Review by "Tracker"
Visit to Castle Douglas and Kirkudbright - 5 September 1998

This was the third foray across the Border, the first being a visit to St. John's and Crichton Chapel and the second was the 1997 tour when seven churches were visited. This 1998 visit was arranged by Donald Ross who wisely restricted the visits to three churches due to the long distances travelled. The first visit was to Castle Douglas Episcopal Church which possesses a single manual instrument which seemed to take some time to get used to. However it spoke well in a good position in a small church. We were pleased to meet the minister who came to chat with us.

The second church was Kelton Church of Scotland which was the proud possessor of a 2 manual Forster and Andrews dating back to the 1890's. Needless to say we enjoyed listening to the full toned singing quality typical of F and A in a good acoustic in an impressive building. It would seem that at some time the console was moved forward from the organ, thus lengthening the trackers and resulting in a fairly heavy touch. The resident lady organist sent us off with a rousing Scottish song played on the organ.

Finally we were met at Kirkudbright Parish Church by Steven Crosbie, both organist and CSO member, after enjoying our picnic lunches in some beautiful summer sunshine. The organ is a 3 manual Wilkinson with a detached console and Steven gave us an introductory recital to demonstrate the resources of the instrument, somewhat curtailed by a curtain draped over the Great by the church authorities to reduce the sound level. There was plenty of time for members to play and enjoy this instrument.

Despite the distance there were ten CSO members attending the event in a beautiful part of the country, confirming the viability of including a Scottish visit each year. We are very grateful to Donald Ross for arranging the day and to Paul and Chris as taxi drivers.


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