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9 May 2013
Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip attended a service of Choral Evensong at the Temple Church to mark the rededication of the organ, following a two-year, £750,000 programme of restoration by Harrison & Harrison of Durham. The royal couple were welcomed by the treasurers of the Inner and Middle Temple, Simon Thorley QC and Christopher Symons QC, and viewed an exhibition showing the progress of the restoration project.
The present organ was donated to the Temple in 1954 by Lord Glentanar who had commissioned the instrument from Harrisons in 1924 for the ballroom in Glen Tanar House, near Aboyne, Aberdeenshire. The case, behind which is the four-manual organ complete with three 32-ft stops, is modelled on drawings of the Temple’s Father Smith organ of 1688.
The packed congregation heard music by Gabriel Jackson and Sir Charles Stanford; director of music James Vivian is reported to have amused the Queen by likening the temporary replacement electronic instrument to a 'giant karaoke machine'.
But the joint chairs of the organ fund appeal committee, Sir Anthony May and Michael Blair QC, said, 'The organ has not simply been repaired; it has been restored to its original and proper glory.'
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