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Cathedral in indoor balloon flight first

Thu 16 Nov 2017
By Alex Williams

A hot air balloon has risen 50 feet off the floor inside Liverpool Cathedral, in a stunt thought to be the first of its kind in the world.

Four choristers were in the basket when Robin Batchelor, the pilot who taught Sir Richard Branson how to fly, took the balloon airborne on Wednesday evening.

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Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Hamish Ogston CBE provided his hot air balloon for the event, which celebrated his six-figure donation towards a restoration of the landmark's pipe organ.

He said: "I... hope today's entertaining service with the hot air balloon helps to inspire other places of worship around the world to think about how they can use their majestic, but underutilised, spaces to raise substantial income each year and attract the next generation of visitors."

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Hamish Ogston CBE provided £384,000 to complete the refurbishment of Liverpool Cathedral's Grand Organ, the largest pipe organ in the country.

Canon Myles Davies, Acting Dean of Liverpool, said: "We are absolutely delighted and humbled by the progress we have made with the restoration of our magnificent Cathedral."

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Built in 1926 and consisting of 10,268 pipes, cathedral bosses say the Grand Organ has been in continuous use for more than 90 years and now requires "urgent" repairs.

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