Organist bows out after 32 years in Brechin

Noel Smith and his wife Brenda, pictured at the organ at Blacks Funeral Directors.

Noel Smith and his wife Brenda, pictured at the organ at Blacks Funeral Directors.

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A presentation took place at Blacks Funeral Directors recently, in celebration of the retirement of a well-known organist (writes Steven Rae).

Around ten people were in attendance as Noel Smith was given a plaque and other gifts in respect of his 32 years work in Brechin.

Discussing his long career as an organist, Noel said: “I took my first important church service at the age of 12; I’m now 87.

“My dad was an organist at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester and my mother was in Sir Charles Halley’s choir, so it’s in the blood.”

Noel began working with Blacks 32 years ago, having moved to the area from the Lake District.

Formerly the assistant organist at Chester Cathedral, Noel spoke of the churches and cathedrals he had played in over the years, including many in Great Britain, continental Europe, and even America, including the Crystal Cathedral in Los Angeles.

Noel had previously been employed as a music teacher in Fleetwood Grammar School in Lancashire and Cartmel Priory School, a Church of England senior school in the North of England.

A keen fisher and golfer, he represented the University of Wales at golf as a student, then at age 66 took up flying in Dundee at the Tayside flying club.

Talking his plans now he has retired, Noel said: “We are moving to Kiddiminster to be close to our daughter Janet who is a teacher there.”

He and his wife Brenda also have a son, George, who is retired, and three grandchildren.