A disused organ is being restored as part of ongoing renovation work at St Michael & All Angels, Averham. Volunteers have helped to dismantle the Grade II listed organ ahead of the repairs. An anonymous donation has met two-thirds of the £70,000 cost.
From left, Chris Shardlow, John Gelsthorpe, George Binks (churchwarden)
The organ, built in 1901, in memory of Queen Victoria, has more than 1,000 pipes and was built by J.J. Binns, a significant organ builder of that era. It is unique in the East Midlands because it can be powered by water, a hand pump or an electric blower. It hasn’t been played in 25 years because of water damage. Churchwarden Mr George Binks, of Averham, said: “It gives us a great opportunity to get people to play the organ, both regularly and for one-off concerts.” The restoration will take up to 6 months. The church is planning to hold a fundraising event in the summer to support the work.
The volunteers plan to tackle a leaking roof in the church tower next. More than £65,000 has already been raised towards the £90,000 needed for roof repairs. The total spend on the renovation work is expected to be more than £250,000.
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