Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

Reverend Darryl Hall, renowned organist Trevor Dawson and myself.
Reverend Darryl Hall, renowned organist Trevor Dawson and myself.

Harrison and Harrison sounds like a firm of solicitors. It is actually the maker of the organ which is in St Cuthbert’s Church, Pateley Bridge and in other prestigious locations including Durham Cathedral. Gloria and I had very kindly been invited by the Reverend Darryl Hall to be his guests at an organ concert.

The concert and organ playing was being performed by renowned organist Trevor Dawson. The church was packed full and Trevor certainly pulled out all the stops (not literally) with his amazing repertoire.

He would not be able to pull out the ‘oboe stop’ as the organ was not made with one so in one musical piece it was replaced with the ‘clarinet stop’. The evening was most enjoyable with some cracking hymns and pieces of music played by Trevor.

Trevor does not live in the area but has been coming to Pateley Bridge since being a young boy. Trevor as a boy learned to play the piano and clearly developed a love of the church organ being allowed to play the St Cuthbert’s one when visiting Pateley Bridge.

He has continued to visit Pateley Bridge and has regularly played the organ over the years. Quite a few of the pieces of music that were played I know from speaking to people afterwards had reminded them of their wedding day. I had to be reminded by Gloria that some of the pieces of music had been played at our wedding – well the memory is not as good as it once was.

One of the pieces played by Trevor was called ‘Wash it Off’ well that’s what it sounds like but it is actually Watchet Auf (Sleepers Wake) Choral Prelude by J South Bach. The organist certainly entertained (a Radio 2 programme) assisted by his wife Helen who was there to turn the pages of music for Trevor. I imagined if that had been my wife Gloria and I, the situation could have led to some interesting debate if the pages had been turned at the wrong time! I should add at this point I can’t play any instruments and Gloria would say I cannot sing either!

To finish off the evenings performance, Trevor played Sorbie 3 in E Flat Major by Louis Lefebre-Wely apparently an eccentric French man, the piece being a familiar fairground piece of music. Lots of applause and a request for an encore which followed with Trevor obligingly playing Land of Hope and Glory. A rousing end to a most pleasurable evening which had included a glass of wine during the interval.

Trevor has promised to continue visiting Pateley Bridge for many years to come and to play the organ at St Cuthbert’s whenever he gets the opportunity to do so.

There are still lots of visitors holidaying around Nidderdale and last week I spoke to two families – one who was visiting from Uruguay and the other from Texas.

Both sets of visitors had seen me on TV in their respective countries and with visits planned to the UK decided to call off and visit our business. The good news is neither family seemed disappointed with their trip to Pateley Bridge – or meeting me!

Talking of visitors to Nidderdale, I am really looking forward to Sunday 17 September when the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade will be holding a charity film night in Pateley Bridge. The event is a red-carpet extravaganza with prestigious guests Sir Sydney Samuelson CBE (the first British Film Commissioner) and his nephew Captain Will Samuelson (helicopter film pilot of Bond films) showing unique films and footage never seen before.

The name’s Bond, James Bond!

More about this next week including special guests and ticket details.