In the Parish Magazine three months later is this entry — “At last we are embarked on the difficult task of raising funds for our new organ. The present instrument is wholly inadequate to the size of the church and the character of the services; it is also a disfigurement both by its shape and position. The new instrument will stand in the south transept, opposite the side-chapel. The Bishop of Rochester has written to the Rector approving of the step that is being taken, and recommending its support; as he truly says, the present organ is ‘quite unworthy of the noble church in which it stands”. At present no steps have been taken to raise funds in the village; but the Rector has already collected a large sum, and a meeting of the congregation has been held to see what we can do here to help on this most desirable improvement”.
The following month, the Parish Magazine contained this — “As our readers have seen for themselves, we are building a large organ of two manuals and twenty-four stops, in the south transept. If the instrument is really satisfactory it will be given as a present to the church and parish. But the congregation will have to raise the funds necessary for enlarging the choir stalls and for providing an oak case for the new organ. So far as we can see at present, about £60 to £80 will be required for these two purposes. . . already we have promises which amount to £10, as the result of our meeting on 15th July”.
The Parish Magazine of September 1903 contained the following:— “Since our last issue the organ is an accomplished task; it certainly has fulfilled our expectations and is a notable addition to our grand church. As formerly announced the instrument is a gift to the congregation.” An entry in the Parish Magazine of January 1904 reads — “The new organ and choirstalls have been the outstanding improvements in the Church Improvement Scheme for this year.”
In the Parish Magazine for May 1946, it was noted… “The organ should be rebuilt and modernised”. However it appears this work had to wait, because of other urgent repairs to the fabric of the building (after the war).
The Reverend Canon F. S. Gammon, the Rector, wrote the following in the Parish Magazine for November 1947— An interesting visitor to Cliffe a few Sundays ago was Mr. S. F. Dalladay, A.R.C.O. of Hastings, who, on entering the church said “It is forty-six years ago since I last entered this church.” He has just retired from business as an organ builder and all those years ago he had the job of erecting the present church organ, and dismantling the organ which used to stand in the chancel. While the work was in hand Mr. Dalladay was guest of the Rector, Mr. H. B. Boyd, whose gift the organ was, and who enthusiastically lent a hand with the work. The organ was not new when it came to Cliffe, but was previously in the church of St. John at Coventry, and Mr. Dalladay was delighted to find how well it had stood up to its job in Cliffe. It wasn’t until the summer of 1961 (during the incumbency of the Reverend John W. Henderson, A.K.C.) that the rebuilding and modernising work on the organ was carried out. This was undertaken by Browne’s of Canterbury at a cost of nearly £1,200. During the time the organ was out of use a grand piano was placed in the chancel. Mr. R. J. Pollard was organist and choirmaster then.
Like most church organs, the bellows of this instrument are no longer pumped by hand but powered by electricity. The wooden casing in the area of the blower is fairly well covered with graffiti, most of which is likely to be the names or initials of a long line of “blowers”. An entry as long ago as 1895 notes “Organ blower’s salary—£1. 6s 0d.” But that, of course, would have referred to the previous instrument.