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Crusty 118-year-old sandwich found stuffed in UK church organ

Lancashire: The perfectly preserved remains of a sandwich have been discovered in the bowels of a church organ —more than a century after they were put there.

The organ, like the sandwich
Remains of the lunch: The organ, like the sandwich, was also built in 1896, and rebuilt later. Representation pic/Thinkstock

The crusty bread, which had been wrapped in brown paper, was found sealed within the inner skin of the organ after it was dismantled to be sold for parts in Germany.

Church organist Kath Yates found the sandwich alongside a tattered 1896 copy of the Stockport Advertiser — the paper of the town where the organ was made.

Her husband Peter Yates, the church property steward at Padiham Road Methodist Church, Lancashire, said: “The bread has been perfectly preserved.

“It must have been the remains of a lunch for the organ-fitters who I imagine sat down for a butty break.

“I can just picture them sat reading the paper with their sandwich and perhaps a large hunk of cheese.

“They were found in the swell box of the organ when we took the inner layer out.

“It was full of wooden shavings which gave out a beautiful smell of pine alongside this wonderful snapshot of history.”

The torn strips of the paper from 1896 coincide with the date the organ was built.

The organ, which Kath played for more than 30 years, originally belonged to the Former Claremont Methodist Church in Gannow.
When Claremont Church amalgamated with the former Jubilee Methodist Church to form Padiham Road Methodist, the organ was taken to the new site and rebuilt.

It was sold as part of redevelopment plans set to get under way over the next 18 months at the church. Peter added: “The organ was a wonderful piece of workmanship and it will be missed, but we have to move on.

“We hope to display the newspaper cuttings, but we suspect that the bread will perish, now that it has been removed from inside the organ.”

Baby in the bag

Back in May, tiny Emily Cressey, who was born “on the edge of life” at just 24 weeks, astounded medical staff at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Emily’s mother, Claire Cressey (34), from Coldstream in the Borders, revealed the infant was placed inside a resealable plastic sandwich bag minutes after being born in order to replicate the environment of the womb, which saved her life.

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