuary chapel in the North chapel. It was paid for by Charles Longuet Higgins.  It was converted to electric power in the 1930's.

The Organ Pipes

And here are the pipes themselves. Different lengths and diameters make for different sounds.  The ones in Turvey church are very ornate.  Those white things on the upper left are the modern (but pleasant!) light fittings.

The Organ Mouse

When you pumped the handle the 'mouse' (seen on the right) would rise up its board.  It is a heavy piece of lead and when it was at the mark on the board then the organ had enough air to operate.  If the organist wanted a real multi-pipe crescendo then the lads had to pump until the mouse reached the upper mark.  My dad did this in the fifties and says that the organist seemed to always want to make the most noise on the hottest days!

The Pumps

Until it was electrified, the organ was manually pumped with two long handles (like the one shown right).  Even after electrification the power supply could fail in the middle of a service.  When this happened then two choir boys would be drafted into manning the pump handles!

The Organ Plaque

This is the plaque that you can just see in the middle of the photograph above.  It marks the dedication of the organ to the parishioners of Turvey by Charles Longuet Higgens of Turvey Abbey after he had paid to have it restored.

Continue the tour ...

Enid Isabel Wadsworth was Church Organist and Choir Mistress at All Saints Church, Turvey for 47 years.

Enid passed away on the 30th September 2005, aged 80 years.

The current organist and choir leader of Turvey All Saints Church is Tim Brewster (2015)