The Scottish Federation of Organists

Redundant Organs

In these days of closing churches pipe organs become redundant even although the instuments themselves have plenty of life left in them.  Please look at the following details of those instruments that have been advised to us and consider if they might be given a home in your location.



This church has not closed, but they would like to dispose of the organ to make way for a door. It was built for this church in 1908 by Cousans of Lincoln and unusually has slider chests and mechanical action.

Great: Pedal Bourdon 16, Open Diapason 8, Dulciana 8, Harmonic Flute 4.
Swell: Pedal Bourdon 16, Gamba 8, Lieblich Gedeckt 8, Voix Celeste 8, Gemshorn 4.
Swell to Great, Swell Octave to Great.
Action to keys mechanical, bass notes to Dulciana and Bourdon charge pneumatic.

The proposal to dispose of the organ has still to be approved by the Church of Scotland, but enquiries meantime may be addressed to Ian Hankinson at the church:  

[Uploaded 9th July 2019]

Keithhall, Aberdeenshire

This church closed in 2017 but has not yet been sold. The organ is by Ernest Lawton of Aberdeen, who trained with Brindley & Foster in Sheffield and then worked with Wadsworth in Aberdeen before becoming independent in 1898. His early organs are of high quality and reliable. As this building is architecturally listed, planning permission to remove the organ is required and this takes about twelve weeks once a firm expression of interest is received.

1907 Lawton of Aberdeen (ex-Wadsworth). One manual and pedal Manual: Sub Bass 16 (bass only), Open Diapason 8, Stop Diapason 8, Dulciana 8, Principal 4, Fifteenth 2. Pedal: Bourdon 16. Keys to Pedal. Key action mechanical. Pedal and 16 bass pneumatic. Measurements: 4 feet deep plus 3 for pedalboard, 8 feet wide plus maximum 3 for Bourdon pipes, 13 feet high. Manual key action in good condition, and bright clear sound. 16’ stop requires modest restoration.

It is now understood that it has been decided to giver the organ's facade to an art project in Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.  Thus, availability would now be be for spare parts only.

Contact the property convener at Keithhall, Mrs. Pat Lawie

[Updated 28th October 2020]


LIff Church, Angus

After a long spell trying to dispose of this organ, the Church of Scotland now wishes to dispose of the church, with organ still in situ.

The organ is by Alexander Young and Sons of Manchester, dates from 1880 and has two manuals and 16 speaking stops.  It carries a plate stating that it is has in the past been tuned and maintained by Rushworth & Dreaper.  The action is mechanical and work is needed to the reservoir and to the organ itself.  There is also some asbestos to be removed under the organ.  This said, it is an apparently fine instrument well worth relocating.  The specification is as follows:

    Open Diapason    8
    Principal    4
    Fifteenth    2
    Stopt Diapason (Bass)    8
    Clarabella (Treble)    8
    Dulciana    8
    Harmonic Flute    4
    Clarionet (sic)    8

    Spitz Flöte    8
    Gemshorn    4
    Piccolo    2
    Salicional    8
    Voix Célestes    8
    Oboe    8
    Cornopean    8


    Bourdon                          16

    Swell to Great
    Swell Octave to Great
    Great to Pedal
    Swell to Pedal

    2 toe pistons to Great
    2 toe pistons to Swell
If you are interested in acquiring this organ and/or wish further details please contact Ms Judith Roebuck, Mission & Discipleship Council Committee on Church Art and Architecture, The Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN; 0131 225 5722 ext 2435;

[Uploaded 28th May 2020]
Dundee, Downfield Mains Church of Scotland

This church remains open and regularly used but the organ is available for relocation.  Interest and enquiries should be directed to Mrs Judith Roebuck, Development Worker, the Committee on Church Art & Architecture, The Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN, 0131 225 5722 ext 2431,

The organ was built for this church by John Miller (Dundee) in 1910. The organ case is incorporated into the pulpit. It sits on the dais at the east end of the church, and into an arched recess on the east wall. The console is attached, located below and forward of the pulpit, with the mechanical key action running under the pulpit.  The organ was rebuilt by Henry Hilsdon (Glasgow) in 1968, during which rebuild three stops were changed and the Pedal was extended. The specification is now as follows :-

    Open Diapason    8
    Stopped Diapason    8
    Principal    4
    Fifteenth    2    replaced Dulciana
   Swell to Great

Swell (enclosed)
    Gedact    8
    Gamba    8
    Flute    4
    Salicet    4    former Viola 8ft
    Quartane    II (12,15) replaced Oboe
    Swell Octave

    Bourdon    16
    Bass Flute    8    originally only 16ft

    Great to Pedal
    Swell to Pedal

The key action is mechanical, including the coupling action and the Pedal couplers.  The actuators for the coupling action are pneumatic.  The manual stop action, on slider chests, is pneumatic.  The Swell box is located below the Great, immediately behind the pulpit seat, with Swell shutters at the sides.  The Swell box has vertical shutters, with mechanical pedal action.  The Great is high up in the case, above the Swell.  Some longer display pipes on either side of the case are speaking.  The Pedal action is electro-pneumatic.  Pedal Bourdon notes are distributed on either side of the organ on unit chests.  The blower is in a space below floor level directly under the organ.

This is a fine and well-built organ, retaining many of the characteristics of the original 1910 Miller instrument, including much of the original pipework, most of the original action, and the case and original frame.  The dimensions and clever fit into the recess indicate that the whole thing, organ and pulpit, were built for this church.  Although losing the one reed stop on the organ, the 1968 Hilsdon rebuild was sensitive enough to retain most of the qualities of the original Miller organ.  The replaced stops blend in well with the original material.

Approximate dimensions – the organ is about 4 metres wide from one side of the case to the other.  The main case comes out about 1 metre from the east wall, but the instrument uses all the space in the east wall arched recess, going back another 0.5 metres.  From east wall to the back of the Pedal board at the console is about 2.7 metres.  The instrument is quite tall – console and mechanics at floor level, pulpit and Swell at second level, and Great high up at third level along with the display pipes.  From floor level to the top of the pipes is about 5.5 metres.

The current condition of the organ is remarkably good, given that it has not been used much for a few years.  The mechanical key action is a little out of adjustment, but everything still works.  The stop action has a few faults – reluctant sliders and one sticking slider on the Swell.  The Pedal action is dead, but probably due to a minor electrical fault.  Individual Pedal Bourdon notes sound fine if pushed on at the pipe end of the action. The condition of the leatherwork in the organ is good.  There are two wind reservoirs, one above the other. Both are in good condition. There are no significant wind leaks, and the winding still holds up quite well under load.

The condition of the pipework is very good for an organ of this age.  All the pipes are true and straight, and there are no signs of damage to pipework.  This is a testament to the fine quality of the original Miller organ.  The Great chorus is bright but gentle – appropriate, as the building is not large and the acoustics are fairly dry.  There are some beautiful flute stops.

(Uploaded 3rd March 2020)

Page updated 30th April 2021

Smailholm, Roxburghshire

1903 Casson Positive Organ Co. from Edinburgh Oddfellows Hall exhibition.

Overhauled most recently by David Stark 2010.

The little organ possesses the usual bright clear sounds for which Casson was renowned. It thoroughly deserves a new home.

The original action was cone chests with individual motors on each pipe. By 2010 the organ was virtually unplayable and David Stark completed a major rebuild with re-leathered reservoir and a refurbished mechanical 5 stop chest ,originally by James Bruce.

The pipe work is enclosed with the exception of the Open Diapason and the Bourdon.The Bourdon and larger Diapason pipes have pneumatic action. There is a balanced swell pedal and electric blowing (BOB).

Single manual keyboard, 56 notes to g.

Bourdon 16’ ( ? bottom 12)
Open Diapason 8’
Claribella 8’
Principal 4’
Flute 4’
Flautina 2’

Unable to assess tone etc as power disconnected.

Depth: 1.1m (with keyboard 1.4m) Excluding bench.
Width 2.35m
Height: 3.15 m to top of pinnacles

For further details please contact the Session Clerk James Smith at or 01573 470250

Uploaded 24th October 2020
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