St James' Presbyterian Church
48 Belmore Street, Burwood
A. Hunter & Son 1897 (2/19 tubular-pneumatic action)
Photo: MQ 2007
From SOJ October/November 1992, Spring 1997:
This delightful church, located in Belmore Street, possesses a very fine (and original) two manual organ built by A. Hunter & Son, London in 1897. Constructed with tubular-pneumatic action (and erected by William Davidson), this organ has given its owner faithful service for over a century. Graeme Rushworth writes (p.290) 'Although never quite attaining the renown of Hill, Willis, Walker, Lewis, Gray & Davison, a number of worthy nineteenth century English builders held a strong second position of popularity and success, offering instruments at least as durable and as well made as those produced by the more esteemed builders who held Royal warrants and received orders from English cathedrals. Among those of the second group were Forster & Andrews, Brindley & Foster, Bishop, Bevington and Hunter'.
This Hunter organ was one of the last to be exported to Australia by its builder. When considering the number of organs shipped to Australia, it would seem that only Hill and Walker sent more instruments here than Hunter.
The friendship between Australia's George Fincham and Alfred Hunter is well documented.
Apart from the St James', Burwood organ, only the instruments at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Kelso, St Matthew's Catholic Church, Windsor, All Saints' Anglican Church, Petersham, St Andrew's Anglican Church, Summer Hill (the only three manual) and St Peter's Anglican Cathedral, Armidale remain original or near original condition. They stand as marvellous examples of the craftsmanship exhibited by the Hunter firm. Other examples of the work of this builder have, unfortunately, been destroyed either by fire or insensitive rebuilding.
The specification is:
Swell to Great
Swell to Pedal
Swell to Great Octave
Great to Pedal
4 Combination Pistons to Great
3 Combination PIstons to Swell
Lever Swell Pedal
Photos: Trevor Bunning Aug 1984