A musical role spanning five decades

A remarkable musical contribution spanning five decades became possible thanks in part to the efforts of dedicated organ restorer William Boggis.He was commissioned to provide the "new" organ for North Lopham Church.

A remarkable musical contribution spanning five decades became possible thanks in part to the efforts of dedicated organ restorer William Boggis.

He was commissioned to provide the "new" organ for North Lopham Church.

It was dedicated at a service on April 10, 1953, and Mr Boggis, now 101 and living at Thetford, was responsible for rebuilding and enlarging the organ, which was originally at Docking.

Mr Boggis, of W & A Boggis, of Roydon, Diss, was pictured in the centre with his young apprentice, Peter Fox, and the rector's warden, Timothy Stevens, in the photograph published on Friday, October 5.


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Ivy West, then the organist, is seen holding sheets of music, and continued until the early 1980s - playing for a remarkable 42 years, said her grandson, Johnny Ling.

The present organist, Jennifer Vere, of Church Corner, North Lopham, said that according to the original order of service the organ was dedicated by the assistant Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev W B Belcher. It was in memory of the Rev G A H Cooksley, rector of the parish until his death from poliomyelitis in 1952. He was one of the instigators of the scheme to provide a new organ for the church.

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The organist for this service was the Rev Gordon Paget from Hedenham, who also accompanied the soloist Gordon Jacobs.

Incidentally, the organ is in

excellent order and is still maintained by Rodney Briscoe, of W & A Boggis.

Copies of all pictures taken by staff photographers are available for sale. Telephone 012603 772175 or call at one of our branch offices.

Any further information may be sent to michael.pollitt@archant.co.uk or to Michael Pollitt, rural affairs editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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