KINTYRE'S CHURCH ORGANS

The peninsula of Kintyre, attached to the Gaelic-speaking West Highlands of Scotland, lies south and west of Scotland's metropolis of Glasgow and its main town of Campbeltown is less than thirty 'sailing miles' from Northern Ireland, the consequence being that Kintyre lies in the midst, almost equidistantly and distinctly, from three quite different regions and cultures. At the end of the 1970's, Campbeltown contained three congregations belonging to The Church of Scotland and one congregation each for The Free Church of Scotland, The United Free Church of Scotland, The Roman Catholic Church, The Scottish Episcopal Church, others in the community belonging to 'The Open Brethern', The Salvation Army and The Jehovah's Witnesses and in times past also had congregations of Methodists, Baptists and Congregationalists and Good Templars. The different denominations bear witness to past migrations, social schisms, moral campaigns and ethnic mixing.

The only remaining pipe organ in use, is in Campbeltown's St. Kiaran's Scottish Episcopal Church - The twomanual organ, built by Brook of Glasgow, has a tracker action and, rather unusually, has the Swell manual placed below the Great, the reasoning and logic of that unknown - Seemingly the organ may have been built for use as a 'private house organ' for it was given, or sold, to the church by Colonel Proudfoot Dick of the now demolished Killellan House, on the Southend road, St. Kiaran's first service in the present building on August 16, 1891.

When Campbeltown's Lochend United Free Church was demolished in 1984, its 1922-built Harrison pipe organ 1

was dismantled and its parts incorporated in a a 1987/1998 rebuild and enlargement of the Harrison organ in St James The Greater Church in Haydock, which is between Liverpool and Manchester, very close to the M6 motorway.

Replaced in 2000 by a highly versatile two manual Allen 'Renaissance' R-270 electronic organ, Campbeltown's other Harrison pipe organ, built in 1954, at a cost of £3,600, remains, partly dismantled, in The Highland Church. Likewise, the pipe organ in Campbeltown's former Lorne Street Church, now Campbeltown's Heritage Centre, is also partly dismantled and much of it still in situ.

The town's other pipe organ, in The Lowland Church, now Lorne and Lowland Parish Church, scrapped and replaced by a three manual Wyvern electronic organ. Dating from around 1964, an interesting little single manual, pedal-less, Compton electronic organ, with a wonderful tone, continues to serve the congregation of Campbeltown's Springbank Evangelical Church. Both Campbeltown's Roman Catholic St. Kieran's Church and Killean and Kilchenzie's Parish Church, at A'Chleit, near Muasdale, have 1978 built, two manual and full pedalboard Livingston electronic organs, the St. Alban's, Hertfordshire-based builders no longer in business. In Carradale, replacing a two manual Farfisa, with a 13-note pedalboard, there is a 1980's built two manual Norwich electronic organ, it then costing £4,500 and having a full pedalboard - Both Tarbert and Gigha churches are served by second-hand two manual, plus full pedalboard, Johannus electronic organs, Southend's church having a similar instrument, it a Dutch-manufacture Orla electronic organ, interestingly, for Scottish churches who lack organists, Orla is one of the very few who manufacture keyboards which are essentially "flattened accordions", a full 120-note bass on the left and the chice of either a 44-note piano keyboard or 5-row chromatic set of 87 button keys for the right hand ! Services in both Skipness and Clachan churches are supported by Casio keyboards or Gulbransen 'Digital Hymnals'.

Church of Scotland 'Life and Work' magazine - April 2008 2

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