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Elizabeth lives at a hill top farm in the Forest of Bowland, Chipping near Preston in Lancashire. For many years she has travelled all sides of the UK playing for organ and keyboard clubs and has built up a first class reputation for playing high quality ‘live’ performances. In addition, Elizabeth plays regularly for ballroom & sequence dancing. She has committed hundreds of pieces of music to her memory and currently uses an ivory Yamaha EL900i organ. Elizabeth enjoys playing theatre organs and is not afraid to use the instrument to its full potential. It has often been commented that Elizabeth has a unique style and she has excellent musical feeling. Her concerts are performed and presented to a very professional standard and always very humorous.
Practical 34 Year old Elizabeth is enthusiastic, practical and down to earth. She is a qualified signwriter, graphic designer and gardener. Over the years, Elizabeth has collected advertising memorabilia, in particular the famous flour grader by Homepride, Fred. She runs a collectors club for him. Elizabeth also collects small, compact and vintage tractors and enjoys showing them at local vintage exhibitions.
More recently Elizabeth has started to offer bed and breakfast accommodation from her farmhouse. The property has probably the best views in the area and she makes a first class breakfast.
Nick’s musical career started when he first studied the piano at nine years of age. He began to take a keen interest in the organ shortly afterwards.
During a family visit to Blackpool, in 1969 (at the age of five), he overheard the Wurlitzer organ being played in the famous Tower Ballroom by none other than “Mr Blackpool” – Reginald Dixon. Upon hearing the sound of this unique organ, Nick was totally smitten – in fact, he never quite got over it! Subsequently, after he started learning to play the organ, at age eleven, it became his driving ambition to perform at this famous venue.
Amazingly, Nick’s Tower Ballroom ambition was realised in 1981, and he accepted a post as resident organist – an ambition achieved at just 17 years of age! He played there solidly, seven days a week, during the 1981 and 1982 seasons. Quite literally, a dream had come true!
Whilst at Blackpool in 1982 Nick was approached by Nigel Turner a businessman from Northampton. Mr Turner proposed opening a new organ entertainments complex – “Turner’s Musical Merry-go-Round”. The feature piece would be a large Wurlitzer theatre organ (formerly installed in the Paramount, later Odeon, Cinema Newcastle). This organ was widely recognised to be one of the finest to arrive here in the U.K. – from the Wurlitzer Organ factory in North Tonawanda, New York State, U.S.A.
Nick commenced duty at “Turner’s”, as resident Wurlitzer organist, in April 1983, and remained there until its closure in June 2004 – a period of some 21years (and two months!). It is widely recognised that during that time, Turner’s catered to over three million paying visitors!
Whilst at Northampton, Nick recorded over thirty albums on “Turner’s Wurlitzer” as well as Video’s and DVD’s. He is heard on BBC Radio 2’s “The Organist Entertains” programme, and has made several appearances on TV. Another claim to fame is a CD he made of non-copyright music. This is held in the Carlin Recorded Music Library in London, and is used by Media companies world-wide, when the sound of a Wurlitzer theatre organ is required.
One of the major highlights in Nick’s musical career was an initial offer (in 1985) to perform in concert at the Kirk of Dunedin – a community church on the West Coast of Florida. Since that first visit, he has been asked to return time after time. February 2010 saw his 25th trip across the Atlantic – still performing to large audiences there. His 28th visit is scheduled for Feb. 2013.
In September 1995, the Nicholas Martin Fan Club was formed. Members receive a quarterly newsletter which explains in great detail about Nick’s activities and playing whereabouts. Present membership is over 550 and costs £7.50 per annum.
After Turner’s closed in July 2004, Nick became Musical Director at Wicksteed Park (Kettering, Northants.) – a family theme park set in 127 acres. His work there consisted of performing all the music for the afternoon variety shows and accompanying the various acts – by using his Technics G-100. His “term of office” came to an end there in December 2008.
Nowadays, Nick’s career finds him performing for the many organ societies and clubs around the U.K. – as well as church recitals. His interests inc. smart cars – which he sometimes trades in. He has especially always had a passion for Porsche cars – and has owned one ever since his early days at Turner’s.
His main passion though is his family – his wife Marianne and two sons James (15) & Joshua (14). The family live in Markfield, a small village in the north west of Leicestershire. Sadly both James and Joshua are afflicted with autism, which impairs their social interaction, general learning and developmental skills. Even worse, Joshua still has no speech whatsoever. Physically the boys are fine.
Due to the boys’ condition, in February 2001 Nick and Marianne co-founded a charity for autistic children: “Miracles to Believe in” (Reg. Charity No. 1101463). Nick is the main fundraiser for the cause mentioning it’s tremendous work at nearly all of his musical engagements – which usually results in a collection at the end of his performances. Since its inception, over £200,000 has been raised to help autistic children and families who suffer with this unfortunate condition. For more infomation you can visit the “Miracles” website at – www.miracles-to-believe-in.co.uk
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