Methodist accordion-player aims to "make London happy with music"

By staff writers
September 10, 2009

A Methodist organist is planning to use his hour on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth this Sunday simply to make London happy with music.

For one hour only, from 6pm on Sunday 13 September, Peter Harding will play the accordion to tourists, passers-by and other visitors to the Square. Listeners will be treated to a varied playlist, including folk music, Handel, ragtime and hymns, culminating with the theme tune of Radio 4’s The Archers.

Harding has been organist and choirmaster at Acocks Green Methodist Church in Birmingham for 25 years. He is encouraging those who appreciate his music to make donations to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (, on the grounds that he will be having a “whale of a time”.

“Busking seems to suit me,” he said, “As it is what I do every Sunday morning at the organ console, and I hope that I'll also be able to persuade those standing by to do a little barn dancing in the square”.

He added that “I plan to play the accordion for an hour to make London happy, although they may be happier when I stop. I'm a self-taught accordion player, and maybe skipped a few too many classes.”

Harding is one of 2,400 people who will appear on the fourth plinth between 6 July and 14 October 2009, picked from more than 33,400 applicants for sculptor Anthony Gormley’s One and Other project.

Those who can’t make it to Trafalgar Square can join the dance virtually by visiting, to watch the plinth live.

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