N G Kerk Kroonstad Oos (Cooper, Gill and Tomkins)

Advisor: Olga Rademan


Akoestiese Bas 32’, Prinsipaal 16’, Subbas 16’, Oktaaf 8’, Gedek 8’, Koraalbas 4’,

Gedek fluit 4’, Mikstuur IV, Ophicleide 16’, Trompet 8’, Klaroen 4’ Sw na Ped,

Gr na Ped, Pos na Ped

Swel: (in swelkas)

Stopped Diapason 8’, Eggo Gamba 8’, Eggo Gamba Celeste 8’, Prinsipaal 4’,

Blokfluit 4’, Nasard 2 2/3’, Vyftiende 2’, Skerp IV, Fagot 16’, Horing 8’, Klaroen 4’,

Hobo 8’, Tremulant


Bourdon 16’, Prinsipaal 8’, Roerfluit 8’, Oktaaf 4’, Gedek 4’, Kwint 2 2/3’,

Vyftiende 2’, Mikstuur IV, Trompet 8’, Pos na Gr, Sw na Gr

Positief: (in swelkas)

Quintaton 16’, Naghoring 8’, Quintaton 8’, Gemshoring 8’, Opefluit 4’,

Gemnshoring 4’, Twaalfde 2 2/3’, Piccolo 2’, Terts 1 3/5’, Siffluit 1’, Simbel III,

Trompet 8’, Klaroen 4’, Tremulant, Sw na Pos


'n Besoeker aan

Kroonstad-Oos gemeente

vertel op 'Facebook':


"During my tour earlier

this year I came across

magnificent 2 wonderful

organs in the Free State".


Kroonstad-Oos is een

van dié orrels


Opknapping van orrel

Die Kerkraad het besluit dat die
opknapping van Kroonstad-Oos se
orrel dringend aandag moet geniet.


 Die kontrak is toegeken aan Protea Orrelbouers van Bloemfontein.

Jan Elsenaar en sy span is die vakmanne wat verantwoordelik

was vir masiewe taak.

Die groot taak begin!


Hier is van die 'parte' wat uitgehaal was
agter die orrel wat skoongemaak
moes word.
Al ooit gewonder hoe lyk dit
agter die 'sigbare' orrelpype.
 Daar is ook plek 
vir duisende
musiekstukke wat 

agter die orrelpype
gestoor word.

Die massiewe taak wat op
16 Maart 2018 begin is, is na twee
weke op 29 Maart 2018 voltooi.


Baie dankie aan Protea Orrelbouers
se vakmanne wat hierdie besonderse instrukment weer na sy volle glorie
herstel het.



These are the founding partners of Cooper, Gill & Tomkins.


From the left: H. Gill, W.C. Cooper, A.F. Tomkins. Taken in 1913.


Cooper, Gill & Tompkins (now "The Organ Builders") celebrated


100 years of pipe organ building in Southern Africa in 2002.


This is the oldest organ building firm in Southern Africa still in


existence and they have played a valuable role in the cultural and


religious life of this country for a hundred years.


      Although having spent time in South Africa installing


the  Binns organ in Cape Town's Metropolitan Methodist in 1898,


it was in 1902 that the company's founder, William Charles 


Cooper, emigrated from England to start an organ building


business in South Africa. He was joined shortly afterwards by Harold Gill who had been his collegue at Binns Organ 


Builders (later taken over by Rushworth & Dreaper). In 1905 the third member, Alfred Fellows Tomkins, from 


Norman & Beard, England, arrived to install the magnificent Norman and Beard organ in Cape Town City Hall.


After working on an informal basis for some years, the company Cooper, Gill & Tompkins was formally established


in 1912. Between them they were responsible for the installation of organs in the City Halls of not only Cape Town,


but also Johannesburg (1916) and Pretoria (1935). At the  time of installation (1916) the organ in the Johannesburg


City Hall was the largest organ in the southern hemisphere with 6 532 pipes costing 13 153 16s 7d.


      Other notable instruments installed by the company include those in Christ the King Roman Catholic Cathedral,


Johannesburg (1960); St. George's Anglican Cathedral, Cape Town (1909); the Cathedral of St Michael and St George,


Grahamstown (1934); St John's Cathedral Bulawayo (1914); Central Methodist Hall (1929); Strand Street Lutheran,


Cape Town; Bethlehem-West NG Church and the Anglican Cathedral of St Mary, Johannesburg (1929) amongst


many others. The organ at St Mary's Cathedral has seven wind reservoirs which use a variety of wind pressures


ranging from 2inch to 17 inches. The longest pipe in this organ is the 32 foot Open Wood which is made of solid


wood 2 inches thick and weighs ton. In 1929 it had to be delivered by ox wagon. Today the estimated value of this


instument is R 15 million.   Organs installed in schools include Bishops, Cape Town (1933); Rondebosch Boys


School (1995); St John's College, Houghton (1964); Peterhouse School, Zimbabwe (1966); St Stithians,


Johannesburg (1997); St Cyprian's Girls, Cape Town (1938); St Andrew's School, Senderwood (1984); and the


three manual Norman and Beard organ recently installed for the Drakensburg Boys Choir (1998) amongst 


others. The Company recently installed the historic Alhambra Wurlitzer Theatre Organ in the Nico Malan/


Artscape Theatre (1998).  They have also erected, tuned and maintained hundreds of smaller organs for all church


denominations even in the furthest corners of this country as well as Zimbabwe.


      Over the past 100 years, the company has taken in service organ builders from well known overseas firms such


as Harrison & Harrison, Walker, Rushworth & Dreaper, Bins, Hill, Norman & Beard, as well as apprenticed local


organ builders. Today The Organ Builders has representives in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.


The Cape Town partner, James Riadore, also celebrates 50 years as an organ builder this year, having started his


training in 1952 at Hill, Norman & Beard


In 1897 Mr William Charles Cooper (1875 – 1953), an employee of the English organ building firm, J.J. Binns, travelled to South Africa


with a new organ for the Worcester Dutch Reformed Church. After installing the organ at Worcester, Cooper decided to remain in South


Africa to see if he could obtain more orders for new organs, as there was an obvious demand throughout the Cape of Good Hope.


He succeeded by obtaining four orders initially: Cape Town Metropolitan Methodist  Church (as CMM was known at the time),


Wynberg Methodist Church, Rosebank Methodist Church as well as the Kimberley Baptist Church.


When these four organs were completed in England, Cooper together with another J.J. Binns employee, Harold Gill (died 1964),


returned to South Africa to install the organ at the Cape Town Metropolitan Methodist Church on Greenmarket Square.


This was completed in July 1902 and gave sterling service to the Church for almost 60 years.


Once Cooper and Gill had finished installing these four organs, they decided to establish their own business, initially known as


Cooper and Gill. Alfred Fellows Tomkins joined the partnership in January 1912 and the company grew into one of the largest


organ building firms in the country.