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Organist prepares for anniversary

PUBLISHED: 03:00 04 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

THIRTY-FIVE years ago this month a young organist, Len Rawle, made his professional debut playing the Wurlitzer organ at the Ritz Cinema in the Buttermarket Ipswich.

THIRTY-FIVE years ago this month a young organist, Len Rawle, made his professional debut playing the Wurlitzer organ at the Ritz Cinema in the Buttermarket Ipswich.

The newly formed Ipswich Light Organ Music Society arranged the concert.

Such was the success of that and subsequent events at the cinema that the society was able to engage the services of the legendary Reginald Dixon on two occasions when he played to capacity audiences.

Encouraged by the financial success of these events the society was able to proceed with the purchase and installation of the British built Christie organ from the Essoldo Cinema, Clacton on Sea at Castle Hill United Reformed Church in Dryden Road, Ipswich.

Thirty years ago – in November 1971 – Len Rawle played at the opening concert and has been a regular visitor to the town ever since, becoming President of the still flourishing group several years ago.

The last time Len appeared in Ipswich was during November 1999, when he played an electronic organ during the 70th anniversary concert at the Regent Theatre, which also originally had a Wurlitzer organ.

The society is pleased to have welcomed Len back to play once again during this, the 30th season of concerts at Castle Hill.

The concerts, by leading organists, are held monthly, on Sunday afternoons, from September to April and regularly attract audiences of 200 people.

Anyone who is interested in the activities of the society should contact the Membership secretary, Mrs Pat Lakey on Ipswich 780358

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