With the closure of the magnificent St Columba's Parish building in Largs, a campaign has begun to try to save the historic church organ.

A spokesman for the campaign group, and also former organist Rhona Gourley, both hit out this week at the Church of Scotland, which is accused of neglecting its heritage.

What does St Columba's have in common with the Royal Albert Hall and St Paul's in London, and many other cathedrals across the country?

They all house famous Willis pipe organs, built by the Henry Willis company, which started in the 19th century and is still going today for the maintenance and upkeep of the unique musical masterpieces.

Chris Bragg has formed an organisation called 'Sowne of Organe', to preserve and find a future for what he calls "the splendid and unaltered example" of the St Columba's Parish organ (pictured).

It is one half of a pair of organs commissioned in 1892, the other likewise unaltered in Clark Memorial Church, which is now renamed as Largs Community Church. 

The adjacent St John's has also closed permanently for services.

Aware that access to St Columba's is due to cease in the summer, Chris has urged that plans are drawn up to take the expensive, substantial instrument, with its 16-foot facade, pedal trombone and special key action, to a place of safety.

He told me: "Very few organs, by Henry Willis, of such scale are as well preserved. In the 20 years prior to the Largs commission, Willis had built new organs for the Royal Albert Hall and St Paul's Cathedral in London, as well as in Durham, Salisbury, Truro, Hereford, Edinburgh (St Mary's), Glasgow and Exeter. 

" All of these organs survive, but all have been altered technically or tonally to a greater or lesser extent. Largs remains as Willis left it."

Chris has expressed scathing criticism, alleging: "As the Church of Scotland refuses to take any responsibility for the conservation of the cultural and heritage assets housed in the churches, which they are currently in the process of closing, it is left to a small number of us to fight for their futures." 

Former St Columba's organist Rhona Gourley has weighed in accusing the church of continuing a course of "destroying part of Scotland's heritage".

The Sowne of Organe group seeks to document Scotland's unaltered historic organs and to advocate for them through public events. They intend to survey and record the organ at St Columba's, hosting a public event in the town on the afternoon of June 1.

Henry Willis, also known as "Father" Willis, was an English organ player and builder who is regarded as the foremost organ builder of the Victorian era.

Among other items of significant historic value in St Columba's are the huge outstanding stained glass windows by Douglas Strachan.

The Church of Scotland was approached for comment.

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Thought for the Week: Working hard for something we don't care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.

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I must mention that I am honoured that the new facility within the Brisbane House Hotel has been named The Cochrane Suite. 

It was only a matter of time although I am holding out for a statue to be erected in Gallowgate Square.

Okay, so it could perhaps be some other more famous Cochrane which, incidentally, is the 224th most common name in Scotland. We Cochranes have been the Earls of Dundonald down through the centuries.

Indeed, Archibald Cochrane, the 9th Earl, is renowned for making bread from potatoes. The inventor of the tattie scone.

Before I came along, there was another Lord Cochrane (well, why not?) who was infamous for being sacked by the Royal Navy for gambling on the Stock Exchange. However, he was reinstated after becoming an heroic Admiral for both the navies of Brazil and Chile.

Incidentally, he was court-martialled for "flippancy". (Editor's note: So that's where you get it.)

And, yes, I am available should the ribbon need cutting at the refurbished Brisbane House. A large glass of Malbec would be sufficient reward.