Appeal to restore Norfolk church organ

Richard BatsonIt was born in Norfolk at the outbreak of the Great War, and is, understandably, running out of puff. For the church organ at Mundesley has patched up leather bellows and worn out metal connecting rods to its pipe valves.Richard Batson

It was born in Norfolk at the outbreak of the Great War, and is, understandably, running out of puff.

The church organ at Mundesley has patched-up leather bellows and worn-out connecting rods to its pipe valves.

It means that the instrument, made in Norwich in 1914, is sounding a bit short of breath, with notes unable to reach their full length and power.

So church officials are launching a �40,000 appeal to repair the organ to restore it to its former glory.

Fund co-ordinator Michael Mardon said the organ leatherwork had been patched up over the years, but had become like a bicycle inner tube that could be repaired no more. It was leaking and needed replacing.

More than 380 rods joining the keys and stops to the pipe valves were also wearing out.

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The organ was significant in local music history as it was the last of 100 made at the Norwich workshop of instrument makers Norman and Beard.

Its problems had been known about for years. It was still being used for church and community events, but last year a visiting professional musician preferred to use his instrument rather than the church organ because of its shortcomings, so it was a signal that action needed to be taken.

Just �1,000 is in the kitty so far, helped by �200 from a weekend concert featuring the Mundesley Singers. But there are others coming up on December 5 involving the Broadland Youth Choir, and a Christmas concert with the Taverham band on December 13.

Mr Mardon said it could take a year to raise the funds, and another three months to do the work.

For details about the restoration, call Mr Mardon on 01263 720852 or e-mail

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