Holy Trinity Church Holy Trinity Church

History of the church

The birth of Holy trinity
Newspaper Reports
The 1840 church
The church enlarged
Royal Arms
Past Incumbents
The Living
360 degree view in church

The Organ

“The organ, situated within the gallery, is an apparently typical late Victorian organ of pitch pine and painted pipes .... This is a splendid little organ, perfectly situated musically, acoustically and visually. But there is more to this little organ than meets the eye. ......
(Rodney Tomkins, Derby Diocesan Advisor for Organs)
Tansley, like so many other churches probably started its life with a small band to provide musical accompaniament. Evidence for this comes from Mr Frank Bithel (violin and cello maker) of Wensley who remembers a cello which he had in for repair in the 1970s which had a label pasted inside claiming the instrument had been played in Tansley Church to support the singing.
Holy Trinity organ
Holy Trinity Organ
Ten years after the church was built, in 1850, a second-hand barrel organ with 5 stops and 5 barrels (each with 10 tunes) was bought from the church at South Elkington (Lincolnshire) for £35 5s 0d and installed in church.

Barrel organs were used at this time in churches to accompany the singing of hymns but they were not like the barrel organs we see today. They had sets of pipes and were driven by a wooden barrel with pegs mounted in the face. The barrel was turned by a handle which also operated the bellows and the organs were vehicles for music of the highest quality. Handel, Mozart and Haydn all wrote music for mechanical organs.
A few years after obtaining the barrel organ it was converted to a Manual pipe organ and eventually into a pedal organ. By 1893 however, there was need for a new organ as the old organ was “...... completely worn out and not fit for use”. A fund was set up to raise £150 and in January 1896 John Stacey from Derby gave an estimate for a new organ. The old organ was removed to his works early in 1896 and a new 2-manual organ was constructed where he used 5 stops from the old barrel organ in the new organ. It is still possible to see that the middle compass of the Swell pipes, equivalent to that of a small barrel organ insrument, consists of much older material.

Five months later he wrote “I hope to bring you the organ on Thursday next, i.e. if we can have the van and horses. I have just been after them but they are all off hay making”.

In a letter dated 22nd July 1896 he says “I thank you very much for sending me the pliers and I hope you will find the round-nosed ones, they might be left in the swell box. ......

In a letter enclosing his final account he writes “I enclose you my little account for the organ and as soon as it is convenient I shall be glad to hear from you as money is always useful as you are perhaps aware”.

Todays Organ
organ Console GREAT
Open Diapason
Viol di Gamba



Open Diapason
Stop Diapason Bass

COUPLERS:     3 unison
COMPASS:     Manuals 58;   Pedal 30
ACTION:    Manuals mechanical;   Pedal pneumatic
A tremulant was added to the Swell Organ in 1937 by Bertram Hopkinson of Ashover and, in 1989, the Johnson Organ Co. of Derby overhauled the organ and added a Fifteenth to the Great in place of the Flute. With it's newly-enhanced late-Victorian Great and its five Swell stops (all except the Trumpet) which survive from the original early nineteenth century barrel organ this is without doubt an instrument of interesting and historic character.
So today’s organ contains 5 stops from the original barrel organ and as Rodney Tomkins says in his book
“Pipe Organs of the Derbyshire Derwent” (ISBN 0 907758 88 6)

, .... we are still left with an instrument, some of whose pipework still displays the undoubted charm of early 19th century organ tone. This is, without doubt an instrument of interesting and historic character”