All of us who knew him will have very fond memories of our one time organist ‘Ted’ although, that wasn’t his name when he first came to us. When Stephen Carter, our previous organist, retired we decided to replace him with a team of three to spread the workload – Michael Carter, Edward Barnaby and Edward Moreton – oh dear! Two Edwards and so one of them became ‘Ted’ … and the name stuck. Even when the other Edward left Ted remained and stayed with us until 2011 when he decided that he could no longer manage to climb the stairs to the organ loft. We did offer him the option of using the piano but the organ was always his first choice of instrument.
Ted loved Christmas and easter services — the big block-busters — and he would expertly accompany choir anthems even though he often had had no more than no more than one or two rehearsals. He was a wonderful accompanist: he would expertly follow the voice whilst, at the same time, capturing every nuance of a piece.
Ted was the accompanist for our very first choir concert, long before we began our now annual Music for a Summer’s Evening. He played all of the choir pieces and performed beautiful piano duets with his equally talented wife Kay.
He had been a teacher before he retired and some of our choir were actually taught by him at Helsby High School. Judging by their musical talents, he must have done a good job.
When Ted walked through the door on a Sunday morning it was as though the sunshine had come in with him. He always had a beaming smile on his face and often would tell a joke or two before playing an organ voluntary with great expertise. However, Ted was never one to mince his words. If he didn’t like a hymn he would tell you and no bride or bridegroom ever came down the aisle to a piece which he didn’t approve of or thought unsuitable.
He loved family services and always ended with an organ rendition of the “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.” we shall evermore think of “our” Ted when we hear that piece and remember his beaming smile over the banister of the organ loft with a cheery wave.
Dear Ted, God bless and Rest in Peace — when you are not tuning harps or conducting the heavenly choir that is. We shall miss you.