Leicester

Edward Elgar manuscript found during council clear-out

An Edward Elgar manuscript dating back nearly 90 years has been discovered in a council building in Leicestershire.

Staff found the musical score while clearing out a storage room at Charnwood Borough Council's headquarters in Loughborough.

The piece had been commissioned to accompany the opening of a bell tower in the town's Queen's Park in 1923.

Letters from the composer and a film reel, believed to be of the tower being opened, were also found.

Officers had been clearing out old files when they found a dusty unmarked folder containing the handwritten manuscript.

Titled Carillon Chimes, notes reveal the short piece had been prepared for the opening of the Carillon Tower in Queen's Park.

'Beautiful work'

Image caption Elgar apologised for not being able to attend the tower's opening

The film reel, which has been sent away for experts to examine, is believed to contain footage of the tune being rung out during the tower's opening on 22 July 1923.

The items were originally donated to the council in the 1950s.

Paul Harley, from Charnwood Borough Council, said: "This is a vitally important piece of Charnwood's history which has been tucked away safely for too long.

"I'm thrilled that this beautiful piece of work by one of Britain's finest composers has been re-discovered, particularly in this Olympic year when the eyes of the world focus on all things British.

"We have had the manuscript and letters valued at £10,000 and we hope to have them on public display so their historical significance to Loughborough and Charnwood can be shared by everyone."

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