Yesterday we were visited by John Richards, who is 74 and lives in Cardiff. John recently featured on BBC Songs of Praise at Manchester Cathedral, as he notched up a 75th instrument in his monumental quest to play on all 94 Cathedral organs in Britain.
The retired tax inspector started his musical journey around Britain after the death of his first wife Barbara in 1992. Devastated by the loss, he stopped playing his favourite instrument until he was tempted back a decade later by second wife Lynn, when she asked Lord Marlborough if John could play the historic 19th century Willis organ on a trip to Blenheim Palace.
Having just played at St Mary’s, Great Western Rd, John popped across town and treated the tourists to many well-known hymns – some of which induced the Cathedral Volunteer Guides to join in singing a few verses! He will be around Glasgow for the next few days, as he plays the six Cathedral organs in the area, leaving him with only 15 more instruments to be ticked off the list – 14 of which are in Scotland. We’re not sure which one he’s saving until last!
We wish him all the very best in his mammoth challenge.