Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Trottiscliffe Barrel organ

The Trottiscliffe Barrel Organ has come into my workshop for restoration in preparation for a British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) one-day meeting on Saturday 13 July 2013. This barrel organ was once in regular use to accompany the singing at the parish church of St Peter and St Paul in Trottiscliffe, Kent. It has been in storage in pieces for more than 50 years so it will a bit of a challenge so see if I can bring it back to life!
 St Peter and St Paul Trottiscliffe is recorded in the Domesday Book. A word on pronunciation: villagers pronounce the name of their village either as written or as 'Trosley'. However, other variants exist and one account reports that local inhabitants in 1900 referred to their village as 'Trowsley'.
 The barrel organ was made by T C Bates in the first half of the 19C and was installed, second-hand, in Trottiscliffe in 1865 from the nearby church of Meopham.
This gives an idea of how the barrel organ looked as I had a chance to temporarily erect the case outside my workshop in mild weather a couple of weeks ago - it is one of the larger ones made by Bates and has six stops.

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