Fresh lease of life for crematorium’s historic pipe organ

A 50-year-old pipe organ which is located in the main chapel of the Grade-II listed Coychurch Crematorium has undergone a full refurbishment to ensure it can continue to serve the public.

The specialist work, which was funded through crematorium fees, was carried out at the same time as a full redecoration of the main chapel and coincided with recent temporary pandemic restrictions that prevented the organ from being used.

The pipe organ was originally built by distinguished organ manufacturers NP Mander and assembled on site during the construction of the crematorium in 1970.

To facilitate the work, the organ had to be carefully dismantled and transported to the Mander Organ workshop in London where expert crafts men and women provided it with a full renovation designed to extend its lifespan and enhance its sound.

The organ also received some new additions, including oboe and flute sounds, and is now fully operational in the main chapel once more.

Councillor Stuart Baldwin, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The work completed by Mander Organs has been carried out to an exceptional standard, and the upgraded organ is very befitting of its beautiful surroundings.

“The organ lasted 50 years with minimal maintenance, and with the rebuild and improvement works ensuring that it should last for at least a similar period, I am confident that the organ will continue to serve the community for many years to come.

“I am also pleased that neither the organ’s refurbishment nor the redecoration work in the main chapel has prevented Coychurch Crematorium from continuing to provide funerals and cremations, with services switching to the second chapel while the work was underway.”

Coychurch Crematorium was designed by internationally renowned architect Maxwell Fry and is Grade II* listed.

Management of the facility is overseen by a joint committee featuring elected members of Bridgend County Borough, the Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf councils, and all crematorium fees are invested back into the service.

On average, the crematorium hosts around 1,650 funeral services every year.


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