Uniting (Methodist) Church
Noble Street, (Chilwell), Newtown, Geelong
B 1876 George Fincham; reb 1955 Hill, Norman & Beard (o/n V343).
2m, 17spst, 8c, elpn. Gt: 22.214.171.124.4.2-2/3.2. Sw: 126.96.36.199.2.8. Ped: 16.8.5-1/3.4.
The first section of the Wesleyan Church, Newtown was opened on 5 November 1854 and the building extended with transepts in 1859. The building is constructed in bluestone with cement dressings and is designed in a simplified classical idiom, many of the windows in the nave retaining their original wooden glazing bars and fanlights at the top. It is a very rare and early example of this style of building in Victoria and notable for its spacious, well-lit interior, focusing upon the pulpit and organ. Many of the fittings are of cedar. The building is registered by Heritage Victoria.
The present organ was built by George Fincham at a cost of £340 and opened on 7 April 1876. The original case with its fretted ogival Gothic canopy is unusual in Fincham’s oeuvre and may be compared to his earlier and larger case, in a similar style, at the Forest Street Methodist Church, Bendigo. The organ was rebuilt by Hill, Norman & Beard (Australia) Pty Ltd in 1955. The mechanical action was replaced with electro-pneumatic, a new detached console was installed and the lower case panels were replaced. The organ case was extended laterally through the provision of four additional dummy pipes o each side. The original tonal scheme survives largely intact although one of the original swell stops (either a Double Diapason 16 or a Keraulophon 8) was replaced with a Salicional. The double-rise reservoir also survives. All of the metal pipework, including the original façade pipes, is of spotted metal.
Great Octave *
Swell Sub Octave to Great
Swell to Great
Swell Octave to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Detached stop key console
3 thumb pistons to Great
3 thumb pistons to Swell
3 toe pistons to Great + Pedal
Balanced mechanical swell pedal
* added after the HN&B rebuild
E.N. Matthews, Colonial Organs and Organbuilders. Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969, p. 170
John Maidment 7 November 2009
Photos: JRM (Nov 2009)