St Matthew's, Bayswater

Note: On Saturday, 20 September 2014 Heritage of London Trust (HOLT) organised an event called 'Ride and Stride' in which many beautiful places of worship were open to visitors.

Organists were invited to volunteer playing the organ in the participating churches to enhance the atmosphere and the experience for the visitors. A grid with one-hour slots was set up, and organists could pick the slots which suited them, often playing for an hour in one church, travelling for an hour to get to the next church, and so on.

St Matthew's, Bayswater, had most of its slots (from 10.00 to 17.00h) filled when, about a week before the event, 'disaster struck'. The electricity supplier announced that the block containing St Matthew's would have no power as from 8.00h on Saturday because of scheduled engineering works, i.e. its organ could not be played.

Klaus stepped into the breach by offering to bring a battery operated Yamaha keyboard.

1) E-mail received from Heritage of London Trust (HOLT)

24 September 2014

Dear Klaus,

Just a quick note to say thank you so much for your brilliant work on Saturday. Your contributions were totally beyond the call of duty, so much appreciated.

Many thanks for everything and I very much hope that you will be happy to be involved again next year.

Best wishes

Fiona Morgan
Ride+Stride Coordinator
020-7730 9472

2) Testimonial received from Tom Rainbow of St Matthew's Church

R. Thos. Rainbow, MBE
36 Brondesbury Road,
London NW6 6AY
Wednesday, 24th September, 2014

Dear Klaus,

I am writing on behalf of the Clergy and parishioners of St. Matthew's, Bayswater, to thank you for your invaluable help last Saturday, 20th September, when we were without electricity on such an important day for us. As you know, we were not only participating in the London-wide 'Ride & Stride', but also that the week-end was to be part of our St. Matthew's Day celebrations, which occurred on Sunday.

As part of Ride & Stride we had been allocated a full day of visiting organists who, when it was announced that we were to be without electricity from 0830h until 1630h, were re-allocated places to play at other churches. Then you came up with your brilliant idea! The battery-run Yamaha keyboard that you brought fitted the bill perfectly: it was loud enough to provide the background music we required, and your playing was so sympathetic to the atmosphere, and welcomed people into the building.

Your idea of 'Have your favourite hymn played for a small donation' was especially thoughtful, and made a welcome contribution to church funds. We shall certainly employ it (and hopefully, you!) again.

We were lucky that power was restored at 1330h, when we could light the church properly, and more importantly, you were able to play on our Willis organ. It is known among organists as an instrument that has had little 'tinkering' done to it, being in its almost original state, save for a major renovation and overhaul done some twenty years ago to restore it to its original condition. I hope you had as much enjoyment playing as we had listening to you.

The church-sitters, who included in their number one of our churchwardens, were especially appreciative of your playing: they said it helped them to forget the rather hard chairs on which they were sitting....

Both our resident organist and I have your contact details, and I know that we shall not hesitate to ask you to play again for services, should the need arise.

With very best wishes,

R. Thos. Rainbow, MBE