The Holdich Organ at
St. Margaret's Upton

The historic church organ at St Margaret's Church, Upton in Norfolk has been restored, thanks to a grant of £72,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, secured in July 2016, and funding from ChurchCare via funds from the Pilgrim Trust.

The Victorian organ, built in 1865 by the noted organ builder George Maydwell Holdich, has been carefully dismantled and has been painstakingly cleaned, repaired and restored to its former glory. It is one of only 50 surviving Holdich organs out of the 400 he built and is mostly in its original state.

The organ was rededicated as part of a week of celebrations which started on Saturday, 23rd September 2017, as described on the News page.

“It is such wonderful news that this historic church organ is going to be restored. I hope that the Upton Holdich organ will be playing to villagers and visitors for years and years to come.” Jeanette Monument, organist at St. Margarets for 60 years.
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About our Holdich organ

Click on the image above to hear the organ being played on Mustard TV.
Our Holdich organ is of great historic importance and value and has been awarded an Historic Organs Certificate by the British Institute of Organ Studies.

It is one of only 50 remaining such organs and is largely in original condition but is need of major restoration and refurbishment to secure its future.

It was built it in 1865 for St Andrew’s Church in Bridewell Alley, Norwich and was moved to Upton in 1904. Little is known of the circumstances of the move or who paid the £120 purchase price, but it is known that the head teacher of Upton School gave the opening recital!

In 2005 a group of local people set up St Margaret’s Church Upton Organ Restoration & Discovery Project to raise funds amongst the local community, schools and lovers of church organ music to renovate and restore the Holdich organ so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come.

You'll find the organ at St. Margaret's Church, Church Road, Upton, Norfolk NR13 6AN.
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Local schools

Local primary schools found out more about the heritage of the Upton Holdich organ when they took part in special workshops at the church. Organist and teacher, Jeremy Sampson, visited twice with his WOOFYT - the Wooden One-Octave Organ for Young Technicians - and helped pupils discover how a pipe organ works. Some children, who were already learning a keyboard instrument, got a chance to play the organ for themselves. 

The workshops were a fun mixture of music and science and proved very popular with the youngsters who visited St Margaret's with their teachers. Jeremy said all the classes responded well and on his second visit, he saw the restored organ "in all its glory". 
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"It is magnificent and everyone involved in the project should be very proud of what has been achieved," said Jeremy. "To have the vision, energy and determination to see it through is fantastic and the organ is an amazing legacy for generations to come. "
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