For this church:
Arnold St Mary
Originally the church had a minstrel’s gallery with musicians and singers, and marks may be discerned on either side of the archway above the partition into the vestry showing the position of wooden or stone supports. The new vestry and gallery were added in 1839, and in 1868 the minstrels were replaced by a harmonium, which was played by Miss Bagnall. One of the last musicians was John Atherley, who was buried in July 1912, aged 81.
The organ was built in 1876 by Brindley & Foster of Sheffield, at a cost of £300. It was hand-blown, with 12 stops and 678 pipes. The harmonium was then sold for £10. An electric motor was fitted in 1948, and in 1974 a trumpet stop was added. The organ was restored in 1958 by Nelson & Co, and again in 1982 by Henry Groves & Son.
The Oxford Movement was the factor that brought many choirs down from the gallery into stalls in the chancel or nave, and put them into robes. In Arnold, the accounts show that surplices were being washed from 1848. The choir stalls were expanded in 1924. The choir was all male until 1980, when ladies were admitted at first only to evening services, but later they were allowed to sing at all services, and girls were also admitted to the choir.
List of Organists and Choirmasters