Midmar Church Pipe Organ
Rev Francis McHardy was ordained in 1908, and he was responsible for the installation of the pipe organ into Midmar church.
This enormous instrument, with shiny pipes, and stops must have made quite an impact when it first arrived. The organ had bellows that had to be hand pumped. The job of organ blower was done over the years by various local boys. Kevin Macaulay, Gordon Hamilton and Norman Dunbar were some of the last boys to do this job. It is minuted in 1981 that the organ blower's salary was to be increased to £28 a year. It may surprise you to learn that the organ continued to be hand pumped until 1985, when Midmar church was finally connected to electricity and an electric pump was installed. 

A church member remembers having to stand in as a blower in the late 70's and recalls...

'You went down steps below the dais where there was a wooden lever that had to be pushed up and down. With a signal from the minister, you began pumping before the hymn started. You kept pumping until a gauge showed there was enough air in the bellows and then you had to keep it level with a line marked on the wood. You could hear the wheezing of air as it rushed into the pipes. You had to stay there through the whole service, it was quite cramped.' Anne Dunbar

The pipe organ sometimes whistled or 'ciphered' at odd times, but Eric Robertson, the then organist, played on regardless.

With the installation of electricity in 1985, the hand pump was replaced with an electric pump, but the organ still needed constant servicing and in 2006 a major service was required. The cost of this was to be considerable, so it was agreed with some regret, that an electric organ be purchased and installed.

Fortunately, the electric organ fitted perfectly into the old keyboard area, and all the original pipes and fittings were kept. Eric retired in 2014 after many decades of service to the Church and the present organist is Professor David Smith, Organist and Director of Ceremonial Music at the University of Aberdeen. 

A new electric organ was installed in July 2006. It looks and sounds just as authentic as the old one.