We have a very beautiful small organ at Our Lady of Lourdes which is reputed to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest church organ in Portsmouth. The brass plate on the keyboard indicates it was built by “Flight & Son, Organ Builders to Her Majesty, King William Street, Charing Cross, London”. So it dates from the 19th Century. I have not been able to establish the exact date it was built however as they claim to be organ builders to the queen, i.e. Queen Victoria who came to the throne in 1837 and Flight senior died in 1846 or 7 it was almost certainly built between those dates.
Writing on the inside of one of the panels indicates it was built for a residence in Norfolk, possibly a vicarage, according to Derek Fry’s book “Organs of Portsea Island, Past and Present”. In his book he also says that it did long service in the chapel at the Convent of Holy Souls in Mile End until the chapel was demolished. I think it may then have gone to Nazareth House in Lawrence Road as my memory is of the sisters at Nazareth House donating it to Our Lady of Lourdes in the early 1980s when the convent there closed. My memory or course could be playing tricks and it may have come direct from the Convent of the Holy Souls. May be someone can enlighten me.
It is a beautiful, compact instrument with a fine oak case and it’s position on the platform at Our Lady of Lourdes church sets it off perfectly. It has 54 keys. one and a half octaves of pedals and 7 stops. It deserves to played more often. We are lucky to have Charlie to play it when he can, on high days and holidays, for which we are extremely grateful but it would be brilliant if it could be used more regularly. If anyone is interested, or knows anyone who may be please make contact.