The Organ

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH, LOUND

Lound Church Organ

The organ was built by the Durham firm of Harrison & Harrison, and dates from 1913. It is contained within the lofty and elevated case designed by Ninian Comper to match his superb rood screen and font cover. The front pipes are unusually slender, typical of Comper’s work, to add height and lightness to the whole composition. It was awarded a Historic Organ Certificate Grade 2 by BIOS in 1999.

The inscription is taken from Psalm 150 – Laudate Dominum sono tubae. Laudate eum in chordis et organo. Laudate eum in cymbalis bene sonantibus. Omnis spiritus laudet Dominum, Alleluia. (Praise the Lord with the sound of the trumpet; praise him with strings and the organ; praise him with sweet sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath, praise the Lord).

The detached console stands in the South West corner of the church. Ninian Comper insisted that the organist should face the High Altar (commonly the organist has his back to proceedings and keeps an eye on things by way of a ‘rear-view driving mirror’). The result of this arrangement is an extremely complicated operation system, and difficult access for maintenance and tuning. Renowned amongst organists and church enthusiasts for its beautiful Comper case, it is, or has also been, notorious for its persistent unreliability, tendency to cipher, and the dangers involved in working on it!

Despite a major refurbishment in 1995, and many other attempts to resolve the endemic problems, the organ has become increasingly temperamental and at times, unplayable. In 2021 therefore a total rebuild was undertaken, in the hope and expectation that this will finally ensure the long-term viability of what should be a very fine instrument. The work has just been completed, in April 2022 by Boggis of Diss (Rodney Briscoe)

Lound Church Organ

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