Wesley Mission
220 Pitt Street







Wesley Church


Built by Whitehouse Bros. Brisbane 1941-2
Rebuilt by Pitchford & Garside, Sydney 1991
It was acquired in 1991 from the Christian Science Church, Chatswood (original building)

(2/17 electric)

Great
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Dulciana
Octave
Flute
Twelfth
Fifteenth

Swell
Violin Diapason
Gedact
Salicional
Principal
Nason Flute (from tenor C)
Mixture
Trompette
Tremulant

Pedal
Bourdon 16'
Bass Flute 8'
Octave Flute 4'

8
8
8
4
4
2-2/3
2


8
8
8
4
4
III
8



16
8
4




















A
A
A



Accessories
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell octave to Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell octave to Great
Swell suboctave to Great
Swell octave
Great and Pedal pistons coupled
3 divisional pistons for Great
3 divisional pistons for Swell
3 toe studs for Pedal.

Compass 61/30

Detached console
No organ façade


Specification supplied by Michael Taylor 2005







Organ chamber



Wesley Theatre



The organ chambers are on the left above the seating.
The console is kept on a moveable platform backstage.



"Christie" theatre organ by Hill, Norman & Beard 1928,
reb. HNB (1965), rem. and reb. Pitchford & Garside 1991
(2/8 ranks extension plus Mixture)



1905: An organ by George Fincham (1888) was installed from the Centennial International Exhibition, Melbourne (3 manuals, 42 speaking stops, tubular-pneumatic action) in the Lyceum Hall, Sydney. This organ had been installed in the Masonic Hall, Melbourne in 1889 and was subsequently sold in 1905 to Ebenezer Vickery MLC for installation in the Lyceum Hall which he donated to the Central Methodist Mission in 1908. This was the third largest organ built in 19th century Australia – the two that were larger were at the Exhibition Building, Melbourne (1880) and at the Australian Church, Melbourne (1890) both by the Fincham firm. It was a remarkable example of late nineteenth-century organbuilding in conservative Romantic style. While its sound is now beyond recall, the specification, with its well-developed Diapason ensemble (including the Pedal division with Principals at 8', 5-1/3' and 4' pitches) clearly reflects the classical outlook of conservative English builders like Hill & Son, who, in turn, had been influenced by the North German eighteenth-century organ. The specification of the 1888 Fincham organ was:


Lyceum Hall, Sydney (1888 Fincham organ)

Great
Double Open Diapason
Open Diapason
Loud Gamba
Clarabella
Octave
Wald Flute
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Mixture
Posaune
Clarion


Choir & Solo (enclosed)
Dulciana
Gamba
Voix Celeste
Lieblich Gedact
Flute Harmonique
Clear Flute
Piccolo Harmonique
Bassoon
Clarionet
Orchestral Oboe
Vox Humana
Oboe Clarion



16
8
8
8
4
4
3
2
3 ranks
8
4



8
8
8
8
8
4
2
16
8
8
8
4


Swell
Gedact
Geigen Principal
Gedact
Salicional
Gemshorn
Rohrflöte
Piccolo
Mixture
Cornopean
Oboe
Clarion


Pedal
Sub Bass
Open Diapason
Bourdon
Principal
Bass Flute
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Trombone


12 couplers
Tremulant
13 thumb pistons
Tubular pneumatic action

16
8
8
8
4
4
2
3 ranks
8
8
4



32
16
16
8
8
6
4
16








1928: The Fincham organ was removed and broken up and replaced by a 9-rank Christie (Hill, Norman & Beard) organ

The basic nine ranks of the Lyceum organ were:

  1. Violone
  2. Bourdon
  3. Open Diapason I
  4. Open Diapason II
  5. Tibia Clausa
  6. Celestes
  7. Tuba
  8. Clarinet
  9. Vox Humana

The sepcification below, shows the extent to which these stops were extended, providing also the list of percussions. It is important to note the wide range of accessories provided for ease of control. The "second touch" device was an unusual innovation: this device allows one set of registrations to sound when the keys are played to half the normal depth, and a second set to sound when the keys are fully depressed. Such an organ was not obtained cheaply: the figure of £5,000 was more than double the amount paid for the Strathfield Methodist organ, which had more than three times the number of pipes, but considerably fewer accessories and special effects.

With the advent of "talking" movies in 1929, the utility of the scheme belowwas reduced, although the instrument continued to be used for the accompaniment of hymns, solos and choral music in mission services.


Lyceum Hall, Sydney (1928 Christie organ)

Accompaniment
Violone
Open Diapason I
Open Diapason II
Tibia Clausa
Viol d'Orchestre
Celestes
Octave
Principal
Tibia
Gemshorn
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Piccolo
Vox Humana
Tuba
Clarinet
Vox Humana
Vox Humana

Chrysoglott (37 notes)
Snare Drum roll
Chinese block reiterating
Tom Tom
Castenets
Triangle
Tambourine


Pedal
Acoustic Bass
Diaphone
Violone
Bourdon
Octave
Bass Flute
'Cello
Piccolo
Tuba
Bassoon

Solo to Pedal Couplers
Bass Drum Tap
Cymbal Tap
Kettle Drum
Snare Drum Roll
Tolling Bell
Triangle
Chimes






16
8
8
8
8
8
4
4
4
4
3
2
2
16
8
8
8
4











32
16
16
16
8
8
8
4
8
8


)
)
)
)
)
)
)















































1st touch
"
2nd touch
"
"
"
"





Solo
Diaphone
Violone
Bourdon
Open Diapason I
Open Diapason II
Tibia Clausa
Viol d'Orchestre
Celestes
Principal
Octave Geigen
Tibia Clausa
Salicet
Celestes
Twefth
Piccolo
Salicetina
Seventeenth
Tuba (TC)
Tuba
Clarinet
Vox Humana
Saxophone Synthetic
Clarion

Chrysoglott (37 notes)
Xylophone reiterating
Chinese block
Chimes


Comedy Effects
Bird Whistle
Boat Whistle
Telephone Bell
Klaxon Horn
Surf
Train Whistle
Siren
Fire Bell
Auto Horn
Sleigh Bells


Ventil Controls
Violone Ventil
String Ventil
Diaphone Ventil
Tibia Clausa Ventil
Flute Ventil
Clarinet Ventil
Vox Humana Ventil
Celestes Ventil
Tuba Ventil

16
16
16
8
8
8
8
8
4
4
4
4
4
3
2
2
1-3/5
16
8
8
8
8
4






























Accessories
Two balanced Swell pedals with indicators
Crescendo Pedal with indicator
Ten pistons to Solo
Ten pistons to Accompaniment
Four pistons to Pedal
Two cancel pistons each manual
Sforzando Pedal Piston
Three tremulants
Drum Crash Pedal Piston
Snare and Bass Drum Reversible Pedal Piston
On/Off control for percussions and comedy effects

Compass 61/30
Electro-pneumatic action
Movable console on hoist from pit to platform



1965: The Christie organ was rebuilt by Hill, Norman & Beard (Aust.) Pty.Ltd., after a fire in the building which was renamed the “Lyceum Theatre” after renovation. 8 ranks of organ were retained with the Vox Humana unit being replaced by a Mixture. A new console with a conventional church organ disposition and layout was provided, but connected to the theatre ranks. The outcome has never been considered successful, owing to the fact that the pipework was designed uncompromisingly for theatre organ use. The instrument survives in the present Wesley Mission complex in its 1965 form.

1991: A new building complex was opened in Pitt Street, with the Lyceum Theatre being replaced by the Wesley Theatre. The organ was installed in two side chambers by Pitchford & Garside Pty. Ltd. with Chimes being added.



Current organ

Wesley Theatre, Sydney

"Christie" theatre organ by Hill, Norman & Beard 1928, reb. HNB (1965),
rem. and reb. Pitchford & Garside 1991 (2/8 ranks extension plus Mixture)

 

The switch on the top right is marked TIBIA

The 'cage' backstage where the console is kept when not in use.

(Photographs: Mark Quarmby, August 2015)


MANUAL I
Bourdon
Open Diapason I
Open Diapason II
Flute
Octave
Flute Octaviante
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Block Flute
Mixture
Bassoon
Tuba
Clarinet
Krummhorn
Chimes
Muted Chimes


MANUAL II
Open Diapason
Tibia
Viole
Voix Celestes
Principal
Octave Tibia
Salicet
Quint Flute
Fifteenth
Piccolo
Octavin
Mixture
Trombone
Tuba
Octave Tuba


PEDAL
Harmonic Bass
Diaphone
Violone
Bourdon
Principal
Bass Flute
Violoncello
Quint
Choral Bass
Octave Flute
Ophicleide
Bassoon
Tuba
Krummhorn


COUPLERS
Manual II- Manual I
Manual I - Pedal
Manual II - Pedal
Manual II to Pedal Pistons
Manual I and Pedal Pistons coupled

Three tremulants
Compass 61/30
Detached stopkey console
Electro-pneumatic action

16
8
8
8
4
4
2-2/3
2
2
II
16
8
8
4





8
8
8
8
4
4
4
2-2/3
2
2
1
II
16
8
4



32
16
16
16
8
8
8
5-1/3
4
4
16
16
8
4




















(Information and specifications supplied by Kelvin Hastie, 10 December 2005, some from his PhD Thesis: Change and Decay - Attitudes and outcomes in the music-making of Methodist Churches in New South Wales, 1902-77 March 2003)