Kingussie Parish Church Scottish Charity No. SC021546

Kingussie Parish Church

Linked with Laggan & Newtonmore


It is now over a year and a half since the the restoration of the organ was completed. Since then it has been a pleasure to play. In its previous condition, the sustained cold winter we had this year would have rendered it practically unplayable. Any faults  have been fairly insignificant and have been corrected by the Walcker team during  maintenance or under their supervision between visits.

As well as enjoying playing, I have also been able to listen to the organ when played by visiting organists. It is well-known among organists that an organ sounds quite different when being played as opposed to hearing it. Recently, we had a return recital by Herr Andreas Fauss from Germany.  In  talking to him about this matter he said that he is always surprised at how different his own instrument sounds when played by a visitor. I may be biased, but I've really enjoyed hearing the organ with its wide range of instrumental colours. Many people, both church regulars and visitors, have commented glowingly about the restored organ sound.

The organ is ninety years old – here's to the next ninety!

Insh Village Church Organ

We were delighted to receive an electric piano/organ from Mrs Muriel Griffiths to be used in the church. The organ which we had been using was not playing as well as it once had and needed repairing. Our new instrument gives John, our Organist, a range of options for hymns etc.  It was dedicated at the service in the village on 21st  September 2014.


These notes were written during the restoration project & I thought it would be intersting to retain them to remind us of the process...


Work has been ongoing for a month or so on the organ restoration. As church organist it has been extremely interesting to follow the progress of the work and my impression is that it is definitely progress with a capital "P". The father and son duo show great personal involvement in the project and they have displayed a high degree of professional integrity in all their work. At the time of writing, work has more or less been completed on the console. All the motors have been repaired and the considerable amount of pneumatic tubing replaced where necessary. Work will now focus on the organ pipes themselves.

The restorers have on a number of occasions said how impressed they've been with the quality of materials and the standard of workmanship of the original Evans & Barr build. This, to me, vindicates the decision of the church to work towards restoration rather than take some alternative route. On the other hand, the restorers have been less than impressed by the standard of the work which was done in the 1990's: poor materials and ill-advised techniques have been contributory factors in the recent poor condition of the organ.

Personally, I can't wait for the day (in not too many weeks time) when we have our organ back in service.


The restorers have now been working on the organ for several weeks and, hopefully, the finish line is in sight within the next few weeks. The weather outdoors has been dry and cold for quite a while but has not adversely affected progress. It has been interesting to follow the route taken. At the

start, attention was given to the individual pipe motors then moved on to the pneumatic tubing, then to the console itself. The Great manual was brought into playing condition, followed by the Swell and lately the reed pipes, with their special properties, have been given attention. Work on the pedals will follow after that. Quite a number of the stops have been given detailed work to enhance the sound and playing quality. The restorers have drawn attention to the fact that the existing blower motor won't deliver sufficient pressure if every stop on the organ were to be drawn. A remedy for this is currently being sought by the restorers and our organ adviser.


I have been in post as organist at Kingussie Parish Church for 4 and a half years. In all of that time, the organ has never played properly; there were a number of issues but the most basic problem was that a lot of notes didn't sound. It is now four weeks since the restorers finished their work and to have a fully functioning instrument has been a delight. It is not just that large-scale pieces of music are now possible (though that is great), but that a vast repertoire of modest pieces, for general church service use, can now be used without having to be examined for possible non-sounding notes. In addition, I often had to transpose hymns into obscure keys to make sure that we had all of the notes required. With the instrument now being such a joy to play, I have gone into the church every day over the past week, re-acquainting myself with so much music that was previously out-of-bounds.

The plan now is to get a series of musical events going in the church, not just organ recitals but other concerts involving use of the organ. Quite soon there will be a concert featuring the church choir and a first show-case for the organ. The only drawback is that the tuning of the organ requires attention. The restorers did warn us that getting the organ tuned in mid-December, as they were obliged to do, was not ideal. A visit in late spring/early summer will hopefully rectify matters. It is standard practice to invite a guest organist to give an inaugural concert but it is felt, wisely I think, to postpone this until all teething/tuning problems have been resolved.

Meanwhile, there is so much to enjoy in having this fine instrument restored, not just for the church, but also for the wider community.

John Crombie


Organ Funding

HLF Update

On Thursday August 4th   2016 we announced the Organ Restoration Group had secured the sum of £35,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to assist in the restoration of the historic pipe organ. Exciting plans are in place to share our project with local students from Kingussie High School, the Primary School, the congregation of the Church , our local community and visitors to the area.

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, the Head of HLF in Scotland said this project ticked the boxes required, to ensure, this instrument of importance to the National Heritage is refurbished and maintained for future generations to enjoy. The young people of Kingussie will benefit from hands on learning experiences, developing new skills and researching their local Heritage. Volunteers from the Church and the Community will find it rewarding when they are able to pass on their new found knowledge of the local Heritage to visitors. This local area is steeped in history, this project recognises the value of Heritage and how interesting this is to visitors and locals alike. It forms part of their national identity. Exciting times are ahead for Kingussie.

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk

Garfield Weston Foundation

In the same week there was more wonderful news for the Organ Working Team. Hot on the heels of the success of being awarded Heritage Lottery Funding, the next day’s post brought notice we had also been successful in securing £3,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation. We are extremely grateful for their support, indeed the support of all of our donators. Without them this would not be happening and a valuable musical instrument of importance to the National Heritage could have been lost for ever.  It is our duty to ensure we make a success of our project sharing with all who have helped in any way large or small. We are excited and hope many will enjoy the journey and the new experiences we will create.