Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Steve_freereeder

  1. The cancellation is now official on the Whitby Folk Week website home page.

    Here's what it says:



    In the light of the continuing pandemic and the uncertainty of restrictions such as social distancing and face coverings being fully relaxed by August, the Whitby Folk Week directors have taken the extremely difficult decision to postpone the 2021 festival until the 20th-26th August 2022.

    The very essence of Whitby Folk Week is our community; being together to dance, sing, play music and be with friends and family. Ceilidhs, morris dancing, sessions, workshops, sing-arounds and bustling venues are at the heart of this, and they are simply not possible with any level of social distancing in place. Whitby Folk Week without these things would not be the Whitby Folk Week we know and love.

    There are also more practical considerations such as the availability of the Spa, ever changing restrictions and the fact that any financial risk in this already unpredictable year may well jeopardise future festivals. To ensure a positive future for the festival, we must be mindful of the ongoing need to protect each other, as well as the town of Whitby, and our festival and its reputation.

    For this year, we will contact ticket holders over the next few days and, as last year, we will host a Whitby@Home, which we hope you will support, to keep us all going until we can have the festival back to its old self.

    Hopefully, in 2022, we will collect our heather in person, hug our friends, dance, sing and play to our hearts' content. In the meantime, we send our very best wishes for continued health and happiness to all our supporters and their loved ones.

  2. Whitby Folk Week, 21st - 28th August 2021, is now cancelled.


    I've just heard from the organisers who deal with the artists, dance teams, and workshop leaders. Sue Houston writes:


    After much deliberation, Whitby folk week directors have reluctantly had to make the decision to rollover the festival from this year until August 2022. We have no idea whether social restrictions, such as social distancing, will be fully relaxed by August and we envisage a lot of people descending on the town this summer.  We know this will be disappointing news, but I am aware that many of you do have your own reservations.  We are mindful of the ongoing need to protect each other, and the town, and to ensure the future of the festival.


    So - there you have it. Sad but probably the safest option both in terms of health of everyone and minimising the financial risk for the organisers. At the moment the Whitby Folk Week website has not been updated to reflect the cancellation; the decision to cancel has only just been made (26th April).

  3. Hi Ciaran,


    Glad to see you on board here. Like many others, I know your Dad and have bought several instruments from him over the years and also recommended him to my friends too.


    Are you going to be taking over the business? Last time I was over to see Chris about three years ago, he was on about retiring...

  4. On 10/10/2020 at 4:51 PM, 4to5to6 said:

    I don’t think it will sell too soon as it isn’t a playable instrument as is and the shop is asking full price as if it were restored.  ...


     The dynamic range was extremely impressive so it could be an instrument with a lot of expression.


    Sometimes you have to remember that monetary value is not the only thing to consider. Despite the possibility that this concertina may not be quite as good as the high quality 'golden period' of Wheatstones, it nevetheless looks to be a very nice concertina with (as you say) a great dynamic range, which suggests that the reeds are good. Overall it looks to have a lot of potential. 


    I would suggest a couple of things:

    Try to get a look inside to see the reeds. If the pads have fallen off due to being stored in a damp place, the reeds could be rusty and/or the reed frames corroded too. Mild rust can be cleaned off, but if any rust looks very bad , then walk away from it.


    Try to negotiate a slightly lower price (I suspect you have done this already), but if unsuccesful, and if the interior and reeds are reasonably good, then perhaps buy it at their price anyway. You will then have control over a potentially very nice concertina. Yes, you will need to pay for the restoration and tuning, but it might be worth it on musical/playabilty and historical grounds. As I said at the beginning; it's not always all about money, sometimes you have to take a risk and pay a bit more.

    Funny beasts, concertinas....

  5. This forum seems as good a start as any and I hope my query is not inappropriate. I am hoping that Dick Miles may be able to answer, but he doesn't seem to have been active on here for a while.


    I am trying to source the sheet music score and/or parts for 'The Carabineer' by J.A.Greenwood. It's the first track on the New Mexborough English Concertina Quartet vinyl record (Plantlife PLR 071).

    John Ambrose Greenwood (1876-1953) is/was well known in the brass band community for his arrangements and compositions, as well as for his band leadership and conducting. Many of his arrangements are available to buy on-line. However, an internet search for 'The Carabineer' comes up with a complete blank, apart from lots of hits for mountaineering equipment!


    I want to use the piece for my clarinet quartet, so I would be very grateful if someone could help, please. If there is a Mexborough concertina band version which I could use, I would certainly be very respectful of the origin and source; I would expect to pay for it and also acknowledge copyright and ownership.


    Any help or ideas please?







  6. Hi Bethan,


    This is as good a place as any to advertise your concertina!


    The value of a concertina depends on all sorts of things, but main criteria would be, condition, age, make, serial number (if visible), types of reeds, e.g: steel, brass, accordion reeds or traditional concertina reeds (there is a huge difference!). Also people will want to know the type of concertina: Anglo, English, Duet, etc.


    It's a good idea to give a general location (e.g. 'this concertina is located in Manchester, UK'), whether you are prepared to ship overseas, and whether you will allow personal visitors to inspect and try out the instrument (difficult in these coronavirus times, I know).


    Finally, and almost of prime importance, people will want to see PHOTOS! You can post photos as attachments to messages on this forum, but there is a file size limit, so you may need to reduce the size of your images, or use an on-line file size reducer before posting on here. The sort of photos people like are views of each end of the concertina plus a sideways view with the bellows extended.


    You can ask for offers or further enquiries via this public forum or via the private message (PM) system. If you sell the concertina on here, it's generally expected to then make a donation to help the upkeep of the forum.

  7. I have just received this e-mail message from Dave Townsend. Not unexpected really... ?


    With great regret and a heavy heart I have to announce that Witney Supersqueeze will not take place this year. Unsurprisingly, the school is currently unable to give any assurances that we will be able to use the premises for the weekend, and are delaying a final decision until the start of the September term. This is much too late to cancel if it becomes necessary, and I also feel that a lot of people will be reluctant to commit to the weekend or even to take the risk, however small.   
    I plan to run the weekend next year, with the same tutors, on 19th - 21st November 2021.  
    Stay well  
    All the best  
    Dave Townsend  
    Witney Supersqueeze

  8. Brian - looking at your photos, the reeds are accordion-type reeds and the thin plastic valves on many of them are bent, curled or missing. Charlie Marshall (cgmmusical) can also supply replacement valves and the adhesive. You should really clean off all the old wax (it goes brittle and cracked with age), then replace all the valves with new (they are very cheap) before you re-wax the reeds back onto the reed blocks. You will then need to retune the reeds, which is a big topic in itself. I'm not sure if there are threads on re-waxing and retuning accordion-type reeds on this forum, but there is plenty of help and advice over at melodeon.net. (we are a friendly bunch!)


    PS - Reed wax is not pure beeswax - that would be too soft. It is a mix of beeswax and resin. An old Italian accordion maker once said that reed wax was "50% beeswax, 50% resin and 10% olive oil. That's 110% so it's got to be good!"

  9. On 1/10/2020 at 4:27 PM, Mike Acott said:

    I never use a liquid to clean reeds, light deposits can be scraped using a small watchmakers screwdriver(size appropriate for the reed in question.) As far as I know Steve Dickinson doesn't use any substances on reed cleaning. To remove light rust on steel reeds I use a number 2 cut triangular saw file, and have had no reason to change for the last 40 years  plus.


    Having been taught by David Elliott (thanks Dave!), I also use the screwdriver method described by Mike for cleaning rust off the undersides of the reeds and a well-worn, fine 400-grit diamond file used very lightly for the top surface of the reed tongues. And no liquid of any sort.


    Removing any rust, especially of the degree shown in Notemaker's photo, will almost certainly affect the tuning of the reeds, so it will be necessary to check the tuning of the reeds in situ in the instrument and then carry out any fine tuning (and reed tip set) adjustments, as may be needed.

  10. I use the 400-grit version of these diamond needle files. I'm sure people on the west side of the mid-atlantic ridge can source similar tools.

    Mostly I use the flat file in the set. I use these files for mostly for working on melodeon/accordion reeds which are fairly hard steel compared with vintage concertina reeds. Like Alex Holden, I keep an old flat diamond file which is a bit blunt (having filed many melodeon reeds over the last few years) for working on concertina reeds. The old diamond file removes metal very, very gently, with hardly any pressure needed.


    And yes - I agree with Alex - it should go without saying that the reed tongue should be supported with a shim. I have a couple which I have made from steel strips cut from baked bean tins and ground down to a thin sliver at each end on a diamond plate. The steel from baked bean tins is fairly soft and does not damage the reed tongues.



    • Like 1
  11. In the description of the concertina, you mention that it has brass reeds. This terminology normally means that the reed tongues (the bit that vibrates) are made of brass. Brass reeds are most often found in older (e.g. pre-1910) English-system concertinas.


    I suspect that this anglo-system concertina will have steel reeds in brass frames. Please could you clarify?

  12. Just a couple of minor pedantic points, Dave. Hope you don't mind me pointing them out.

    1. In bar 7, the last quaver should be a B, not G#

    2. In bar 12, the two notes F# and E should be a singe dotted minim E. The suspension which you have shown is part of the harmony, not the melody.


    Here (attached) is a preview version of the full piano score, albeit in the key of G, not your transposed version in D. The tune starts at bar 4.


    (an Archers fan for over 50 years)





  13. UPDATE


    Just a reminder that the 'Pressing the Buttons' workshop spaces are filling steadily, so if you haven't already done so, get your applications in very soon.
    Application form here.

    EATMT coordinator Alex Bartholomew writes:

    The musicians have been booked via EATMT and now the Museum of East Anglian Life is busy organising the Cider side of the event which includes adding various craft stalls and activities for the day and building on last year’s event.  Camping has been added following popular requests for this as have a few beers alongside the vast number of ciders and lots of soft drinks and on site caterers.

    Join us for music performances, workshops, a lunchtime music session, storytelling, food tasting and craft activities.

    Friday 18th October 5.30pm

    Taking place on the back lawn of Abbot’s Hall House, the bar in the Marquee opens on Friday evening at 5.30pm and tickets for the evening are £7.50 (via the Museum – in person or in advance via the Museum’s Cider & Song website).  There will be a Traditional Music Session from 7pm hosted by Company of Horham Old School with Richard Cove as MC (Richard is currently MC of the third Wednesday of the month sessions at the Blaxhall Ship Inn). You’re welcome to bring your instruments or just your voice and join in or to sit and sample the ciders and listen.

    Saturday 19th October 11am-5pm; 7pm – 11pm

    For a full and up to date list of stall holders and performers involved in the day, please refer to the Cider and Song website.  EATMT has endeavoured to cover performers with links from across the counties of East Anglia with varying styles of Traditional Music and so we hope there’s something for everyone.  

    This year, the Trust is pleased to have involved:

    Capstan Full Strength
    Sound Tradition
    Potiphar’s Apprentices
    Stumpy Oak
    The Harbour Lights Trio
    The Sam Kelly Trio
    For more information on this event, please visit the Cider and Song website or our Events page (scroll down for Cider and Song information).

  14. I'm glad you both like the Hardcore English book! ?

    I have to confess a personal interest: Barry Callaghan was the main musician for Lizzie Dripping, almost from the start of the side, and when I joined in 1988, he was very encouraging indeed to me. I was a very inexperienced melodeon and concertina player at that time but Barry taught me so much about playing for dancing. He was a lovely man and still very much missed by many musicians and dancers. Here he is at the English Country Music Weekend in 2006.




    • Like 1
  15. 10 hours ago, Spectacled Warbler said:

    Jack,  what country are you in?   Barleycorn Concertinas in the UK have commissioned and starting selling a new line of concertina reeded Anglos for £999,  not sure if it's C/G or G/D.    It's called the Blackthorn, I think.     I've heard one and it sounds good.    Might be worth a chat with them.

    There were three C/G Blackthorn concertinas on the Barleycorn trade stand at Whitby folk festival and I tried them all.

    They are very well made indeed, with proper riveted action. Lightweight and with good bellows. They are hybrid concertinas with good accordion reeds and therefore comparable with Morse and Marcus concertinas. The ones I tried at Whitby had only just come in from the makers, and had still to be properly set up.  Hence the reed response, while OK, could have been improved with a bit of tweaking. Most likely the reed tip gaps needed adjusting - nothing that an experienced melodeon fettler couldn't do.  But overall, potentially a very good mid-range instrument and excellent value for money.

  16. Rather than re-invent the wheel again, if you really want to get a handle on what is being played in English music sessions here in England, I would thoroughly recommend the collection 'Hardcore English' compiled by the late Barry Callaghan (a highly respected musician, audio and video recordist) and published by the English Folk Dance and Song Society. There are many tunes, some with multiple versions and all manner of historical notes about the sources. Probably one of the best collections available. It has well known tunes and less well known ones. If you come across an unfamiliar tune being played in an English session, the chances are it's in here.


    Get it here:


  17. On 9/3/2019 at 7:54 AM, Theo said:

    ...On the other hand I think that tuning in the reed pan where the reed is in its own home gets the pitch closer to that inside the instrument. 

    Yes, agreed. In fact I have found that the pull reeds especially (in between the chamber walls) are often very close to the pitch inside the instrument, such that little or no offset is required. To me, that is worth the slightly slower working method, compared with the traditional concertina tuning bellows.

  • Create New...