FRIDAY 13 lived up to its reputation in Tenbury, ahead of a popular choir's performance. 

The day started at Tenbury's St Michael's Church, where works have been ongoing, including to improve access with a visit from a planning enforcement officer, due to an oversight regarding archaeology.

The external works to install a ramp and pathway have been put on hold until the matter is sorted, but, while the inspector was there, a live bat was seen appearing to emerge from the vestry.

Due to strict planning rules around bats, which are a protected species, contractors Recclesia had to call in their specialist, who was a three-hour drive away.

Internal works were also paused to ensure there were no bats in the vestry, where works are centred, but have now resumed and are expected to be completed this week.

An archaeology report will be completed this week and submitted to Malvern Hills District Council when, it is hoped, work on the ramp and pathway will recommence.

All this had a knock-on effect with the 20-strong Quindici choir’s visit on October 22.

Arrangements were in place for the choir's Glasgow-based organist to carry out a practice section the day before, but on arrival it was found that the church's mighty Father Willis organ would not make a sound.

Fuses and switches were all checked out to no avail, with panic setting in. A few calls revealed that extensive works involving the electrical connection of the organ to the new switchboard had been pushed back by the work stoppage.

Plans were quickly changed for the choir to be accompanied by a piano, but help was at hand from Recclesia's electrical and plumbing subcontractors, Grange of Leominster, who arrived on Sunday morning to work their magic.

In no time at all it seemed the organ was fixed and the blowers were working, before another problem struck, as it was found that the higher stops wouldn’t work. The Grange team were soon back and in next to no time the choir was practicing with the organ.

Tony Penn, vice-chair of the parochial church council, said everyone involved deserves a big thank you.

"The choir’s performance was breathtaking and exceeded expectations," he said.

"It is not surprising that many travel big distances as members and feel it a privilege to do so."