West Gallery instruments and sheet music
All Saints has a collection of six West Gallery instruments which are some of the original instruments played by Winterton people who made up a band to provide music in the church before the first organ was purchased on 1840. Currently [December 2011] they are not on view in the church as we have been advised that we need to provide better quality display cases if the instruments are not to deteriorate further. We hope to be able to provide this soon so that they can again be on view to all.
This rare collection of West Gallery wind instruments includes:
Bassoon with wing joint absent, by Milhouse of London c.1800.
Three keyed tenor oboe [or cor anglais] by Milhouse of Newark c.1763-1788. A very unusual instrument for a church band.
One keyed walking stick flute: lower section absent. Made to imitate a bamboo walking stick. About 1790.
One keyed boxwood flute, possibly by Milhouse, London c.1790.
Four keyed boxwood flute by Phillips.
Five keyed clarinet in C: boxwood and ivory by Metzler c.1800.
There is also in our archives contemporary sheet music which was used, with these instruments, in All Saints until the mid 19th century. This has been transcribed to modern musical notation by Ruairidh Grieg. To see these modern transcripts click Winterton Church Manuscript You are welcome to download and use this manuscript but please make reference to its source.
We are unaware of any similar, extensive West Gallery instrument collection with contemporary sheet music in the UK original to the church in which it was used.
What is West Gallery music?
A very clear outline of this music, common in English churches in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and its significance is given on the website at: http://www.rodingmusic.co.uk/ and which can be downloaded here Introduction to West Gallery Music
What is a West Gallery?
Many churches had a west gallery so called as it was located at the west end of the nave. In All Saints there was a gallery erected in 1754 against the tower wall at the west end of the nave. It was not taken down until 1872.
Much information about churches with west galleries can be found at http://www.westgallerychurches.com/
West Gallery Music in Winterton
According to Canon Fowler's notes in the 1912 edition of Credland's Almanack , in the 1830s at All Saints, "The Choir at the time occupied the gallery at the west end of the church, the instruments used being a flute, bass fiddles, bassoon, and a clarinet; these were played by Messrs T. Wilson, G. Nassau, L. Phillipson, W. Tock, and P. Jolly. The vocal members were Messrs. T Robinson, R Pearson, and R Michaelwaite. The latter was one of the Churchwardens, and used to announce the number of the hymns or Psalms in such a faltering voice as was scarcely audible. After several complaints, a notice board was affixed in the centre of the gallery, with hymns on one side and Psalms on the other, the number being indicated by movable figures.
The conductor of this unique choir gave great offence to one of the violin players by always looking at him when any mistake was made, and he threatened to give the conductor a smart switch with his bow if he ever dared to turn round again when a mistake was made, as the congregation thought that he alone was the cause. Their unsatisfactory conduct and irregular attendance at the services caused Mr. John Barratt, one of the Churchwardens, to decide upon having a change, and he called upon Mr. Godfrey Robinson, to assist him in collecting funds for an organ. They were only partly successful. However, an order was given to Messrs. Beeforth t Co., Hull, and an instrument erected in the gallery at the west end during the year 1839."
Many churches in the 19th century ended the West Gallery tradition and installed organs. At All Saints the gallery was not taken down until 1872 although the first organ was purchased in 1840 so there may have been an overlap period when both musical traditions were in place. West Gallery music events are held in our church from time to time.