Organ project makes links to Suffolk’s past

Organist and medieval history teacher Grant Vicat who teaches at Moreton Hall Prep school has reassembled and lovingly restored an organ originally built in 1774. ''From Left; Grant Vicat with the refubished organ.
Organist and medieval history teacher Grant Vicat who teaches at Moreton Hall Prep school has reassembled and lovingly restored an organ originally built in 1774. ''From Left; Grant Vicat with the refubished organ.
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A SCHOOL organist and teacher, who has spent 18 years restoring an organ, has discovered mirrored writing on it dating back to 1733.

Grant Vicat’s wife Helen bought him the organ in 1993. It was originally built in 1774 and spent part of its life in Rochester Cathedral.

After discovering it was six inches too tall for their Tudor house, Mr Vicat, 53, from Ixworth, relocated it to the chapel at Moreton Hall Prep School, where he works.

He repaired some of its larger wooden pipes using recycled shelves from the school’s laundry room and was ‘incredibly excited’ to find writing on its pipes and panels, with reference to Little Saxham, dated January 1733, in mirrored writing on vellum used inside.

The restored organ now accompanies the school’s pupils in daily assemblies and weekly Mass.

“The main challenge was trying to be respectful of its history. It’s such a wonderful eccentric sound, it sounds antique,” said Mr Vicat.