Church Organ - Camus-Juxta-Bann

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The refurbishment of the Church Organ.

Partly funded by the Pipe Organ Preservation Trust, the Select Vestry commissioned Philip Prosser, a well-known and highly regarded Belfast Organ Restorer to rebuild the organ. Various fund-raising projects and events in 2011 helped to pay the balance of the £22,000 total cost.

A photograph of the 100 year old pipe organ, originally built by the Positive Organ Company London for New Row Presbyterian church Coleraine, and subsequently bought by St Mary's Church, Macosquin in 1933, during its restoration in the workshop of Philip Prosser a well-known organ builder and restorer in Northern Ireland.

The organ was built in
1911 for the New Row Presbyterian Church in Coleraine by the Positive Organ Company in London, (formerly The Casson Positive Company), who were renowned for the quality of their workmanship and built many such instruments for small churches. At the time it cost £176.00.  In 1939 the Presbyterian Church decided to replace it with an electronic organ and it was sold to the parish Church in Macosquin where it has remained. In 1994 it was rebuilt as a 4 stop mechanical action organ by Stephen Shaw Pipe Organs of Bangor with 54 notes from bottom C, incorporating a new 5 stop slider soundboard (Open Diapason rank not installed), a new keyboard, suspended mechanical action and a new constant pressure blower.
The recent restoration was carried out by Philip Prosser, a well known restorer, who trained in England and has spent most of his working life in Northern Ireland. Until recently he maintained the organs in St Anne’s Cathdral and The king’s Hall in Belfast. This is his final project before retirement, although he will continue to maintain and look after many of the organs throughout Ireland in which he has invested his interest over the years.  The Macosquin restoration is an example of his excellent craftsmanship and knowledge of the tonal and other qualities of the various types of timber which have been used.  He has added a pedal board to increase the versatility of the organ. Before the restoration it had 204 pipes. After completion it now has 258 speaking pipes, most of the additional ones coming from a decommissioned Positive Organ Company instrument in Forkhill.  It was rededicated at an Advent Carol service in St Mary’s Church Macosquin on 4 December at 7.00pm in which the choir and organist of St Columb’s Cathedral Londonderry lead the worship with the church choir.

The specifications of the pipe Organ in Macosquin
From National Pipe Organ Register the original specification is given as appears in Joe McKee’s thesis.
Double Bass 16    1-20
Open Diapason 8    
Salicional 8    1-12 Gedeckt
Gedeckt Bass 8    1-19
Gedeckt Treble 8    from mid C
Dulcet Bass 4    1-19
Dulcet Treble 4    from mid C
Viol  8    1-12 Gedeckt
Melodic Diapason     from mid C (plays top note only of chord)
Melodic Viol             from mid C (plays top note only of chord)

Octave Coupler
This would have been 49 notes from bottom F playing 204 pipes

Coincidently the organ as rebuilt
(in 1994) still has 204 pipes but in 4 stops with 54 notes from bottom C (that is counting the 14 presently missing)
It should have 258 speaking pipes if all missing ones and the Diapason rank were fitted

From book on history of New Row Presbyterian Church Coleraine (Mullin 1977)
p109 1911 organ £176 bought from London
p121 1930 Positive organ moved from front of pulpit to LHS of pulpit against wall
p123 1939 Compton electronic bought £750, Positive sold to Macosquin


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