Seventy-five-year record

10 January 2014

SHE will be 93 on her coming birthday in July, and has just retired. Celia Todd has played the organ in All Saints', Foston, in York diocese, for 75 years, hardly missing a single service. She has also been on the PCC for 75 years, and is leaving that as well.

She comes from a musical family. Her father, Thomas Fletcher Barker, owned Village Farm, in Foston, next to the church. It was he who gave a new graveyard to the church, and, with the help of the then Rector, Canon Carr, had an Eastey organ installed in All Saints'. Mrs Todd, an excellent pianist, was home from boarding school, and it was arranged for her to have weekly organ lessons from Francis Jackson, the assistant organist at York Minster.

When the organist in Foston moved away, Mrs Todd took over, playing regularly at Foston as well as at four neighbouring churches, sometimes three services a day. She has been playing at Foston, currently in an interregnum, ever since.

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