Sydney Church of England Grammar School
(Shore) Chapel

Blue Street, North Sydney

Holroyd & Edwards (1923) with additions by Darrell Pitchford (2003-6, 2012, 2016, 2020) (3/38 electro-pneumatic)





Shore Chapel (Photo: Trevor Bunning Oct 2018)




Photo: Dean Yates

From SOJ February/March 1987, Summer 1994-95, Spring 2003, Autumn 2004 and Robert Fox (chapel organist) March 2006:

In the days before electric blowing became common place, organ tuners would engage casual help at each church they visited. For payment of a few pence, one or two local lads would be found to hold keys and work the blowing lever. At St Silas' Anglican Church, Waterloo, one of the boys so engaged was Tom Edwards. He became fascinated with the craft of organ building and eventually was apprenticed to Charles Richardson at age 13 or 14.

Edwards was born in the Sydney suburb of Waterloo on 19 January, 1889. During his time with Richardson, Edwards was largely occupied with working on be Wm Hill & Son organ in Sydney Town Hall. Richardson had obtained the tuning contract in 1903 and successfully tendered in be following year for repairs, renovations and alterations to the Grand Organ. When this work was completed, regular tuning and maintenance required Edwards to be in almost constant attendance.

Tom Edwards joined the firm of Gregory Griffin and Charles Leggo when they commenced their partnership in 1911, apparently without loss of Richardson's goodwill.The Griffin & Leggo partnership dissolved towards the end of the First World War, and in 1917 Edwards set up on his own account at 127 Point Street, Pyrmont. From 1919 to 1924, Edwards was in partnership with John Holroyd who had been the N.S.W. Representative of Norman & Beard Ltd of Norwich.

The 1920s was a period of continuous growth for Edwards and in 1925 he purchased Richardson's tuning round. Tuning and repairing Theatre organs became a specialised and substantial part of the firm's work.

Edwards assisted John Whiteley in installing the latter's instrument for St Andrew's Anglican Cathedral in 1929/30.

Right up to the time of his death in 1960 (at 71 years), Edwards carried on a tuning round of 17 organs. Following his death, the tuning round and stock of spare parts etc, was sold to Hill, Norman & Beard of Melbourne.




Shore Chapel organ (Photo: Trevor Bunning Oct 2018)


The organ at Shore was built in 1923 by Holroyd and Edwards with tubular pneumatic action. The chapel, with panoramic views over the harbour to the city, has a generous acoustic. With the use of the Super Octave coupler, the organ sounded like it had much more than just 8' and 4' stops. It was rebuilt by Pitchford & Garside in 1980 when the action was electrified. Tonally, the organ remained untouched from 1923 until the organ was enlarged by Pitchford & Garside with Australian Pipe Organs in 2003 - 6. Just prior to the execution of this work, Stuart Garside tragically passed away, and the work was faithfully completed by DA & CM Pitchford. A Fifteenth and Mixture (19.22.26) were added to the Great. A Grand Trumpet high-pressure reed was added to the northern alcove over the Vestry, directly opposite the main organ, available as an 8' on the Great and extended to form a 16' and 8' on the Pedal. The Swell organ received a Mixture (15.19.22) and the Oboe was placed on a new chest and extended to 16' pitch. The Great Dulciana was relocated to the northern alcove along with the new Grand Trumpet. Solid state switching and SSL combination system/sequencer were installed. A second stage, the addition of a Choir division, was completed by DA & CM Pitchford in 2020, with pipework sourced and voiced by Robert Heatley of Australian Pipe Organs. No tonal alterations were effected to any of the existing Holroyd and Edwards pipework.


Holroyd & Edwards (1923) with additions by Darrell Pitchford (2003-6, 2012, 2016, 2020) (3/38 electro-pneumatic)

The current specification (2020) is:

Great
Bourdon
Open Diapason No.1
Open Diapason No.2
Hohl Flute
Principal
Harmonic Flute
Fifiteenth
Mixture 19.22.26
Trumpet
Grand Trumpet

Swell
Open Diapason
Salicional
Voix Celeste
Flute
Gemshorn
Fifteenth
Mixture 15.19.22
Contra Fagotto
Cornopean
Oboe
Tremulant

Choir
Leiblich Gedackt
Dulciana
Principal
Flute
Nazard
Harmonic Piccolo
Tierce
Clarinet
Cor Anglais
Grand Trumpet
Tremulant

Pedal
Harmonic Bass
Open Diapason
Bourdon
Lieblich Bourdon
Bass Flute
Trombone
Bassoon
Tromba


16
8
8
8
4
4
2
III
8
8


8
8
8
8
4
2
III
16
8
8



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



32
16
16
16
8
16
16
8


^





*
*

*







~
*
*





^

§
^
§
~
§
§
§
*



*


^

*
*
*


C








A (6")









B

B


(North Chamber, Enclosed)
C


C





A (6")



D
Wood
D
C
D
A
B
A

Couplers
Swell to Ped
Great to Ped
Choir to Ped
Swell to Great
Choir to Great
Swell to Choir
Swell Octave
Swell Unison Off
Swell Sub
Choir Octave
Choir Unison Off
Choir Sub

Electro-pneumatic action (1979)
Compass 61/30
6 thumb pistons per manual division
12 general pistons
7 reversibles
Full Organ reversible (Thumb and Toe)
Sequencer with + and – pistons
Console assistant + and – pistons under keyboards (bass side)
Set and cancel pistons
99 divisional/general memories
2 balanced swell pedals

Wind Pressures
Great: 3 7/8"
Swell: 4"
Grand Trumpet/Trombone/Tromba: 6"

* added 2003 – 2006 Pitchford & Garside
^ added 2012 DA & CM Pitchford
~ added 2016 DA & CM Pitchford
§ Added 2020 DA & CM Pitchford

1938 pipes
32 ranks
38 stops
52 drawknobs
2 tremulants
14 Couplers


© PdL 2006





Shore Chapel new organ console [Photo: Robert Fox (June 2020)]




New division before new case added
© PdL 2006




With new case added (2008)




View from chapel

Photos: Mark Quarmby (Nov 2008)