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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago


Contributed by David Kerslake


The Story: The organ at St Andrew‘s Church, Minley, on the Minley Manor estate, built by an unknown maker between 1871 and 1876, was a very early example of an electric action. The 1878 edition of White‘s Directory of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight states that The Organ is played by galvanic power


Why the story is true

Raikes Currie, a wealthy banker, and MP for Northampton, bought Minley Manor in the mid-1850s and immediately set about recreating the former grandeur of the dilapidated estate, most conspicuously replacing the old manor house with the remarkable and palatial building there now. His architect, Henry Clutton, drew upon the French style of the early sixteenth century, completing the house between 1858 and 1860.


Raikes, it is said, had been so incensed by the unworthy and inferior plot allocated for the burial of his wife by the vicar of St Peter‘s, Yateley, that he resolved to build St Andrew‘s church in her memory. St Andrew‘s was built in 1870/71 by Clutton in flint and sandstone, a typically mid-Victorian little church -- not a bit like the manor house he had designed twelve years earlier. Raike‘s wife was interred in the vaults of the new church, and after his death in 1884 he joined her there. Later members of the Currie family are buried in the surrounding churchyard.


The early use of an electric action organ at St Andrew‘s enabled the keyboard to be situated some distance from the rest of the organ. The pipes were behind the north gallery near the altar, the bellows in the crypt, and the console at the west end of the choir. Sydney Loader, who sometimes acted as organist in both St Peter‘s and St Barnabas‘s, remembered it being in the church in the 1930s but said it did not work very well, and was not used. He believed it was scrapped about 1960. Few of the early organs with electric action lasted as long as fifty years so one could say this one did well.

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