Fifty Years as Organist – Framlingham Church

Whilst doing some recent Framlingham research using the British newspaper archive website I found this intriguing small article from the Bury Free Press newspaper dated Saturday 1st July 1933:

Fifty Years as Organist

‘Over one hundred people were present on Saturday evening, to witness presentations to Mr and Mrs T J Wright on their retirement as organists at Framlingham Church.

The Rector (Canon Lanchester), who presided, said Mr and Mrs Wright had been the organists for more than fifty years; a “splendid record of wonderful service,” he remarked’

I therefore decided to do a little more research into Mr and Mrs Wright and to consider all the events they had seen during those fifty years’ service in the church, including the death of Queen Victoria and World War 1 amongst others.

I found Thomas James Wright on the 1881 census living with his parents Samuel W and Eliza Wright in Well Close Square in Framlingham. Thomas was aged 24, having been born about 1857 and his occupation was shown as a Professor of Music.

As Thomas had been Organist for fifty years in 1933 it was around the time of his engagement to Fanny Barker that he started in this position and he married Fanny in the January quarter of 1885 in Framlingham.

Looking at some old postcards I have of St Michael’s Church it is interesting to see how the Organ has moved around the church over the years to where it currently resides.

Framlingham Church organ

Interior Framlingham Church

Framlingham Church 1
By the 1911 census Thomas was living in Wells Close Square aged 54 with his wife Fanny aged 47, sister Eliza Woolnough aged 68 (a widow) and his children Vivienne Frances aged 24, Cecil Thomas aged 22 and James Trotwood aged 18.

Thomas died on 18th March aged 42 and is buried in Framlingham Cemetery with his daughter Vivienne Frances Wright who had predeceased him on 1st February 1927 aged 39. According to his probate record his wife Fanny was still alive in 1942 and at this stage I am unsure as to where she was buried.

Simon Last

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1 Response to Fifty Years as Organist – Framlingham Church

  1. Carol says:

    Interesting. Thank you.

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