The three manual and pedal pipe organ in The United Reformed Church, Northgate, Darlington was built by the firm of J J Binns of Leeds in 1891 at a cost of £600.00. It was placed in a chamber at the front of the church so that it speaks directly into the building, and the very fine organ case enhances the appearance of the front of the church.

J J Binns was a much respected and sought after firm of organ builders who built hundreds of organs for churches and chapels throughout the land many of which have now sadly been destroyed. In addition they also built and number of large 4 manual instruments including the Albert Hall in Nottingham, Jesmond Parish Church Newcastle upon Tyne and Rochdale Town Hall. In 1914 they built an organ for the church of St John Haifa Israel.

The Binns organ in the Northgate Church has been well maintained over the years and is considered to be one of the best pipe organs in Darlington. If it had to be replaced today by a comparable (new) instrument it would cost in the region of £1000,000.00.

The Darlington and District Organists’ and Choirmasters’ Association have used the Northgate Church for meetings which have called for a good organ. The last being in autumn 2019 when Daniel Cook the Organist of Durham Cathedral gave a memorable recital. He was impressed with the sound of the organ and its versatility. We very much hope that we will be able to use the church for events in the future. 

So many good pipe organs have been lost with the closure of churches and chapels especially over the last fifty years that now we must do all we can to preserve our fine remaining instruments for the continued worship of the church and the enjoyment of future generations and our heritage of wonderful music.

Paul Tate – Darlington and District Organists and Choirmasters Association

The Organist in this excerpt from an online Communion Service was Robin Salisbury. The Worship was led by Dorothy Thomson.