Saturday 13th September. Visit to St. David’s Parish Church, Moreton-in-Marsh & Batsford Parish Church

What a wonderful setting for our day on Saturday 13’th September when 12 of our members visited Moreton-in-Marsh. We were greeted on our arrival at St David’s Church by our host Paul Webber. The church having been refurbished some years ago, to a very high standard,   included a purpose built kitchen/ serving area to the rear of the church providing tea and coffee which was an excellent start to the day. Paul played several pieces which showed the Conacher organ possessed some delightful sounds and despite being located, as is often the case, to the left of the chancel, nevertheless it sounded well in the body of the church. Members then duly played and found out that having small narrow feet was a definite advantage!! The pedal board was the original which had somewhat narrow notes, not a good idea for one organist who decided not to wear his organ shoes!
After a pleasant stay we adjourned to local hostelries for the social re-fuelling exercise, now such an important part of our members’ day. We then travelled a couple of miles to Batsford which is a most charming village. Standing outside the church a member was heard to comment “just listen, all you can hear are the birds”. The church which stands on high ground with scenic views, has, as you will see from the specification, quite a small instrument in terms of the  number of stops, but it was certainly voiced for the building which had a lovely acoustic. David Martin spoke about the instrument and we were able to look inside the case (the smallest swell box I have ever seen). David then demonstrated what could be achieved from such a small instrument, following which members duly played. What can I say other than it is a Willis and an absolute gem.
Our grateful thanks to Paul and David for arranging such a relaxing day out.

Mike Eddy

Photos courtesy of Philip Wells.


The Organ is a 2 manual James Conacher of Huddersfield (1886), which cost £360. £200 of which was “raised for providing a new organ… half of which …was contributed by Mr A.B. Freeman Witford, CB. A contract has been entered into with an eminent firm in Leeds for constructing the instrument.” The opening recital was on 3rd January 1887 (Oxford Chronicle, 8/1/1887). A clarionet and Swell tremulant were added by Nicholson’s in 1892, and a Mixture was substituted for that Clarionet by John Bleney in 1998. The specification is given in NPOR: NO 5737.

Position  N chancel aisle  
Department and Stop list

Pedal Key action   Stop action   Compass-low C  Compass-high f1  Keys 30
1 Open Diapason 16
2 Principal Bass 8
Great Key action   Stop action   Compass-low C  Compass-high g3  Keys 56
3 Open Diapason 8
4 Stop Diap & Clarabella 8
5 Dulciana 8
6 Keraulophon 8
7 Principal 4
8 Harmonic Flute 4
9 Fifteenth 2
10 Clarionet 8
Swell Key action   Stop action   Compass-low C  Compass-high g3  Keys 56 Enclosed
11 Lieblich Bourdon 16
12 Open Diapason 8
13 Lieblich Gedact 8
14 Gamba 8
15 Voix Celeste 8
16 Gemshorn 4
17 Piccolo 2
18 Cornopean 8
19 Oboe 8
20 Tremulant
Pedalboard  concave radiating
CouplersSwell to Pedal

Swell to Great

Swell suboctave to Great

Great to Pedal

2, 2 composition pedals

Saturday 13th September. Visit to St. David’s Parish Church, Moreton-in-Marsh & Batsford Parish Church – Gloucestershire Organists’ Association


Builders 1886/89        Henry Willis & Sons  London

Built, £250


 Position  North transept chamber  Type  Pipe Rack

15 Grey Diapasons over console;

Department and Stop list

Pedal Key action   Stop action   Compass-low C  Compass-high f1  Keys 30
1 Bourdon 16
Great Key action   Stop action   Compass-low C  Compass-high g3  Keys 56
2 Open Diapason 8
3 Lieblich Gedact 4
4 Principal 4
5 Fifteenth 2
Swell Key action   Stop action   Compass-low C  Compass-high g3  Keys 56 Enclosed
6 Open Diapason 8
7 Gemshorn 4
8 Cornopean 8


Console type  En Fenetre   Stop type  External Knobs   Label type  Ivory   Label font  Sans Serif Caps   Pedalboard  Radiating concave

Folding lockable cover to keyboards; Straight jambs;


Swell to Pedal

Swell to Great

Great to Pedal


Blowing Electric (BOB)


2 composition pedals;
Trigger Swell;