A rousing concert was planned at historic Cartmel Priory in March 2006 to celebrate an £85,000 restoration of the 19th century church organ.

The inaugural concert would be performed by director of music Adrian Self.

The restoration, made possible through generous public donations, was carried out by experts from Principal Pipe Organs of York, led by Geoffrey Coffin.

Each of the 2,376 individual organ pipes were removed, then cleaned and repaired in the firm’s workshop in York.

When the pipes were replaced, it was on refurbished soundboards which accounted for much of the £85,000 expenditure, together with electrical rewiring and replacement of worn components.

By increasing the wind pressure, the music from the organ now projected far more into the whole priory.

Mr Self, who ran a music publishing business with his wife Pam in Dalton, had been the priory’s musical director for the past 16 years.

“It is no exaggeration to say it sounds like a completely new instrument,” he said.

“The lovely acoustics of the priory have the effect of mellowing the sound, as the beautiful sounds of so many lovingly restored pipes bounce around the ancient walls.”

The first organ was installed in Cartmel Priory around 1610 but had a short life following the attentions of Cromwell’s Roundhead troops during the English Civil War in 1643.

The eventual replacement did not appear in the priory until 1781 while the organ in 2006 was built in 1867 by Frederic Jardine’s, of Manchester.

The last received restoration work to the organ was in 1969 by Rushworth and Dreaper of Liverpool. There had been two sessions of professional cleaning, in 1926 and 1951.

The concert to celebrate the latest restoration was free and there would be homemade refreshments available.

Meanwhile, in 1996 Cartmel Art Society held its 29th annual exhibition at Cartmel Village Hall.