PUPILS at Dulverton Middle School have been busy helping with the first stages of a five-month restoration of the organ at St Mary’s Church in Brompton Regis.

The Year 6 pupils were invited to find out more about the workings of the instrument as it was dismantled.

Thanks to donations from local people and a £6,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the £27,500 needed was raised four months before the scheduled start of the work.

The children were able to play the keys and handle the pipes (see photo below).

They visited the church with head teacher Jerry Wheedon over two days as part of their community curriculum, helping them to find out more about social, church and musical history.

They will now be making their own wind instruments as part of a design and technology challenge.

William Reese, the church’s part-time organist, is helping to restore the organ, which was built in 1872 by Victorian practitioner T C Lewis.

Experts describe it as a ‘hidden gem’ and a ‘Rolls-Royce of an instrument’.