c1886 Crook Organ moves in to its seventh home
One of the many enjoyable aspects of what we do at Wakeley Organs is knowing that we have walked alongside an instrument’s journey through history for some of the way. The c1886 Alfred Crook organ is a particularly notable example of this. A very well-travelled instrument, the c1886 Alfred Crook organ has spent its 124 years of life in no less than 7 locations. The instrument first left its original homes in Brunswick and Lockwood after 7 years. It then spent 45 years in Forest St Bendigo, 33 years in Olinda St Bendigo, and 43 years in Eaglehawk. Restored and relocated in 2014 by Wakeley Organs to the Anglican-Catholic Church of St Mary the Virgin in Caulfield South, the instrument has enjoyed a rich life of liturgical use for 6 years.
In June 2020, after St Mary’s needed to move to a new premises, the organ once again needed to be relocated. Navigating Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdowns, Wakeley Organs undertook a socially-distanced relocation of the instrument to the former Uniting Church in Serrell St, East Malvern, where St Mary’s Anglican Catholic Church is now based.
A very well-travelled instrument, the c1886 Alfred Crook organ has spent its 124 years of life in no less than 7 locations.
Despite the challenges of lockdowns, the instrument and building are a fantastic match for the Crook organ. The high ceilings and polished timber floors mean the building has lovely acoustics. The instrument was returned to its original configuration of 2 manuals, 10 speaking stops, 3 couplers and tracker action during our restoration of the organ in 2014, and the organ sings out beautifully in the room.
Being able to see this instrument along some of the way of its journey through history has been such a joy for us. We look forward to seeing what the future brings for this gorgeous little instrument, and what music will ring out from it. And of course, if it needs a new home in the future, by hook or by crook we’ll do our very best to find it one!
You can read more of the story of the Crook organ during its time in St Peter’s, Eaglehawk and St Mary the Virgin, Caulfield South at the Organ Historical Trust of Australia website.