Special event to celebrate return of restored organ

A mock-up photo of the new position of the organ in All Saints Church, Rothbury.
A mock-up photo of the new position of the organ in All Saints Church, Rothbury.

The Duchess of Northumberland will help celebrate the return of a church’s restored pipe organ, following a major repair project costing tens of thousands of pounds.

The listed instrument will soon be reinstated at its home at Rothbury’s All Saints Church and a special event will take place on Saturday, September 17, to honour the momentous occasion.

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. By March 1867, it had been delivered and installed in its first position at the west end of the church. It was moved to the north side choir vestry in 1887.

The organ, which was taken away in February for repair, will be rebuilt in a free standing position at the north east of the nave. The restoration work is almost complete and the organ will be returning to Rothbury in a removal van on Tuesday, August 30. By the end of that week, it will have been substantially rebuilt by four of the restorer’s staff in its new position where its ornate pipework can be seen.

At the beginning of the following week, the tuning and polishing will be complete. The restorers will be pleased to welcome visitors who want to watch them carrying out this work. All is scheduled for completion by Friday, September 9.

Then, people are invited to see and hear the organ, and join the Duchess, on September 17. The Coquetdale Amateur Dramatic Society will perform and celebrated organist James Lancelot, from Durham Cathedral, will play the organ, while members of his Cathedral Choir will sing.

The HLF grant also provides funding for a number of other things, including organ concerts and the employment of a part-time organ scholar, together with the creation of a Saturday morning organ club for youngsters. The Rector is advertising for an organ scholar. Call Rev Michael Boag on 01669 620482 for more details.