A RENOWNED organist has declared the restoration of an organ a “great success” after it had to be rehomed.

Following the closure of Saint Paul’s parish church, in Parkeston, many artefacts were moved to Harwich’s Redoubt Fort where a room was converted to exhibit them.

The artefacts included the memorial pipe organ which had to be dismantled, labelled, moved and rebuilt - a painstaking task led by the Redoubt Fort’s curator, Dan Beck.

Now, organist Edward Kemp-Luck, who is renowned in the area, has returned to Harwich to play the organ in its new home and has declared the restoration a great success.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Picture: Maria FowlerPicture: Maria Fowler

Mr Kemp-Luck has happy memories of his early days practicing on the memorial pipe organ in Parkeston’s Saint Paul’s Church, and has since gone on to give concerts at Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral.

A fellow of the Royal College of Organists, he has also won the coveted Walford Davies organ prize at the Royal College of Music.

On Friday, he visited the Redoubt Fort to see the restored organ and gave an impromptu recital for an audience of Harwich Society volunteers.

Leader of the Harwich Society’s Redoubt Fort volunteers, Dan Beck, said the crowd enjoyed the occasion.

“Edward was very complementary about the way the restored pipe organ played and also about the acoustics of the vaulted room, improved by the purpose built wooden floor installed by Harwich Society volunteers, David Whittle and Bob Barham,” he said.

“The last time Edward visited only two notes were possible and it was amazing to hear such a talented organist bringing the fully restored organ back to life.”

Mr Kemp-Luck has offered to return to perform an official opening recital when the opportunity arises and this is an offer the Harwich Society’s Redoubt Fort volunteers were certainly keen to take up.

The Redoubt Fort is open to the public Thursday to Sunday from 10am until 4pm until the end of September and then Sundays only until May 2022.