Celebrations are ringing out after £97,000 flooded in to transform one of the oldest known organs in what was hailed an historic town event.
St Nicholas church’s pipe organ was installed around 1870 and thought to be one of the oldest working instruments of its kind still in general use.
Thanks to vast bequests and donations from across the globe, the centuries old organ is now almost as good as new.
The huge restoration project was started in April and included cleaning and repairs to all 1,500 pipes, digitalizing connections and placing the keyboard console on a movable platform so it can be played from anywhere within the church.
An eager congregation is now looking forward to hearing the newly refurbished pipes play for the first time way ahead of schedule.
And it was all made possible thanks to hard work and major bequests from Olive Amy Noble and George Johnston -and both will be thanked in a plaque in the church.
The rest of the cash was raised through a host of well supported fundraisers and donations - from as far as Canada - as former congregation members got in touch to help.
Mervyn Kimberley, chairman of the restoration appeal, said they were all astounded at raising such an amount in less than 15 months.
He told the KWN: “This is wonderful and we are so humbled by all the incredible help we had to make it happen.
“Hearing this organ play for the first time as if it were brand new will be a historic day for the church. It was struggling before and after all this work we hope to see a big difference in sound quality.”
The project was originally priced at £115,000 but came in cheaper and in less time - even on top of unexpected asbestos removal which was needed behind the pipes.
Deputy warden Keith Grierson explained that it was all custom made for the church and that to buy in brand new equipment would have rung in at around £500,000.
Internationally renowned organist, Nigel Allcoat will show off the spruced up pipes at a rededication service from 2.30pm on October 26.