Wednesday, 01 April 2020 16:10

Hervormde Kerk, Werkendam (2020)

When the old village church of Werkendam was bombed at the end of the Second World War, the Witte organ from 1865 was also destroyed. The new church, built in 1952, was designed by the architects Nielsen and Spruit. One year after the construction of the new church, the Willem van Leeuwen firm in Leiderdorp was commissioned to build a new mechanical organ (opus 300) with a vertical slider system. Willem van Leeuwen was already oriented towards the historical organ in this time in the organ movement and it is special that he also builds a mechanical organ with a great, a positive and a pedal. Unfortunately the used the material was of poor quality. The organ case, for example, was made of spruce wood studs and frameworks with thin plywood panels.

vertikaleslepen 283x200

On the left you see the vertical slider system as used in Werkendam. At the bottom of the picture is the channel grid with a solid (!) wooden cover plate. The slider system is placed on top of that. This consists of a vertically placed beam with a pertinax slider on each side. Above the moving slider a fixed pertinax slider has been placed to compensate for the height difference. A cap clamped against the sliders, which consists of a pertinax bottom plate with a bakelite cap. When a key is pressed, the wind from the cancel flows into the vertical beam, through the movable slider, flows through the cap back into the beam to flow up into the pipe grids.


At the time of delivery, 8 of the 20 stops were reserved. In 1963 Van Leeuwen added two stops: a Fagot 16' was added to the Pedaal instead of the originally planned Octaaf 4' (which would already have been replaced by a Schalmei 4' in 1958), and a Roerfluit 4' was added to the Rugwerk, placed in place of the planned Quintadeen 8 '. On the Hoofdwerk a Cornet III took place instead of the planned Dulciaan 16 '. The following year, Pels & Van Leeuwen will fill the remaining vacancies.

In 1972 the organ was restored by Pels & Van Leeuwen, where wind chests and mechanisms were partially restored and the organ got a new oak case with a more elegant design. Three new stops were also placed. On the Pedaal the Spitsgedekt 16' was replaced by a oak Subbas 16' from Van Gelder, from the Willemskerk in The Hague, on the Hoofdwerk the Trumpet was replaced. Around 1980, the Cornet was replaced by a 5-ranked specimen from Groot-Ammers, which was put in storage. In 1974 the blind carvings were applied and the organ was  completed under the advice of the then organist Frans van Tilburg, who played the organ from 1957 to 1984.

Works 2020

In addition to cleaning the pipework and wind chests, all pipework has been checked. Many pipes were repaired with adhesive tape, even stopped pipes were made to tune with sometimes large amounts of adhesive tape. The Holpijp 8' and Roerfluit 8' are now fitted with felt seals. The labia of all pipes were cleaned and checked. The same applies to the cores, feet and corpi. Pipe feet of the pipes have been checked and if necessary repaired or provided with new feet. The tuning rols have all been checked and, if necessary, re-soldered so that a stable whole is created. After this, the voicing has been reworked.

The heads of the Bassoon 16' showed extensive oxidation and have been renewed. The voicing has also been improved, with resonator lengths being corrected.

Stop list

The desire to change the organ's stop list arose because the organ sounded very dated and thin. With some changes and adjustments, the sound becomes milder and more powerful and will therefore be more usable during the worship services. The Scherp of the rugwerk has been replaced by a Quintadeen 8' which was already forseen in 1953. The Dulciaan 8' was very unsatisfactory, both in terms of sound and voice stability. This stop has been renewed with a wider scale and is now completely of metal. The Mixtuur has been severely damaged by tuning works, partly due to its poor reachability. The composition has been reworked and pipework has been partly replaced and / or shifted by making use of the pipework of the Scherp. The Hoofdwerk Cornet has been renewed in a broader scale, so that the singing character is better expressed. The mounted position of this stop has also been adjusted so that the Hoofdwerk pipework is more accessible.



The corners of the bellow showed cracks, so they have been renewed. The rest of the leather is still in good condition, partly due to the use of linen in the hinges, so that the leather does not have to transfer mechanical forces. The leather sleeves have also been renewed, which are attached to the top of the bellow.


Additional Info

  • Location: Werkendam
  • Activity: Restauratie
  • Stoplist:
    Hoofdwerk (II), C-g3
    Prestant 8' (1953)
    Roerfluit 8' (1953)
    Octaaf 4' (1953)
    Gedekte Fluit 4' (1964)
    Nasard 2 2/3' (1964)
    Octaaf 2' (1953)
    Mixtuur IV (1953/2020)
    Cornet V (2020)
    Trompet 8' (1972)
    Rugwerk (I), C-g3
    Prestant 4' (1953)
    Holpijp 8' (1953)
    Quintadeen 8' (2020)
    Roerfluit 4' (1963)
    Fluit 2' (1953)
    Quint 1 1/3' (1953)
    Sesquialter II (1964)
    Dulciaan 8' (2020)

    Pedaal, C-f1
    Subbas 16' (1856)
    Octaaf 8' (1953)
    Fagot 16' (1963)


    Pedal coupler Hoofdwerk
    Pedal coupler Rugwerk
    Tremulant Rugwerk

    Compount stops:

    Mixtuur IV
    C c0 f#0 f#1 f#2
    1 1/3 2 2 2/3 4 5 1/3
    1 1 1/3 2 2 2/3 4
    2/3 1 1 1/3 2 2 2/3
    1/2 2/3  1 1 1/3 2


    Cornet V
    a0 c1
    4 8
    2 2/3 4
    2 2 2/3
    1 3/5 2
      1 3/5


    Sesquialter II
    2 2/3  
    1 3/5  

Read 1221 times Last modified on Friday, 02 October 2020 14:05

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