Recital will mark organ’s 145 years

The pipe organ with musician Simon Dunn. (jc_190215_organ04)
The pipe organ with musician Simon Dunn. (jc_190215_organ04)

A 145-year-old organ will be the star of its own anniversary celebration at a concert next week.

The Nicholson pipe organ at Gomersal Moravian Church, which has connections to Charlotte Brontë and Red House Museum, will take centre stage when it is played by organist Simon Dunn next Friday.

Mr Dunn said: “The organ is almost completely unrestored, it has none of the modern things that help you play. It is hard work to play but pipe work is good and the sound is excellent due to the acoustics in the church.”

Church member Christopher Shorten said the man who helped commission the new organ to be built, in 1865, was Joshua Taylor IV.

His father, Joshua Taylor III, was portrayed as Matthew Yorke in Charlotte’s novel Shirley.

The organ’s first recital took place on March 8, 1870, and was performed by conductor and composer Dr William Spark.

A letter written by Edward Taylor, the fourth son of Joshua Taylor III, stated the organ proved so popular that there was infighting between local organists about who should have the pleasure of playing it, which Edward described as “childish and absurd”.

But Mr Shorten said no such dispute still exists today.

Tickets for the concert, on Friday February 27, 7.30pm, are £5 and can be reserved at www.tinyurl.com/visitgmc.