Tarring Neville

By Andy Gilbert

Here are a couple of photos of the Church of St Mary, Tarring Neville. It's the parish church of South Heighton and Tarring Neville. I had the pleasure of playing the organ for my daughter's best friend's wedding a few months ago.

The only church I can think of with resident goats, sheep and chickens!

Photo:St Mary's Church, Tarring Neville - with sheep and goats!

St Mary's Church, Tarring Neville - with sheep and goats!

Andy Gilbert

Photo:St Mary's Church, Tarring Neville

St Mary's Church, Tarring Neville

Andy Gilbert

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 05/05/2008.
Comments about this page

Hi Andy,
Back in the late 1960s, I used to play the "organ" there too, when they had services, which was about once a fortnight, as I recall. I'd love to know how the organ you played for your daughter's friend's wedding recently, compared to what I played. When I first started, I played a VERY decrepit American Organ (like a harmonium, except the sound was produced by the air being SUCKED through the reeds, rather then BLOWN, as in a harmonium), which was well past its best-by date, and regularly gave problems.
Eventually, I managed to get the PCC to agree to purchase a secondhand valve electronic organ (funds for such an item were not priority!), with the agreement that I would maintain it, as I was an electronics engineer. With its age, and the technology of the day, it often went wrong, and I still have vivid memories of winter nights, parking in the road and walking, in pitch darkness, up that endless path through the churchyard to the church porch, with the wind howling, and not a street light, or any other light anywhere near (I did take a torch, was a long walk, on my own!)
Then I'd be alone in the church, with very little light, working on the organ, imagining all manner of creaks and noises, and believe me, I was never sorry to finish and get back in my car, and set off home.

By Roger Morley
On 23/05/2008

They recently replaced their old electronic organ (maybe the one you mention?) as it was getting long in the tooth and they had the offer of a free instrument.

The current organ is a Viscount electronic. Not fantastic, but good enough and it has two full manuals and pedals, so I was able to play a few things, I can't manage on just one manual. Makes a nice change in a small church.

By Andy Gilbert
On 24/05/2008

The one we bought secondhand, in about 1968, was a Livingstone-Burge. I'd be amazed if it survived until "recently", without masses of maintenance! It needed quite enough back then!!

By Roger Morley
On 26/05/2008

There was at least one other two manual organ (donated by a previous organist) between the harmonium and the Viscount. Sadly, the Viscount has developed a fault and is out of action. Money is a tight as ever at St. Mary's, so we are open to financial donations(!) I'd love to get either of the last two organs fixed so they work and we can have better music.

We do still have a weekly 'said' service on a Thursday at 10am and a monthly one at 3pm on the 1st Sunday of each month. That's when visitors can get in to visit this lovely church. Otherwise, sadly, we have to keep it locked.

Andy, I enjoyed your playing at the wedding. I'm the one who married the couple!

By Paul Owen
On 04/06/2008

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