St. Andrew’s Church Boxford is the proud owner of a late Georgian barrel organ, designed to accompany hymns and psalms in the days before a regular organist or choir were available. While they were numerous in their heyday, as far as we know this is now the last surviving barrel organ in Berkshire, and is unusual in having both sacred and secular tunes on its barrels. Perhaps the instrument was used for barn dances as well as worship?
The instrument is in a sad state of disrepair, with woodworm in the drive mechanism, some damaged pipes and split bellows. To restore it will cost £17,000, of which we have already raised £12,500 from various grant-giving bodies.
To help towards the final £4,500, we are putting on a concert on Saturday 2 May at 7.00pm in St Andrew’s Church.
The music is family-friendly, and includes music by famous composers originally written for mechanical instruments: Haydn and Mozart both wrote for mechanical clocks, as did Wilhem Friedemann Bach (eldest son of the famous Johann Sebastian). The concert will end with Mozart’s much-loved Clarinet Quintet, one of the pinnacles of classical chamber music.
The performers – The Rood Mechanicals – are all local musicians: Chris de Souza will be playing organ, clavichord and clavinova, the clarinettist is Andrew Lyle, with Barnaby Wheeler and Richard Newman (violins), Rachel Mullaly (viola) and Jo Coote (cello).
Tickets – including interval refreshments – are £10 per adult, or you can buy a family ticket for £20.
Available at the door,
Or from Stockcross Post Office,
Or from firstname.lastname@example.org
The popular biennial event will take place this time on the last weekend in June. We hope to have 6 or more gardens open to the public in aid of St.Andrew’s Church. Gardens range from the great and glorious to ones to smaller gems and one undergoing extensive renovation and with a newly sown wild flower meadow – but all of the gardens are well loved and owned by enthusiasts – so something for everyone to see and enjoy. Refreshments including sandwiches over lunchtime will be served in the riverside gardens of The Mill.
Visitors enjoying one of the beautiful gardens open to the public in 2012
The building is now complete, just small items to be finished before we are handed the Completion Certificate. Nearly £5000 has been raised by a generous donation through Greenham Common Trust findmeagrant for the fit out of display and storage cabinets.
There will be an official opening when all the artefacts and documents have been successfully installed. If anyone has any contacts who could help in displaying or archiving, would they please contact Joy Appleton 01488 608422.
There is a vast amount of local information on Boxford to collate, archive and display which is fascinating to see and we hope that everyone in the parish will make use of this valuable collection. One of the most important recent additions, are the finds from the Roman villa discovered in 2013. This museum will be the only one to hold these finds.