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Lottery grant rescues church organ fund

PUBLISHED: 19:36 30 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:43 13 July 2010

AN 11th-hour £36,000 grant means a decade-long slog to restore a church organ is no longer a pipe dream.

Work on North Walsham Parish Church's Victorian organ will begin in late August, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund award.

AN 11th-hour £36,000 grant means a decade-long slog to restore a church organ is no longer a pipe dream.

Work on North Walsham Parish Church's Victorian organ will begin in late August, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund award.

Project secretary Ivan Appleby said they had impressed Fund chiefs by linking their bid to a community educational programme.

The appeal clock had been ticking because £20,000 pledged by the Foundation for Sport and the Arts had to be spent before September.

That cash, added to monies from other donors and fund-raisers including a sponsor-a-pipe scheme and choir marathon, left church chiefs racing to plug the gap and meet their £85,000 target.

The organ will now get its first spring-clean in more than 40 years, perished 1913 leatherwork will be replaced, computer controls installed, and 350 pipes added, bringing the total to 2,242.

“The heritage fund was our last hope. Now we can get all the work done in one go and it should last another 50 years,” said Mr Appleby.

Students from Paston College, school pupils and groups including the Women's Institute will be visiting medieval St Nicholas' Church to view the restoration.

Paston photographic students will prepare a permanent display on the project, high school pupils will learn keyboard skills and there would also be scientific, creative and historical opportunities for children, said Mr Appleby.

Organist Roger Buck said he hoped the work would be finished early next year when a series of celebratory concerts would be held.


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