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malcolm clapp

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About malcolm clapp

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    Concertina, melodeon & accordion enthusiast and repairer. Retired from repairing recently after 30 odd years, but still do the odd fix for friends.
    I play anglo and English, but not at the same time!
    My style on both is akin to a frustrated duet player. (Also have a Crane aeola).
    Happy to assist with concertina problems and give, hopefully, helpful advice.
  • Location
    Woolgoolga, NSW Australia

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  1. Yes, I wondered about the date too, in fact I changed it in my post a couple of times because of conflicting information. 1938 came up a couple of times too, so maybe that is more likely....
  2. Probably Alf Edwards (near end, middle row) with the Jack Payne Orchestra, c.1932 recording Love Is The Sweetest Thing
  3. Before you shimmy with the chamois, two things might make this repair unnecessary. Firstly, check that the action box and the reed pan surfaces are not uneven or warped; pretty unlikely on a Dickinson of that age I would have thought, but weather and/or climate changes as a cause can't be ruled out. More likely could be that whatever supports are beneath the reed pans may have become loose or otherwise ineffectual. Sometimes a gap occurs between the supports and the reedpan and needs a shim of wood (or chamois?) glued to the offending supports to raise their height. And one other point: without overtightening the end bolts, make sure that the ends are firmly attached."Tight but not too tight" is the mantra, but maybe that should be a whole new thread.... Good luck.
  4. And a few advertisements towards the bottom of the page, showing 509 King Street Search results for 'concertina + "jim gale"' - Digitised newspapers and more - Trove
  5. A newspaper photo of a Jim Gale of Kings Cross, Sydney, in 1949. Might be our man..... 21 Dec 1949 - Experts on the "squeeze" - Trove
  6. Would not surprise me; you would think that a locksmith would have the metal working and fine work skills for fixing concertinas.
  7. I tried to do some research into Mr Gale many years ago,(pre-internet???), but found little information.. Maybe worth doing a bit more research now that newspaper archive and such are on line.... From what I remember, Gale called his brand "The Nightingale", which was etched into the end frames of a couple of English models I knew of, both quality Wheatstones. Gale was a locksmith by trade according to a later "rubber stamp" I've seen. From the late 19th century onwards, King Street developed into a thriving retail precinct. After its initial prosperity, it became run down for much of the 20th century, when Newtown was a low-income blue-collar suburb, often denigrated as a slum; at the crucial time when Victorian era buildings were being demolished elsewhere, Newtown was too unfashionable to make development profitable. By this sheer luck, King Street, as a whole, is the best-preserved Victorian era high street in Sydney. and is again a fashionable address. (Wikipedia quote) I have different addresses for Gale, being both no. 501 and no. 509 King Street at different dates, but I believe there may have been some re-numbering (or maybe he just moved a lot!) That's about all I can remember from my early efforts, ,but I'll see if I can dig out my old notes on Gale and post again if they reveal anything of interest.
  8. Happy to vouch for him. Bought a few things from him and found his prompt communication, helpful advice and delivery times especially welcome. I'm loathe to place his name and email address on an open forum; he obviously has his reasons for keeping a low profile, which we must respect. I have not tried his end bolt and anchor sets, and I wonder about the extent of repairing damage to the end frames caused by removing the old traditional style anchors if restoring old bellows.. His anchors appear to be a bit wider than the typical bellows frame, so some creative woodwork may be required. I note that the OP is talking about a new bellows, so may be less of a concern, designing the bellows frame to fit the anchors. However, I'm sure he would advise.on the best method....or he might be willing to fit them for you on request (for a fee) if you were to send him the concertina. Dunno.
  9. Very likely a valve touching the chamber wall. Certainly the first thing I would check.
  10. John, I think Sir Charles had been dead for some 20-odd years prior to the introduction of the earliest Aeola, so not sure we can credit him with choosing the name.
  11. Such a great drop in pitch (5 semitones) suggests a reed that has started to tear across at a low point of the belly and is well on its way to breaking. A replacement reed will be needed.
  12. I believe I was told that an associate of the Dippers, Robin Scard, was responsible for turning up LV buttons for them, and for some instruments made by him using more exotic woods than usually found in concertina construction. I've only ever had the pleasure of examining a couple of examples of his instruments, and indeed they are things of great beauty.
  13. I, too, would like to know more.... Could the Rev Hillier have been Signor Alsepti himself, but with a quick costume change? He obviously had access to clerical garb as referenced in Stephen's post regarding his belonging to the Franciscan Brothers. (Pure speculation of course...) I have a faint recollection of reading a press clipping of another well-known player of the period doing something similar as a music hall turn.
  14. Not currently playing due to ill health, but I could play in the key of F on a C/G 30 key concertina quite comfortably, probably better than my efforts in playing in D. However, I found playing outside of the home keys needed quite a high degree of concentration. My need for playing in F was almost entirely for solo song accompaniment, where my primary concern was on the song lyrics and relating to an audience, which I found was more easily achieved when playing off of the middle row of a 30 key instrument, especially for chords and bass runs. Why F? Well it seemed to suit my limited vocal range best for the vast majority of songs I liked to sing. My solution was to lower the pitch of a Morse Ceili by 2 semitones from G/D to F/C, achieved entirely by adding weight to the reed tips with solder. A very slight reduction in reed response speed was an acceptable result, noticeable in attempting to play fast tunes, but that was not the purpose for which this concertina was to be used as I have other concertinas for that. So the end result was being able to play in F with fingering that I was more familiar and comfortable with, thereby allowing me greater capacity to give attention to what I considered more potentially important aspects of performance. (Hoping to get back into a bit of playing soon, but wondering if my vocal range has changed, in which case the F/C Morse might become redundant.....Glad I haven't got $8k tied up in it!)
  15. Looks very Wheatstone to me. I can't recall seeing wooden-stemmed metal-capped buttons by any other maker from this period.
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