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18 October 2019
Historic Barrel Organ returning to Bath for a Year

An historic barrel organ, wheeled through the streets of Bath in 1945 to raise funds for Alkmaar, will be coming back to Bath next year for a special visit to mark 75 years of friendship, and help commemorate the end of the Second World War.

The barrel organ, bought second-hand in 1945 by the Rotary Club of Bath to help with fund-raising for the city's 'Alkmaar Appeal', was presented to the Mayor of Alkmaar in 1946, and has been on display in the Dutch city's Town Hall ever since.

With the special permission of the Mayor of Alkmaar, Mayor Piet Bruinooge, the instrument is being loaned to the office of the Mayor of Bath so that it can be displayed in the Guildhall, and help raise awareness of the remarkable story behind the friendship between the cities, one of the longest twinning-links in the world.

A formal loan agreement was signed this week in Alkmaar by Mayor Bruinooge, and BathNES Cllr Ruth Malloy, representing the Mayor of Bath.

The barrel organ - a hand-cranked Pasquale barrel piano from the early 20th century - will be arriving in late April 2020, and staying in Bath, under the auspices of the Mayor and the city's Charter Trustee councillors, for a year.

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