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WESTERN AUSTRALIAN PIPE ORGANS

Highgate St Alban

Highgate St Alban


Highgate St Alban

Highgate St Alban

Highgate St Alban


Name of institution St. Alban's Anglican Church
Type of institution Church
Street Address 423 Beaufort Street
City Highgate
State Western Australia
Postcode 6003
Country Australia
Name of building St. Alban's Anglican Church
Name of room Sanctuary
Dates of the building 1889
Architect’s and builder’s names
Special architectural features The building is in the Norman style;  the stained glass windows are said to be Norman–style windows intended for St  George's Cathedral but given to St Alban's as they were considered unsuitable for the Gothic cathedral.  The free–standing church bell is thought to be one of the oldest in the Commonwealth, cast in London in 1806 and intended for the docks area.  However, the people objected to the bell being "too loud" and it was bought for St George's Church, Perth (the forerunner of the Cathedral) in 1842.
Special fittings
Other location information In the 1880's the Perth Cathedral parish extended nearly to Fremantle in one direction, to Bayswater in another, and included South Perth and Victoria Park. The new Dean, the Very Revd Frederick Goldsmith was a man of vision and drive, and he saw that the town would soon expand to the north of Wellington Street, and that a church should be built in that area to minister to the growing population.
Five acres were acquired on Highgate Hill and in September 1888 the first service was held on the site under a gum tree. In January 1889 a public meeting was held in the Cathedral schoolroom "to which all of those are invited who are interested in the erection of a Mission Chapel at Highgate Hill". The response must have been good, for the foundation stone was laid in February 1889, and the building was completed, debt-free, four months later, and consecrated on 13 June 1889.
At first, St. Alban's was conducted as an outreach from the Cathedral, with one of the Cathedral curates taking charge of the work. In 1897 it became a separate parish, and became a centre from which new work was started at Bayswater, Maylands and Leederville.
The church was reconstructed and extended in 1898. The foundation stone was laid by Lord Forrest (the trowel he used can be seen in the WA Museum). A parish Hall was also built. This was opened with a mission, conducted by the Dean. "Night after night we went tramping through the sand singing hymns and bringing many back with us to the crowded hall. Some nights we halted at the 'Third Swamp' (now Hyde Park) and had a meeting with the men camped there" (Revd F.J. Price writing in 1937). In those days the bitumen ended at Brisbane Street - after that it was all sand tracks.
Name of contact
Mailing Address
Telephone 9328 8071
Email office@stalbans.org.au
Other contact information
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Date of previous organs None
Detail of previous organs
Dates when key work has been undertaken
Dates of any moves that have taken place
Variations from original design of organ
Information on previous organs
Information about comparable instruments to previous organs
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Present organ
Type of installation Freestanding
Case description The casework of this organ, designed by Clifton in the Gothic style, resembling the work of A.G. Hill in Britain, is of considerable distinction, with carved pipeshades, cresting and projecting V tower.  The spotted metal pipework was manufactured by George Fincham & Son.
Placement in room Right central nave
Builder's name Robert Cecil Clifton
Opus number 5
Date of completion/installation 1895–1908
Construction materials
Number of manuals Two (2)
Key compasses
Number of keys 56
Key material
Pedal compass
Number of pedals 30
Pedalboard type
Pedalboard material
Type of chests
Type of key action Mechanical (tape and bobbin), tubular-pneumatic pedal action
Type of stop action Tubular-pneumatic
Couplers Swell - Great (Great side)
Swell - Great (Swell Side)
Great - Pedal
Tremulants None
Accessories    None
Console type Integrated, drawstop
Stop label material
Placement
General design
Playing aids 3 thumb pistons to Great
3 thumb pistons to Swell
Divisions    Great, Swell, Pedal
Wind pressures
Stop list
GREAT
Open Diapason 8' Metal
Lieblich Gedeckt 8' Wood
Oktave 4' Metal
Spitzflöte 4' Metal
Fifteenth 2' Metal

SWELL
Lieblich Gedeckt 8' Wood
Gamba 8' Metal
Viol d'Amour 4' Wood
Flautina 2' Metal
Oboe 8' Metal
PEDAL
Gedeckt 16' Wood
Salicional 8' Wood

Total number of stops 12
Total number of ranks
Total number of pipes
Dates when key work has been undertaken on current organ After installation in St Alban's in 1976 the Great Salicional was removed by F.J. Larner and Co., and replaced by a metal Fifteenth and six pipes provided to complete the compass of the Great Open Diapason.  The organ was purchased from the Congregational Church for $5,000 and a further $4,000 was spent on relocation and enhancements.
Dates of any moves that have taken place to current organ Built for the music room of R C Clifton's home at 231 Adelaide Terrace, Perth
Removed to the North Perth Congregational Church by J.E. Dodd;  the instrument was opened on 22 December 1946 by Dr C. Edgar Ford broadcast on ABC radio.
Removed by F.J. Larner and Co. in 1976 and relocated with several alterations to St Alban's Church.  
Removed by ipe Organs of WA Pty Ltd in August 2014 and relocated to St Anne's Catholic Church, Belmont.
Information on current organ The organ was the last to be built by Robert Cecil Clifton.
Comparable instruments to current organ
Current status
Assessment of organ
Other organs by this builder
Photographs Photographs of organ by Bruce Duncan and others
Technical documents  Details of the organ from OHTA Conference Book 2004.
General documents Historical notes from St. Alban's church web site.
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Supporting information Additional information about Robert Cecil Clifton can be found in the Leon D. Cohen book, Gathered Fragments:  the Biography of Robert Cecil Clifton, I.S.O. 1854–1931.
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Document control Original entries J R Elms, OAM, Gazetteer of Western Australian Pipe Organs, 1971, 1999,2003 and 2004.
This entry D B Duncan 17 January 2009.
Additional details from In The Pipeline May/June 1998.




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