LOCAL community organists celebrated a glittering evening at the North-East Theatre Organ Association (NETOA) 2019 Mighty Wurlitzer Awards.

The night featured some of the very best the New Vic Allstars had to offer and celebrated a full and successful season of Live Mighty Wurlitzer music at Friends events and concerts during 2019.

The NETOA Friends Annual Awards were presented by sponsor Fred Thompson to the two Friends organists who had performed and entertained best during the 2019 Friends Mighty Wurlitzer events and concerts at the New Victoria Centre in Howden-le-Wear.

The winner of the Taylor Trophy for Best NETOA Friends Organist 2019 was Bob Chilton. The runner up, receiving the Jopling Cup, was Mike Forman.

A second presentation was then made by Mr Chilton to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Mr Chilton presented a cheque of £1581.75 to Macmillan representatives Christine and Kevin Richardson.

The funds were raised from Mr Chilton’s charity concert playing the Mighty Wurlitzer at the New Victoria Centre.

The money will be used to train a special Macmillan nurse in advanced cancer care.

Afternoon tea was provided by Sam and Lesley Zair while young organist Jake Shaw entertained all at the Mighty Wurlitzer during the interval.

There was pomp and circumstance and Land of Hope and Glory with plenty Union Jacks on hand to wave.

The final Allstar to grace the Mighty Wurlitzer was NETOA veteran organist Harry Nichols. Mr Nichols had previously appeared at Blackpool Tower and had also helped during NETOA's early years to raise funds in concerts at local Working Men’s Clubs to buy install and maintain the Mighty Wurlitzer.

The celebration leads up to the NETOA Traditional Christmas Concerts on Saturday, December 14 at 7pm and Sunday, December 15 at 2.30pm. For tickets telephone 01388-762467 or online at www.netoa.org.uk