Wide, wide as the ocean - Chris Lawton at St Clement's Church, Urmston, Manchester

Christopher Lawton

by Christopher Lawton

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Me playing the organ at St Clement's (branch) Church in Urmston, Manchester.

The organ was built by the famous John Compton Organ Company Ltd in 1960 and is an excellent example of an early 357 model. The organ is totally original including the valve amplifier. The specification reads:

Contra Bass 16'
Bourdon 16'
Echo Bass 16'
Octave 8'
Flute 8'
Flute 4'
Trombone 16'
Trumpet 8'

Bourdon 16'
Diapason 8'
Wald Flute 8'
Gemshorn 8'
Octave 4'
Open Flute 4'
Fifteenth 2'
Tromba 8'

Contra Salicional 16'
Geigen Diapason 8'
Stopped Diapason 8'
Salicional 8'
Principal 4'
Stopped Flute 4'
Flautina 2'
Quartane II
Contra Oboe 16'
Cornopean 8'
Clarinet 8'
Clarion 4'


1 balanced expression pedal - Great and Pedal
1 balanced expression pedal - Swell

Im playing the worship song 'Wide, wide as the ocean' which gives the idea of what the organ sounds like for accompanying congregational hymn singing.

These organs are fast becoming extinct with many churches replacing them with digital instruments etc. Modern technology is indeed appealing with its realistic sampled sounds but history is being lost as a result. Opportunities should be taken to see that these unique instruments are preserved for future generations to experience how technology worked in the pre digital era.

Many thanks to organist Alan Crossland for allowing me access to this fine instrument.

NOTE: this is purely my interest in order to make sure that these fine organs are archived forever and I do not make any monetary profit by this video being on youtube.

For more information on the John Compton Organ Company Ltd and to see me play other Compton organs, please click on the following link for my site dedicated to the John Compton Organ Company Ltd:


REQUEST: I am always on the lookout for Compton organs to play - particularly electrones - so if you know of any churches which still have these then please do let me know. I will happily give a donation or pay any applicable room hire charge.