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Sweetland Ltd Of Bath Organ Builders


Jonathan Thorne
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Last Friday I had the opportunity of tuning of a two manual organ by Sweetland of Bath. It was a charming and rather and amusing instrument and a pig to tune i.e. you had to take half the front pipes out in order to tune the Swell! Interesting that they used aluminium squares, just like Cavaillé-Coll and his work mate August Gern. Therefore this suggests 1800's onwards. We could find no date. I would be interested to know of any other people who have come across any Sweetlands.

 

JT

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The organ in the church of St Mary de Crypt, Gloucester (UK) is widely described as being a Sweetland, although the description given on the church's own web site, http://www.citybenefice.abelgratis.co.uk/decryptorg.html, implies that much of the pipework is from previous instruments.

 

The church web sites gives the date of the Sweetland rebuild as 1897

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Could Jonathan Thorne elaborate a little more on the aluminium squares? Is this in reference to the swell shutters? I'm intrigued because I have more than a passing interest in Auguste Gern, and I'm always keen to know more about Cavillé Coll.

 

Many thanks

Anthony

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I have searched on the NPOR (National Pipe Organ Register) and they have the following entry for the name of William Sweetland, located in Bath:

 

==========

 

Floruit: 1847-1962

Located: Bath

 

Addresses and periods at locations:

1850s - 1906: Cleveland Pl West,London Rd, Walcot, Bath

1914 - 1939:London Rd [Cleveland Cottages], London Rd, Bath

1940 -> Locksbrook Rd [Centenary Works], Weston, Bath

 

Titles used by this firm:

William Sweetland 1847?-1902

The Sweetland Organ Building Co. Ltd 1905ad-39

The Sweetland Organ Co 1914D-1939

The Sweetland Organ Building Co (Leach & Sons) 1935

 

References for the information above:

O&C 1905 /10, ad [in AF ntbk DOB 055]

Trade Directories: Kelly Somerset 1889/97/1902/06/14/23/27/31/35/39; Aubrey Somerset 1920

BOA corres Edmonds, B.B., 5.1998

Organ 056, 1935 /04, ad

Pipes & Actions: Elvin, L. (1995), pp.158-160

 

Cross references for this builder

Rushworth & Dreaper - taken over by (c. 1962)

 

==========

 

Dave

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  • 1 month later...

Well done Dave - a search under "Builder" on NPOR shows 218 surveys of organs known to have been built/rebuilt/worked on by this firm. You would have to look a bit closer to see which are still in exisyence, but in my work on the register, Sweetland has cropped up several times.

 

(Sorry for the late reply)

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Well done Dave - a search under "Builder" on NPOR shows 218 surveys of organs known to have been built/rebuilt/worked on by this firm.  You would have to look a bit closer to see which are still in exisyence, but in my work on the register, Sweetland has cropped up several times.

 

(Sorry for the late reply)

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

You have a hand on that register, do you? I have put quite a bit of information into it, which has the letters "DCH" after it.

 

It is a very useful site. Keep it going.

 

Dave

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  • 5 months later...

I was gonna say, there's this whole other thing that anything that says "Sweetland" or "Wm. Sweetland" and gives a pre-1910 date is probably gorgeous, and anything that says "Sweetland Organ Co" and gives a post-1910 date is probably a crock. Big nice one at Trowbridge United Reformed, Wiltshire (see NPOR for details) - we rebuilt it a few years back.

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  • 2 months later...

The organ in St Michaels Brierley Hill is a Sweetland, it is unfortunately silent due to an arson attack on the church and a makin substitute has been installed. This organ was very sweet toned and a very comprehensive 3 manual, I hope that future generations will see fit to bring it back to life.

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  • 2 months later...
Last Friday I had the opportunity of tuning of a two manual organ by Sweetland of Bath.  It was a charming and rather and amusing instrument and a pig to tune i.e. you had to take half the front pipes out in order to tune the Swell!  Interesting that they used aluminium squares, just like Cavaillé-Coll and his work mate August Gern.  Therefore this suggests 1800's onwards.  We could find no date.  I would be interested to know of any other people who have come across any Sweetlands.

 

JT

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