St Mary & St Margaret - Castle Bromwich Parish Church
1735 The churchwardens’ accounts show payments to various individuals for ‘teaching to sing’ and for ‘leading the psalm’. The earliest such mention is found in 1735 when Edward ?Locke was paid 10 shillings for singing. Before church organs became common in the 19th century, congregational singing and chanting of the psalms was widely practised in the Church of England.
1815 The organ is situated on the west gallery. When the church was rebuilt (1726-1731) it had no gallery.) The first mention appears in the accounts of 1815 when a fee was paid for sweeping the chapel and gallery. There is no mention of an organ at that time, which does not mean, of course, that there wasn't one.
1820 In 1820 Mr Nichols was £12 for repairing the organ. However, while tuning is a regular feature of the accounts, the fact the instrument needed repairing in 1820 does suggest that it had already been there for some time.
1822 George Wilton was paid 10 shillings in 1822 for blowing the organ for one year. This entailed pumping a lever continuously up and down to ensure that the windbox was full of air while the organist played. After this date, there are no further references to payments for teaching singing or leading the psalms.
1853-1854 A list of organ subscribers appears in the accounts of 1853 and 1854. They include the Earl of Bradford (lord of the manor), Rev Kempson (the curate), J J Bateman and members of the Smallwood, Chattock, Twamley and Blewitt families, all wealthy local residents. This may be the instrument installed by Forster & Andrews of Hull.
1927 When Conacher’s installed the organ of 1927, earlier pipes were reused, though whether from the c1854 organ or the earlier instrument is not known.
St Mary & St Margaret
The Parish Church
of Castle Bromwich
Music has played an important part of worship at Castle Bromwich parish church for many centuries. We have now achieved our target and raised some £50,000 to save our historic organ for the generations to come.
CHURCH ORGAN APPEAL
St Mary and St Margaret
Castle Bromwich Parish Church
Old Chester Road
Birmingham B36 9DE
Tel: 0121 747 1270