Search

Congregation launches fundraising campaign to save century-old organ

15:41 20 February 2013

All Hallows Organ restoration appeal,Martin Kemp playing the organ which is in need of restoration

All Hallows Organ restoration appeal,Martin Kemp playing the organ which is in need of restoration

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

It is said that the sound of Westminster Abbey’s organ pales in comparison to its “fiery, bright” tones and it is heralded as one of the finest instruments of its kind in the capital.

But the hallowed pipes of the £1million church organ of All Hallows Church in Gospel Oak are running on borrowed time.

Running repairs have kept the 98-year-old organ on life support for the last five years, but the 1915 instrument could break down at any time and is in need of wholesale repairs.

Unadulterated

The original leather bellows of the William Hill & Son organ are on the brink of rupturing and dust has crept into the crevices of the enormous instrument, which dwarfs some cathedral organs across the country.

The congregation is now mustering to raise almost £500,000 to restore the organ to its former glory for the next 100 years.

Resident organist Martin Kemp said: “Most organs start life in one way but are altered to conform to modern taste and its original character and soul are lost.

“But ours is an unaltered specimen and it holds a historical context and represents the last output of this great organ-making firm, which produced the wonderful instruments throughout the world.”

Most organs of that era were tampered with to create a “baroque and classical” sound, including the one at Wesminister Abbey where the Queen was coronated.

“If a builder designs a musical instrument and then changes are made, you have lost that integral design,” said Mr Kemp, a former organ scholar at Chelmsford Cathedral. Fortunately at All Hallows it has kept that design, but it’s also on its last legs.”

The poor state of the organ has cost the church bookings as a recording venue, because the instrument is unreliable.

But the congregation has organised a series of concerts to raise money for repairs and is applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Geoffrey Read, of the church’s organ working group, said: “We are making improvements to the whole of the church with solar panels on the roof. Part of repairing the organ is to look after the church for the next 100 years.”

The next fundraising concert is set to take place on February 28 at 7pm at All Hallows church in Savernake Road.

Martin Baker, master of music at Westminster Cathedral, will play on the 1915 organ to raise money for its restoration.

For more information visit www.allhallowsorgan.org.uk

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Sunday, May 1, 2016
Owner Saby Thukral at the opening party of her store in Heath Street

Struggling with the challenge of shopping for her fashion-conscious daughters in the area, a Hampstead Garden Suburb mother has opened up a new children’s shop in Hampstead.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Claire Meir part of a charity raising money for books for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A mother was inspired to fundraise to buy books for Syrian children in Turkey after imagining what it would be like if her son was fleeing devastating civil war.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
The primary school pupils enjoyed a range of workshops. Photo: Jacqui Sinnatt

Camden and Islington primary school children enjoyed a taste of creativity away from the classroom at the Primary Careers Fair held at the British Library.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

Friday, April 29, 2016
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

Friday, April 29, 2016
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Friday, April 29, 2016
Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe