Kyneton Performing Arts Theatre
(former Congregational Church),
Hutton Street, Kyneton
B. 1879-80 George Fincham; res 1977 Geo Fincham & Sons.
2m, 15spst, 3c, tr. Gt: 8.8 divided.220.127.116.11.III.
Sw: 18.104.22.168.4.2.8. Ped: 16.
This building was constructed in bluestone as a Congregational Church in 1859-60 to the design of local architect William Douglas, and subsequently extended in 1871 to the design of Crouch & Wilson. The facade includes a central bellcote, crocketed pinnacles with Georgian style windows along the sides. The front includes an elaborate iron fence. (Miles Lewis, ed., Victorian Churches (East Melbourne, National Trust of Australia (Victoria) 1991, p.132).
Following the formation of the Uniting Church the building was redeveloped as a theatre, with the former pews, pulpit and other fittings removed.
The organ was built by George Fincham at a cost of £440. It was opened in February 1880. The facade was widened in 1895 through the addition of seven dummy pipes on each side. (E.N. Matthews, Colonial Organs and Organbuilders (Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969), p.173) At some stage the console was extended forwards from its original location in the casework. The stencilling of the facade pipes is very elaborate and among the finest examples to survive. The original three tower casework has subtle differences from Fincham’s standard model in the pinnacles and pierced bands. The console includes a marquetry nameplate identical with that at St John’s Anglican Church, Dunolly built by Fincham at the same time. All of the speaking metal pipework is of spotted metal, including the facade pipes.
The tonal design of the organ includes a Great Organ complete to three rank Mixture containing a seventeenth rank. The Swell Organ also includes a 16ft flue stop. In the original acoustic of the church, this instrument sounded splendid indeed and was among the finest examples of its builder’s work to survive.
The 1977 restoration by George Fincham & Sons Pty Ltd saw the console returned to its original position in the casework, with the mechanical action fully refurbished and the pipework that was previously cone tuned fitted with tuning slides. Internal wooden components were refinished in the firm’s standard grey paint. Later (probably in 1989) the organ was cleaned and the upperwork revoiced by Michel Alcouffe to its detriment. Sadly, surrounded by curtains in a diminished acoustic, the organ has suffered considerably.
GT. OPEN DIA
SWELL TO GREAT
SW. OPEN DIA
SW. STOP DIA
GT. TO PED.
SW. TO PED.
gvd.bass to Stop Dia
Mechanical key and stop action
Lever swell pedal
3 composition pedals to Great
29 June 2010
Kyneton Congregational Church - 1970s
Photos: JRM June 2010