This weekend Fred and I went to visit a project which I worked on last year. The Holy Trinity Church Organ Restoration Project has restored the pipe organ, originally built in 1907 for the congregation of Hill Crest Primitive Methodist Chapel in Tow Law, Co. Durham, and now located in Holy Trinity Church, Rochester, Northumberland. This beautiful church, in the most rural part of England, is steeped in history and of significant architectural importance What a lovely place to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.
As the Evaluation Consultant for the Heritage Lottery Funded restoration project I was keen to meet some of the people who have been involved so far and to hear about how local people have been able to enjoy new experiences and discover this musical heritage. This work is, of course, still ongoing but the newly restored organ looks and sounds amazing. Set in the beautiful Redesdale, the organ music is something quite majestic. I stood outside the church, watching border collies herd sheep in the field opposite with the birds singing and the organ playing…it felt as if nothing had changed for years.
Taking 9 year old Fred along helped me to see the project from a different perspective. He spent 2 hours listening to the organ, playing the organ, learning about how it works, watching others play and helping a younger child. He was inspired and I saw the project through new eyes. On the way home he told me all about the stops and the pedals. We talked about the saying “pulling out all the stops”. Later that evening we listened to organ music on Spotify. He says he wants to go back again and he would like organ lessons.
This is what this project is all about – bringing new musical and cultural experiences to people of all ages. Find out more here.