David Drinkell Posted August 20, 2013 Share Posted August 20, 2013 I was recently in the UK for a few weeks. Apart from my usual poking around East Anglian churches, I was in Scotland to see the in-laws (and give a concert and play on Sunday at St. Magnus Cathedral) and on the way down, I dropped in at St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Haddington, East Lothian. This is a very impressive cruciform church, known as the Lantern of the Lothians. The bare top of the central tower gives it a somewhat wild appearance, but the inside has been beautfully restored and set out. The organ, in a north transept gallery, is by Lammermuir Pipe Organs (1990) ( This is a very fine job altogether, in a stunning set of cases (Great, Chair and Pedal) by Neil Richerby. It has tremendous integrity in its own style. There are no concessions - the Chair drawstops are on the back of the Chair case behind the player, there is a flat pedalboard, no aids to registration and no swell box. But - I was enormously struck by what it would do. Although built with the North German school in mind, it coped admirably with French classical sounds and - more significantly - the more out-of-the-box I tried, the more it played along with me. I think there are various reasons for this, amongst which are the fine reeds (better than St. Giles, Edinburgh, where I feel they don't help that otherwise wonderful organ), the assured and firm voicing and careful winding. Above all, though, I think it proves that an instrument which is a fine example of its type will nearly always manage a lot more than one expects. Anyone in the area should visit this church with its friendly people and fine instrument. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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