Belper & District Organ & Keyboard Club was formed in 1987 by 3 people sharing a common interest in organ music. Over the early years the club was run on a social basis with meetings being held in various public houses and also including coach outings to various organ venues.
In 1994 the club held its first professional concert as part of a town festival week. The concert took place in a marquee at the local rugby club with the guest artiste being Tim Flint who in those days played the Yamaha HX1. Subsequent concerts were held in local school halls & hotels with some of the great names of the time like Bryan Rodwell, Brian Sharp, Nicholas Martin & an up and coming Andrew Nix.
In January 1993 the club moved to its current Thursday night social venue The St John’s Heritage Centre. After this the club started to grow with more outings, organ festival holidays and several members and local organist concerts for charity. Raising several thousands of pounds. One such local organist was a young 16-year-old Ryan Edwards.
On October 10th 1998 we held a concert at St Johns with Janet Dowsett. This was the first visit to our club of Len Jelly & his late wife Eunice. Over the years both Len & Eunice became active & valued members of
the club. Around 10 years ago Len took on the role of Club Secretary. His enthusiasm for the organ world is endless despite not playing himself. His knowledge of Theatre organs, organists is magnificent. If anyone needs information about the organ world it’s usually “ask Len” and 9 times out of 10 he will come up with the answer. If the answer is not to hand in his many books he will get on the Internet & find it for you.
At our regular monthly concerts at our 2nd venue the Congregational Church, Len organises the Raffle & after helping clear away he his always the last one to drive out of the car park Chauffeuring other members home.
I suppose some people reading this would say as secretary it’s his job! But on November 9th he will be celebrating his 90th Birthday!
Does any other organ club have an older secretary dedicated to his hobby?
Happy Birthday Len from all your friends at Belper & District Organ & Keyboard Club.
The attached picture is Len on the stall at a Macmillan Garden party on Sept 7th 2013. This event raised over £1000.
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