Organ inaugurated as Rothbury goes vintage

Gwen Cooper, from Newcastle, with Katie Page, nine, from Gateshead at the Vintage Rothbury Returns event. Pictures by Mary Scott

Gwen Cooper, from Newcastle, with Katie Page, nine, from Gateshead at the Vintage Rothbury Returns event. Pictures by Mary Scott

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The return of a church’s restored pipe organ after a major repair project took place as a vintage and craft event returned to Rothbury.

The listed instrument has recently been reinstated at its home at the village’s All Saints Church and a special inauguration event took place on Saturday evening, attended by the Duchess of Northumberland.

Rev Michael Boag and the Duchess of Northumberland at the inauguration of the restored William Till organ in All Saints Church, Rothbury.

Rev Michael Boag and the Duchess of Northumberland at the inauguration of the restored William Till organ in All Saints Church, Rothbury.

The restoration was made possible with a £36,200 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £27,200 raised by the Coquet Valley community.

The organ was made in 1866 by William Hill and, by March 1867, it had been delivered and installed in its first position at the west end of the church before being moved to the north side choir vestry in 1887.

The organ, which was taken away in February for repair, has been rebuilt in a free-standing position at the north east of the nave.

The Coquetdale Amateur Dramatic Society performed and celebrated organist James Lancelot, from Durham Cathedral, played the organ, while members of his Cathedral Choir sang.

Steve Kerry, from Hepple, with a very old horse-drawn hearse, originally from the Coquet Valley and used by the Rogerson family.

Steve Kerry, from Hepple, with a very old horse-drawn hearse, originally from the Coquet Valley and used by the Rogerson family.

The celebratory weekend also saw Vintage Rothbury Returns take place on the Sunday after a year’s break in 2015.

In 2014, the award-winning event raised enough money to buy and install defibrillators throughout the Coquet Valley.

In addition to market stalls selling vintage items, crafts and artisan foods, there was a large range of traditional rural skills on display, including dry stone-walling, butter-making, beekeeping, basket-weaving, wool-spinning, stick-dressing, potting, wheat-milling, rag rug-making and quilting.

Children could dress up in Victorian costumes, use school books and play with toys from the era, courtesy of Alnwick’s Bailiffgate Museum.

Major Anthony Glenton, of the Territorial Army, with Major Colin Durward and Lance Corporal Paul Robson, of the Blyth Battery.

Major Anthony Glenton, of the Territorial Army, with Major Colin Durward and Lance Corporal Paul Robson, of the Blyth Battery.

Meanwhile, Blyth Battery set up an army encampment and kitchen serving traditional army brew and soup and Beamish Museum’s Remaking Beamish project came to Northumberland for the first time.