Hark what a sound - Chris Lawton at Staplehurst United Reformed Church, Kent

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Christopher Lawton
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Me playing the organ at Staplehurst United Reformed Church, Kent.

The organ was originally built in 1935 by the John Compton Organ Company Ltd for the Congregational Church at Whistable, Kent. It was moved here in the early 1980s and installed by local organ enthusiast Ron Parratt. Some minor tonal alterations were made but otherwise is as built with the 4 ranks of pipes (Diapason, Flute, Salicional and Tromba) installed in a fully enclosed chamber at the front of the church. The specification reads:

Bourdon 16'
Echo Bass 16'
Diapason 8'
Flute 8'
Salicional 8'
Trombone 16'
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal

Contra Salicional 16'
Diapason 8'
Hohl Flute 8'
Salicional 8'
Octave 4'
Salicet 4'
Twelfth 2.2/3'
Fifteenth 2'
Salicetina 2'
Swell to Great

Hohl Flute 8'
Salicional 8'
Flute 4'
Salicet 4'
Piccolo 2'
Echo Cymbale III
Tromba Bass 16'
Tromba Minor 8'
Tromba Clarion 4'

4 thumb pistons to Great
4 thumb pistons to Swell
2 pedal coupler canceller thumb pistons
3 ventil switches
1 balanced expression pedal - organ
1 balanced expression pedal - crescendo

For this first video I am playing the hymn 'Hark what a sound, and too divine for hearing' to the 'Highwood' which is ideal for demonstrating the power of this instrument. The crescendo pedal is used in the third line of the first verse.

Many thanks to the organist here for allowing me access to this fine Compton organ and for making me so welcome.

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 dailymotion.

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.