Former Residence of the Late L.R. Somerville

Little Barron Street, Kedron


Leslie Robert Somerville, Brisbane, c.1940
Installed in subsequent residences of L.R. Somerville
2 manuals, 5 speaking stops, tubular-pneumatic action
Removed 1961 to the Methodist Church, Bexhill, NSW,
and subsequently rebuilt and enlarged

Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox
© OHTA 2012 (last updated May 2012)

A residence organ built by Mr Leslie Robert Somerville, and completed in 1940, once existed in this location. It was installed successively in two residences of Mr Somerville, and was in storage at a third when sold to the Methodist Church, Bexhill, NSW (near Lismore) around 1961 for a sum of £250.1

The manual ranks were all enclosed in a swell box, and there was apparently no casework. The organ was built under the guidance of Whitehouse Bros of Brisbane, and some of the parts were reportedly salvaged from the Alfred Fuller organ at the Congregational Church, Ipswich, which Whitehouse Bros had rebuilt in 1935.2

The specification of Somerville's residence organ was as follows:

Open Diapason
Stopt Diapason



Swell to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell Octave





[Ten. C]


Tubular-pneumatic action
Attached console
Compass: 58/30
Radiating concave pedalboard.3

The organ was rebuilt and installed in 1962 at the Methodist (subsequently Uniting) Church, Bexhill by Grant Virtue using electro-pneumatic action, and has subsequently been further enlarged.4


1 Grant Virtue, 'The organ in the Methodist Church, Bexhill, NSW,' The Organ, vol. 44 (Jan. 1965), pp. 145-47.

2 Information supplied by Grant Virtue to Pastór de Lasala, July 1998, for the Conference Booklet of the OHTA 21st Annual Conference (1998). The Congregational Church, Ipswich, is here confused with the Presbyterian Church.

3 Original specification deduced from Grant Virtue (1965), op. cit.

4 Grant Virtue, 'The Organ in the Uniting Church, Bexhill, NSW,' The Sydney Organ Journal, vol. 37, no. 4 (Spring 2006), pp. 43-44.