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Myrtle's cook

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  1. I used to play a rather heavy English Concertina by resting one of the wooden ends on my right knee (to take the weight) supporting the left hand end with my hand (using the thumb strap and little finger rest) so that the bellows and left end spanned the void between my knees. This way there was no bellows contact with the legs and much of the weight is supported - it also gives a degree of freedom and expression in terms of bellows use, not being restricted by the flat of the lap. As time went on I developed the requsite strength in my fingers etc to play unsupported/standing - but still use this technique if I am at a sing around where standing is either innappropriate or problemmatic. (I have not used a neck strap - and having a few disc problems in my back worry that this might invite other problems) In terms of tips I am sure there are many included in various spreads on Cnet, in terms of EC I would suggest learning to read music if you do not already - given that the keyboard is layed out in direct reflection of standard notation (if I can learn to do this, anyone can!). Makes learning tunes so much easier. Also, initially, I made good progress when playing the tunes I liked and already knew, and knew well enough to know when my rendition wasn't quite what most people achieve. Sorry if this sounds obvious, but quite a lot of tutors inevitably contain tunes that will not all be familiar and are a bit of a bland slog at times. Most of all enjoy - and play and do what feels right.
  2. What a lovely Christmas present to look forward to (Santa: take note!)! It may be that the airloss is down to some internal leakages rather than the bellows (although bellows are the more likely). Certainly later concertinas by Lachenal are prown to shrinkage of reed pans/action boards, then there are the various seals that could shrink and warp over time. All are fixable. Dave Elliott's book is well worth having in its own right. Good to know that it is playable now (if a little wheezy) - the can be lovely concertinas - hope you are 'very happy together'.
  3. Lovely Aeola at a fair price, sadly beyond me at present. Picking up on blue eyed sailor's observation, yes that is one well played excellsior model. I notice that the wood appears to be blackened rosewood/mahoganny or similar. I had thought excellsior's were usually solid ebony ends (mine certainly appears so), perhaps this is a cost cutting measure - or might it be an inimitable or paragon model that has been blackened for Salvation Army work?
  4. As promised, here is the response from the vendor - I have their permision to post to post it on C.net. They are in the process of posting 'inside' shots on the Ebay listing. This concertina belonged to my father, Ron Nurse, who lived in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. He died in February of this year. I don't know if he made all of the concertina, but I know he made some of it. He definitely crafted all the leatherwork and did the hand-tooling. He was a book binder and a carpenter and did a fair bit of wood carving, so I don't know if he carved the ends too. He used to repair and restore concertinas for Chris Algar owner of Barleycorn Concertinas near Stoke-on-Trent (he has a website). Other than that, I can't tell you any more, sorry. It is a lovely little concertina - it may not have a long history, but one can see the craftsmanship in it. It looks hand-made and in my opinion, this only increases it's attractiveness. Kind regards, I suspect the name Ron Nurse will be known to some members of this community, and others of us may well be playing instruments he has worked on. Sad that this instrument has come to market by way of bereavement.
  5. I too was intrigued by this and have asked the vendor for any information about maker/history and will share the reponse. (Edited for typo)
  6. Hi Ollie You might just get a decent antique instrument against your specification for that sort of price - so worth considering any refurbed Lachenal or Jones boxes out there - Chris Algar of Barleycorn concertinas may have something in that bracket. That said I know Theo Gibb (of this forum) has a Tedrow instrument that might meet your spec. I'm an English Concertina player, but have heard one of these played and liked it. It also looked well put together. http://www.theboxplace.co.uk/purchase/concertina/cat_13.html Good luck!
  7. I too was intrigued by this concertina when it was listed for sale. 'Barleycorn concertinas who sold to it me are convinced it's a factory label from Wheatstone.' I have compared these labels to those on my Wheatstone (no. 23296, an aeola) and I would agree (on this slender basis) with Chris Algar's observation as the font of the printed surrounding script looks pretty much identical. One difference is that the stamped number looks to be in a different font - although this may not be significant given the finite life of such rubber based stamps. One wonders what could have lead to this preferrential treament of Wallace? Was he perhaps an apprentice at Wheatstone, friend, relation etc?. Clearly it was something exceptional. Hope it sounds as good as it looks - in my limited experience Wheatstones from this period have a lovely mellow tone balanced with a fast response. ...oh, and welcome to the forum too.
  8. This brought to mind a picture of Crane Driver (of this forum) and his good lady on their home site: http://www.cranedrivinmusic.com/page22.htm (Andrew, in case you suspect you are being 'virtually stalked' I followed the link after buying one of your CDs) Alternatively you might want to adopt Percy Honri's appearance, reclined busking?!
  9. Rhetorical question posed by a heckler: 'What do you call a concertina at the bottom of the the River Mersey? ...A promising start!' (Liked Jim's post - a welcome smile - thank you!)
  10. I know Hobgoblin had one of these in its London branch for a considerable time priced at £1695 - a very nice instrument but [seemed ot me to be - in my very humble opinion] expensive for a brass reeded instrument in the current market. I notice a box with the same description is now in their Canterbury branch. I guess the addage that something is worth what someone will pay for it holds - if this has a particularly attractive tone (or whatever) that makes it a 'must have' for someone.
  11. I think there is definitely something in this as I have recognised the same in both concertinas and guitars. I wonder if there is also an element to this of the player's ear (and fingers etc) once again becoming accumstomed to the instrument. I say this because I tend to play a single concertina or guitar for a few weeks at a stretch and then switch to another because I might require a softer tone for a particular ballad I am learning or a guitar that sounds better with a dropped tuning etc. It seems to take a few days for something in my brain to fully recallibrate and become fully satisfied/comfortable with the instrument's sound - and when I go back to the preceding instrument mental re adjustment also seems necessary. I wonder if this, combined with Geoff's observation regarding the more physical manefestations within the instrument, provide [?part of the] explanation?
  12. Thank you Steve and Lester - very helpful. Any other views also gratefully recieved.
  13. I would be very grateful for advice from the C:net community regarding insurance of concertinas. My requirement is for insurance that covers home use and use in folk clubs/festivals in an amateur capacity in the UK (and travelling between home and venue). Does anyone have good/bad experience of any particular policies/providers, recommendations etc? My home insurance does not cover this requirement and my broker was (?rightly) sceptical that any insurer would cover the instruments within a general policy (given value, antiquity and their active use). Any advice very much appreciated. It is planning for the worst eventuality, but I would be gutted to lose one of my boxes (not to mention the cost of replacement).
  14. Thank you for your response I think that is what I will do if the Jones is not up to standard, by the way do you have any idea of the price range of a 26 button Jones. Badok88 I am no expert on the value of Anglos, but assuming the Jones is in decent playing condition then the price seems fair - the seller indicates that it came from Barleycorn (Chris Algar) three years ago, so unless it has suffered some sort of subsequent trauma then it ought still be a good player for its class. I notice that Theo has suggested (on a parallel thread) trying out a few concertinas prior to any purchase. If you can get into London (I take it you are in Reading from your member info) the Hobgoblin store there has a reasonable range and usually someone who can play them over (so you can hear the potential of an instrument). This would give you some sort of benchmark before trying the Jones. You may well be struck by the differences in 'feel' and tone etc - and preferences in these areas are immensley personal. I was lucky enough to have a choice of nearly a dozen boxes when I bought my first concertina. I came out with quite a different concertina to the one I had been expecting to buy based on non playing research. That concertina is still with me 20years later and remains a pleasure to play (although I have been tempted to acquite others!). If you can get up to Whitby you will have a very wide selection to try in a supportive atmosphere (plus a super festival to dip into).
  15. Hi Badok88 If the Jones does not meet your requirements you might want to give Chris Algar at Barleycorn concertinas a call (easily found on Google). He is probably the biggest dealer in used concertinas and has broad knowledge of the subject and a very wide stock (he sometimes sells via Ebay, and I recall some of his restored Lachenal Anglos were in your sort of price range). He usually provides a guarentee, so if you encounter any problems you can fall back on this. He doesn't have a shop, so doesn't have the associated overheads. You might also want to check out Theo's website (a member of this forum), he has a couple of modestly priced Anglos at present and again is someone who 'knows his concertinas' and is well regarded.http://www.theboxplace.co.uk/purchase/concertina/cat_13.html Good luck - hope you find what you are looking for.
  16. Here's a link to the shop's webpage which also has contact details, hope it is helpful. http://www.mcneillsirishmusic.com/
  17. Here's a less blingey version in the conertina museum. I assume it only recieves shortwave and probably nothing close to 440hz frequency ! http://concertinamuseum.com/CM00379.htm
  18. Jim - very many thanks for this. Particularly interesting to follow the thread link and see the 8 sided Aeloa with the pinhole ends with the somewhat later number - 24695 - within Theo's post, perhaps suggesting the tonal qualities of these ends were valued for 1 off commissions/particular client groups (just as they are now).
  19. Trawlers of Ebay will no doubt have spotted the six sided ‘Aeola’ with comma and dot fret work presently being offered by Chris Algar. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Extremely-Rare-Wheatstone-48-Key-Pinhole-Aeola-Concertina-for-Restoration-/251294689884?pt=UK_MusicalInstr_Keyboard_RL&hash=item3a8254aa5c#ht_237wt_962 It is numbered 23125, but does not seem to carry the ‘Aeola’ name marked on it as others do. The number is of some interest as it is just later than at least one 8 sided Aeola – that in the concertina museum - 23107 http://www.concertinamuseum.com/CM00082.htm This would suggest that for a short period both 6 and 8 sided ‘Aeolas’ were being produced, both with the ‘dot and comma’ fretwork (a result of outsourced manufacturing of concertinas and parts, or tapering in and out of old/new models perhaps?). Perhaps the absence of ‘Aeola’ marking on the six sided instrument presently offered on eBay points to the exclusive use of this branding for the eight sided instruments by this point. By coincidence another early Aeola is also on eBay at the moment, numbered as 23296. This has the more usual open fretwork – indicating perhaps the demise of ‘dot and comma’ by this period. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/330944973596?_trksid=p5197.c0.m619#ht_77wt_962 Do any C:netters know of further instruments that help refine this sequence or the disappearance of the six sided version? Or even better, if they have the missing Wheatstone ledger(s) for the period, share any of the information contained within!
  20. Hi Trevor You might be interested in a similar instrument that Theo has for sale at the moment which would provide a very rough guide as to worth (accepting the need to factor in costs of restoration, retail margin, and variances in quality between individual instruments) http://www.theboxplace.co.uk/purchase/lachenal40/prod_362.html All the best
  21. Squeezecat - many thanks for that, appreciated. Good luck with the sale. Dirge - yep! I think that's my fallback option. Thanks also
  22. Absolutely beautiful and with that pedegree I am sure it will sound just as good! Good luck sewlling it Can I ask where you got the soft carry case that goes around the hard case? This looks a really useful bit of kit (and perhaps closer to my spending power!). Many thanks, in advance.
  23. This is really helpful. One cannot help noticing that there are quite a number of other abbreviations used in the ledgers. Some seem to mutate/shift over time (and perhaps by clerk) as Geoff notes with SV and KV. A full glossary of these abbreviations would be really helpful. Has someone already compiled one and put it in the public domain - or is this a piece of work waiting to be done?
  24. Like blue eyed sailor my regular box is a Lachenal Excellsior EC (from 1880s I think) - I have had this for nearly 20 years - although there was a playing gap of perhaps 10 years until I picked it up again about two years ago. The intervening time spent on guitar and dulcimer seemed to have improved my musical ability. For my purpose (mainly song accompaniment) the Excellsior has an ideal tone and volume. I have a 1920s Wheatsone EC 48 model 6 which certainly has a more responsive action and is more airtight - but although a joy to play it is a little too loud for my immediate needs. Perhaps one day Santa might bring me an Aeola TT/Edeophone TT with brass reeds to tempt me away from my Excellsior, but until then we are likely to remain together.
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