Renowned local organist ‘pulls out all the stops’ to play Parkeston organ in Redoubt Fort

Following the closure of Saint Paul’s parish church in Parkeston, many artefacts were moved to the Harwich Society’s Redoubt Fort where a room was converted to exhibit them. The artefacts included the memorial pipe organ which had to be dismantled, labelled, moved and rebuilt, a painstaking task led by the Redoubt Fort’s curator, Dan Beck.

Now, renowned local organist, Edward Kemp-Luck, has returned to Harwich to play the organ in its new home and has declared the restoration a great success.

PICTURED: Organist Edward Kemp-Luck with Dan Beck (Harwich Society) – St. Gabriel & St. Paul’s Memorial Pipe Organ – Photo Copyright © Maria Fowler 2021

Edward Kemp-Luck, a fellow of the Royal College of Organists and winner of the coveted Walford Davies organ prize at the Royal College of Music, has given concerts at Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral and has happy memories of his early days practicing on the memorial pipe organ in Saint Paul’s Church in Parkeston. On Friday, he visited the Redoubt Fort to see the restored organ and gave an impromptu recital for an audience of Harwich Society volunteers.

Leader of the Harwich Society’s Redoubt Fort volunteers, Dan Beck, says, “Edward was very complementary about the way the restored pipe organ played and also about the acoustics of the vaulted room, improved by the purpose-built wooden floor installed by Harwich Society volunteers, David Whittle and Bob Barham. The last time Edward visited only two notes were possible and it was amazing to hear such a talented organist bringing the fully restored organ back to life.”

Edward Kemp-Luck has offered to return to perform an official opening recital when the opportunity arises and this is an offer that the Harwich Society’s Redoubt Fort volunteers will certainly be taking up.

For interest – Huw Edwards, journalist and presenter, ‘Pipe Dream’  – “Church and chapel organs are a direct link with previous generations.”

The Redoubt Fort is open to the public Thursday – Sunday 10AM-4PM until the end of September and then Sundays only until May 2022.

For further information please contact:

Dan Beck, Curator, Redoubt Fort. TEL: 07801 661922
Garry Calver, Press Officer. TEL: 01255 551940