Uniting (Wesley Methodist) Church
Lydiard Street, Ballarat

First organ, see: Fairfield. St Paul's Anglican Church.

Second organ, now located: Ballarat. Uniting Church, Neil Street.

Present organ, B 1890 Fincham & Hobday;
reb 1924, 1954 Geo Fincham & Sons. 3m, 35 sp. st, 12c, elpn.
Gt: 16.8.8.8.4.4.2.III.8. Sw: 16.8.8.8.8.4.2.III.8.8.4.
Ch: 8.8.8.4.2.8.8.8. Ped: 16.16.16.16.8.8.8.






The first Methodist service to be held in the Ballarat area took place on 28 September 1851 and during the second half of the 19th century a number of Methodist churches were erected in the city, the most prominent of which was Wesley Church, Lydiard Street, centrally located in the town.

 

The present bichromatic brick church was erected in 1883-84 to the design of Terry & Oakden in an Italianate Gothic style, with additions in 1899.  In 1922 the choir gallery - originally with a cast iron balustrade - was redesigned.  The church is built on the edge of the ‘escarpment’.  The main entrance in Lydiard Street is set at a higher level than the apse and the floor follows the slope of the land.  The external brickwork is elaborately detailed around the windows and doors with notched brickwork while the external walls have diapered patterns.  The amphitheatrical interior is lofty and spacious and includes cast iron galleries at the sides and rear of the nave.  The building is comparable with the firm’s Toorak Methodist Church which was wantonly demolished in the 1980s.

 

The first pipe organ, in the early building, was a large single manual instrument and probably the first organ in Ballarat.  It was later moved to the Methodist Church, Pleasant Street, Ballarat, St Mark’s Anglican Church, Camberwell and finally to St Paul’s Anglican Church, Fairfield where it was broken up in the late 1960s.


Pleasant Street Methodist

 



The second organ, a two-manual instrument of 20 speaking stops, was built in 1874 by George Fincham, with the unusual casework designed by the local architect J.A. Doane, who was also responsible for the second church building.  This organ was moved into the present church in 1884 but was sold in 1890 to the Methodist Church, Neil Street, North Ballarat, where it is still located.



Neil Street Uniting Church



The present three-manual organ was built by Fincham & Hobday at a cost of £1,145 and was opened by G.B. Fentum on 24 October 1890.  This was one of the firm’s largest church organs of the period, incorporating a detached drawstop console, tubular-pneumatic action, and a 16ft case.  The instrument was rebuilt in 1924 and again in 1954 by George Fincham & Sons Pty Ltd, at which time the action was converted to electro-pneumatic and a new three manual stopkey console installed.  The original tonal scheme and pipework remain largely unaltered, however the original decoration of the façade pipes has regrettably been overpainted.

 

GREAT
Double Diapason
Open Diapason
Horn Diapason
Hohl Flute
Octave
Wald Flute
Fifteenth
Mixture
Trumpet
Swell to Great Sub
Swell to Great
Swell to Great Super
Choir to Great

SWELL
Bourdon
Open Diapason
Gedact
Gamba
Celeste
Gemshorn
Piccolo
Mixture
Cornopean
Oboe
Clarion
Tremulant
Swell Sub Octave
Swell Unison Off
Swell Super Octave

CHOIR (enclosed)
Stopped Diapason
Salicional
Dulciana
Harmonic Flute
Flautina
Clarinet
Orchestral Oboe
Vox Humana
Tremulant
Choir Sub Octave
Choir Super Octave
Swell to Choir

PEDAL
Open Diapason
Open Diapason
Bourdon
Echo Bourdon
Principal
Viola 8
Bass Flute
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Choir to Pedal


16
8
8
8
4
4
2
III
8






16
8
8
8
8
4
2
III
8
8
4






8
8
8
4
2
8
8
8






16
16
16
16
8
8
8




A






17.19.22







B



TC


17.19.22























C wood
A metal
D
B
C
independent rank: F&H ex Adelaide Town Hall
independent rank




Compass: 61/30

Electro-pneumatic action

Detached stopkey console








The 1954 console.




The piston selector mechanism that also records the pitch as "C 540, Old Philharmonic".
Two photos above: JRM (January 2012)




Photos: JRM (Jan 2009)




E.N. Matthews, Colonial Organs and Organbuilders.  Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969, p.159