A DELEGATION from London has made a 250-mile trip north to North Yorkshire - just to listen to a church organ.

The Harrison and Harrison organ installed at St Mary's in Richmond is considered a fine example of an instrument feted for the particularly English sound they produce - and usually found in much larger places of worship.

However, Richmond's is also special as it has not been altered over the years in line with musical fashion and is thought to be one of a very few still capable of the original sound qualities the makers intended.

The same cannot be said of a similar instrument at All Saints, in Margaret Street, London, which was modified in the 1950s.

However, church musicians from the capital now hope to restore their Harrison to match the original design - and a trip to Richmond was therefore essential.

"The phone call requesting a visit came out of the blue," said rector of St Mary's, Canon Richard Cooper. "However, we were delighted to help and they were with us for three hours. They seemed very impressed and excited by the sound of our own instrument."

St Mary's organ is also the subject of a restoration programme with a fundraising campaign two thirds of the way towards its £60,000 goal.

The next appeal event to be held at St Mary's will be a concert performed by the chapel choir and organists of the University of Durham's College of St Hild and St Bede, on Saturday, January 26