John Avery

Did Mendelssohn play the organ at Croydon Minster?

Posted on February 16th, by David Morgan in History. 4 comments

Did the famous composer really play in Croydon? Let’s try to solve a musical mystery

The Croydon Times in January 1867 was clear. Croydon’s historic parish church (nowadays Croydon Minster) had just been devastated by fire, and its celebrated organ, built by John Avery, totally destroyed. “Maestro Mendelssohn played upon it and pronounced it a most excellent instrument”, the paper sorrowfully declared. We do not know the exact evidence upon … Read More »

Event review: commemorative concert at Croydon Minster on the 150th anniversary of its devastation by fire

Posted on January 13th, by Liz Sheppard-Jones in Culture. No Comments

A beautiful and remarkable piece of new music commemorates a dramatic event

Photo public domain.

On the freezing, snowy night of 5th January 1867, a defective gas heater in Croydon church (nowadays Croydon minster) caught light. The flames spread rapidly. Then, when the alarm was raised and fire crews rushed to assist, they were unable to get water to their hoses. The supply had been turned off in … Read More »