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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. OP does say it's a 48 button, and afaik there aren't too many Lachenal 48 button anglos around, so I would suggest the first number has probably been misread, or a typo. A very interesting and informative thread.
  2. Nice clip, Arkwright. Fairly definitive article from Concertina Journal here.
  3. I have a C Jeffries Bb/F 38, a dead ringer for yours, Les, though restored by a different fettler before I bought it. I do find the narrow buttons a little uncomfortable, but the sound and speed is worth a bit of pain :-) I've been tempted to sell it for a while as I'm not playing out much any more, but every time I pick it up for 10 minutes, a couple of hours fly by, probably causing the sore finger tips. I have played a few 46 key Jeffries over the years, and, from memory, the buttons are even narrower. Ouch! No thanks! Great video and I'm sure it will be useful to prospective owners considering joining the "Jeffries club"....
  4. Having had a quick look through the Wheatstone ledgers of the relevant period, I note that 76 keys was a pretty unusual number. Assuming that the number in the newspaper article was correct, and allowing for the fact that my troll through the ledgers was only very brief, two consecutive entries stood out for me, being #28687 and #28688 from January 1921, noted as NP Octo Bass. So a five and a half octave range going very low indeed. (My thumbs ache at the very thought of it!)
  5. According to a press item I've read, their main instruments were 76 key, which might make identification from the ledgers a little easier if they were a matching pair. They toured extensively, playing theatres throughout Australia, New Zealand and South Africa from around 1918 till 1929, so early in that period, or a little earlier, might be my best guess at build date. John and Colin Campbell, originally from Scotland, New Zealand, of Scottish heritage, also played a pair of miniatures, ocarinas, and also did a song and dance routine, and were a popular act. Their musical partnership broke up in 1929 after 12 years of working together. John got involved in the NZ film industry, while Colin worked for RKO in Sydney for some years afterwards, prior to returning to New Zealand. There was a famous(?) New Zealand band leader by that name, active around Christchurch during the WW2 years, but I haven't been able to confirm whether this was the same man. (Colin Campbell is quite a common name wherever Scots are found). Too late tonight, but will do a little more research tomorrow....
  6. Are you sure it's an English system, Jim? Seems a bit high; afaik, their numbering for English stopped in the mid 6**** region, c1932. So either it is an anglo rather than an English, or you have misread the first digit (easily done as clarity wasn't always their strong point ? ) While you have it apart, maybe check for a different number inside....
  7. Are the top and bottom sides slightly elongated, or is that just the angle of the photo? My Jeffries Brothers ex-Ab/Eb has that feature, presumably to allow a little more space for the length of the lowest left hand reeds. AG is, I suspect, Anglo German, so perhaps the straight lines of buttons were an attempt to copy the configuration of many German-made concertinas, presumably as requested to order by a customer. Solid Bel??? No idea....
  8. Sorry, didn't see Richard listed, but he's retired as well. And Chris has stated that he doesn't see himself as a repairer, but a maker who (rarely) has to repair one of his own creations. Maybe this list is due for an update???
  9. Actually Rod, there's only one repairer listed there as far as I can see, and he's retired. Forgotten his name ? Have faith in Australia Post, Peter. They have never let me down in 40 odd years of shunting concertinas and melodeons around the country and abroad. A stout cardboard box around twice the size of the instrument and well padded out with bubble wrap and/or scrumpled up newspaper will see it safe and sound to its destination I'm sure. If you are sending a case, make sure that there is no movement for the concertina within the case. (Better still, don't send the case unless you need repairs to it.) George will see you right; I believe he is mainly an English player, but his mentor is Richard Evans, a fine Maccann player and repairer, and though he is retired, I'm sure George can ask for his advice in the unlikely event that he might need it. Good luck.
  10. Larry, I'm in Coffs Harbour, NSW. During "normal" times, I would suggest a trip to Peter's workshop, seeing that you are both in Melbourne. Best to take the entire instrument to him. Probably a "while you wait" fix, though Victoria's Covid-19 restrictions may apply... Is your concertina accordion reeded? If so, it may be simpler to just replace the C#/D reed plate with a C#/C#. Readily and cheaply available, and might save you a bit of work. (Please note that I have amended my original reply, replacing the incorrect web link with a mobile phone number.)
  11. Down a tone, surely, D# to C# Solder needs to be applied to the face of the reed at the tip. If you should be uncomfortable with the process, may I recommend Peter Anderson at West Heidelberg, ph.0402454830 who will, I'm sure, be able to help. Good luck.
  12. 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....
  13. Probably Alf Edwards (near end, middle row) with the Jack Payne Orchestra, c.1932 recording Love Is The Sweetest Thing
  14. 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.
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