St Andrew's Presbyterian Church

B 1873 Speechley & Ingram, London for an unknown private client in Melbourne;
reb 1885 George Fincham. Inst 1874 Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne;
inst after July 1876 St Andrew's Schoolroom, Brighton;
inst 1879 St Thomas's Anglican Church, Moonee Ponds;
inst 1922 Prince of Wales Park Methodist Church, Thornbury; rem into storage c1986.
Res. & inst. present loc. 1995-1997 John Lagerwey and Rod Bennett.
2m, 12spst, 3c, tr. Gt: 8.8 divided. Sw: Ped: 16.

The organ at its present location at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Morwell (Rod Bennett Sept 2009).

The organ in St Andrew’s Church was built in 1872-73 by Speechly & Ingram, Camden Organ Factory, King’s Road, St Pancras, N.W. London for a private client in Melbourne; it was the firm’s job number 132.  In 1874 it was installed by George Fincham in the Athenaeum Hall, Collins Street, Melbourne, where it may be observed in an engraving from the Australasian Sketcher dated 8 July 1876 showing Mr Roberts, the billiard champion at the Athenaeum Hall.  While E.N. Matthews on page 123 of Colonial Organs and Organbuilders states that the organ was removed from the Athenaeum by George Fincham in 1874, the engraving cited above shows that it was in situ here until at least mid-1876.

The organ at the Athenaeum Melbourne July 1876 (Australasian Sketcher)

A description of the organ in the Musical Standard 8 February 1873, p.82

The organ was moved to St Andrew’s Schoolroom, Brighton by George Fincham after July 1876 and was moved from there to St Thomas’ Anglican Church, Essendon in 1879.  In 1885 it was rebuilt by George Fincham, of Richmond, who repaired the windchests and presumably installed the Dulciana 8 and Mixture II ranks on the spare slides provided by Speechley & Ingram.  In 1922 it was replaced by a new organ at St Thomas’ Church which the organist at the time Raymond Fehmel considered to be of inferior quality to the Speechley & Ingram.

(Rod Bennett Sept 2009)

This was moved to the Prince of Wales Park Methodist Church, Thornbury where it remained without alteration apart from the obliteration of the original stencilled finish of the façade pipes.  It was removed from this church in 1986 with the intention of it being placed in a Uniting Church at Thomastown, but this failed to eventuate.  The instrument was acquired for St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Morwell, where it was restored and installed by members of the church, particularly John Lagerwey and Rod Bennett.  It was centrally placed on the rear gallery of the church where the pine casework is admirably sited.


(Rod Bennett Sept 2009)

Three photos above taken by John Stiller for his documentation of the organ May 1980 when at the
Prince of Wales Uniting Church, Thornbury, Vic. These show the console, casework and Great pipework.

This is the only Speechly & Ingram organ in Australia remaining in a state very close to original.  Two other instruments in South Australia (at St John’s Lutheran Church, Malvern and St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church, Christies Beach) have been extensively rebuilt and altered.  The instrument shows the influence of Henry Willis with whom Henry Speechly trained; he was also a nephew of the London organbuilder James C. Bishop.  The console has the scrolled keycheeks and rounded sharps typical of Willis’s work.

Open Diapason 8ft
Stopped Diap Bass 8ft
Clarabella 8ft 
Gamba 8ft 
Dulciana 8ft
Principal 4ft
Wald Flute 4ft
Mixture  12.15 
Swell to Great

Open Diapason Swell 8ft 
Lieblich Gedact 8ft
Sw: Gemshorn 4
Oboe Swell 8ft

Great to Pedals
Swell to Pedals




TC Fincham

labelled Trumpet 8ft


(odd label)

Compass: 56/30

Mechanical key and stop action

3 composition pedals to Great

Trigger swell lever




29 May 2009