Since installing an organ was out of the question, it was envisaged that the piano in the School Room would be used in the Church. However, four Trustees had other ideas, William Gardner, Harry Mapp. Harold Rock and David Tate loaned the money to purchase an organ.
Betty Morris (the Choir Mistress), Fred Jeavons, (the Organist), with others went and saw a redundant Christie organ in a North West Cinema. They bought it for £250 and it was transported to an Organ Builder in Walsall, who rebuilt it suitable for Church use. It was installed ready for the opening.
The organ did have its problems. The company who had rebuilt it went out of business, due to changes in temperature, notes would cipher, on foggy nights, it drew so much air from outside you could see the fog coming into the church and the room temperature dropped.
Further and better history of the organ installed in Providence obtained June 2020
This is the story of where it came from and where it ended up.
Here is the story of the Christie that was once at Providence Methodist Church...….
The original 2/4 Christie was installed in the Pavilion News Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London and opened on 17 January 1929 by George Driggs.
The organ was rebuilt as a 2/6(7) in 1930. The ranks after this rebuild were Tibia Clausa, Flute, Cello, Strings ( double rank ), Vox Humana and Trumpet.
Move to Chorley
The organ was removed to the Plaza, Chorley and opened on 4 August 1941 as a 3c/8(9) by Reginald Liversidge. For this installation, a Diapason and Tuba were added plus a third manual for effects.
On the move again
The organ was removed from the Plaza in 1962 by Longstaff and Jones to Providence Methodist Church, Cradley for use in their new church building which was to open in 1963. The price for purchasing the organ was £250.00. The traps and effects were removed (except for the Cathedral Chimes which were used at weddings and at Christmas), the Tuba went to Holy Trinity Church, Smethwick and the moveable platform for the console went to the Town Hall, Ossett where it remains to this day. The 1941 Plaza Christie console proved to be unsuitable for use at Providence so Longstaff and Jones made a new two manual console. The pipes were behind an ornamental grille at the front of the church and the console was on the left hand side of the church. The blower was situated in the cellar and was powered by a two horse power, three phase motor on 400v.
However, the organ was not totally reliable and often ciphers sounded during weddings, funerals etc. On cold winter nights, the air drawn in by the blower lowered the temperature of the church by quite a few degrees. On foggy nights, fog could be seen inside the church!
In 1979 the church decided to sell the organ and replace it with an Allen Computer Organ which is still there today.
On the move to the North East
Poorly installed in the church and very unreliable, the organ was bought by a Mr Railston for parts which were to be installed at a school on North Tyneside. In the end this did not materialise and Derek Smith acquired the console, blower and generator and some assorted pipework, framework etc and stored it at the Miners’ Welfare Hall, Easington. Derek intended to install it in the ballroom for use to accompany the dances he played for regularly. That project never came to fruition so he donated the various bits to the North East Theatre Organ Association (NETOA) in case they would come into use for our project. The blower and generator were no use to NETOA so were sold to the Scottish Theatre Organ Society for their organ installation. The console and other remaining bits and pieces were eventually skipped as no one could be found who could use them and space was needed for the Wurlitzer installation at New Victoria Centre at Howden-le-Wear.
Many thanks to Derek Trickett and Doreen Price (Providence Methodist Church) and John Heslop, Joe Marsh and David Wright (NETOA) for their assistance
The organ was taken out in 1979, and replaced with an Allen Computer Organ.
Due to the difficulty in getting acceptable Organists, for the last ten years we have resorted to a Gulbranson DH100 Digital Hymnal. This has been replaced 2019 with a later model include Singing the Faith Hymnal