Southwold Railway Trust Archive of Wenhaston

History Note #16: Music

History Note #16: Music
Church accounts for musical purchases and repairs; also Church organs and Choirs

In Church, accounts show in 1606 14 shillings paid for pipes and in 1621 3/6d paid for mending the organ. This was destroyed by Dowsing’s men in the 1640s.

Before the First World War a Harmonium was placed on the left side of the chancel. In 1916 it was replaced by a hand pumped organ built by a local man, W Newby, and was placed in the gallery in front of the tower.
When the gallery was dismantled in 1928, the organ was placed where the organ is now installed. In 1940 Winifred Battle became organist - she was organist for 46 years. However in 1950 the organ was showing signs of wear and a larger one was purchased from a bombed out church - Marylebone Parish Church.

Other items in the accounts:
1772 James Stubing, schoolmaster, paid £1 for Psalm singing (1st Choirmaster?).
In 1830 a base violin was bought and a violin box was repaired, also £1 10 shillings for teaching the singers.
1836 a set of strings for a violoncello
1839 a German flute
1844 repair to clarinet.

The Wenhaston Boys Choir was formed in 1982 under Chris Barnett. This choir gained international fame, performing in St. Paul’s, touring the USA and singing at the Vatican, as well as in cathedrals through Britain. It was disbanded on 31st December 2000. However the Wenhaston Girls Choir, formed in 1997, is still busy making itself an excellent reputation.