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Dave Prebble

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Posts posted by Dave Prebble

  1. Many thanks to Mark & Joan for all their hard work in organising such a cracking weekend - and thanks to each and everyone all who cane and shred songs tunes and stories - I so enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones and the Bradfield 'gathering' really is the highlight of my year.

    One nice little happenstance ....

    I sing very very rarely these day due to big malfunctions in my 'memory department', but in one of the sessions the 'urge' came upon me. Of the many the songs I know (well, half remember), by strange chance, I chose a song I learned from a cassette recording I made from the BBC Folkweave 35 or so years ago. The song was 'Both sexes give ear to my fancy, a rare variant of 'When Adam was first created ' and was sung by Isca Fayre.
    I was surprised to get a timely prompt when I lost track of a line, and found it quite spooky to find out I was sat next to one of the two members of Isca Fayre who now (unbeknownst to me) sing in the Claque. What a fluke that all those years later II chose that particular song at that particular time

    I'm already looking forward to next year


    PS typo in first line should read ' came and shared ' .... made me smile so I've left it in :)

  2. Hi Dave


    I would think Black is the best all-round bet.


    The Buckingham Green would look well on green bellows - far less common though, than the black


    I still have a very nice 32 key C/G Jones completely restored - all except for the papers so I await your decision with interest





  3. Hi Folks


    Dropped onto this little piece while researching something else


    Shame we can't get the same level of punishment from today's wishy-washy Courts :D


    Lucky for him it was just a cheap concertina ! (£0.40)


    be good and be lucky






    From the Old Bailey Proceedings, 10th May 1858.

    Reference Number: t18580510-514

    514. DAVID JACOBS (18) , Stealing 1 concertina, value 8s.; the goods of Alexander Van Wurden.

    MORRIS LEWIS . I am assistant to Alexander Van Wurden, a warehouseman, of 18, Houndsditch. On 22d April, in the afternoon, I was in the shop, packing up a concertina, and saw some one walking out of the shop, who I had not seen in it—I ran to the door, and saw the prisoner going across the road, with something under his arm—I ran after him, and he ran away into some strange house—I called a policeman, and went in, and found the prisoner in the parlour, with this concertina in his hand; it is my master's—Ibrought him out and gave him to the policeman.

    Prisoner. I bought it in Rosemary Lane. Witness. It was safe in the shop not one minute before, and I found you in the house with it, five minutes after seeing you in the shop.

    JOHN BROOKS (Citypoliceman, 666). I was called by Lewis, and ran after the prisoner down Aldgate—I pursued him to the house; Lewis got in before me, and I met him and the prisoner, with the concertina, in the passage.

    GUILTY .—He was further charged with having been before convicted.

    WILLIAM SMITH . I produce a certificate—(Read: "Mansion House, London, Oct., 1857; David Jacobs, Convicted, on his own confession, of stealing 1l. 6s., of his master; Confined six months")—the prisoner is the person; I had him in custody—he had only been out a few days when he committed this offence.

    GUILTY.—The Governor of Newgate, and the Governor of Holloway Gaol, gave him a very bad character.

    Three Years Penal Servitude.


  4. I had a pad fall off in a session at Bradfield this year.... no glue available ... a small blob of Blutack cadged from the pub Landlord ... did the job a treat.


    .... hmmm... come to think of it, I can't remember if I ever got round to doing the job properly ??? :huh:


    I've seen many pads attached with chewing gum, sealingwax, candle wax & all manner of other unidentifiable materials ... even had a box in recently where most of the pads were cemented on using glaziers putty :lol: .... easier to put on than remove, I can tell you!


    Once had a twenty key lachenal where all the springs had been replaced using fairly heavy duty safety pins, nice neat job mind you.

    You needed pretty strong fingers to knock a tune out of that one but the overall effect of such a heavy action was to make it play a bit like a single row Hohner melodion .... very 'snappy'



  5. The third measure in the third line has 4 1/2 beats, and the second measure in the fourth line has 5 beats. I suspect that's not quite right.



    Like I said - Try as I might, I can't do dots at all ... I just play it! :lol:


    The only 'measure' I ever knew was 'a pint' ...... and even that is denied me now :(


    Can anyone who knows the tune offer corrections please ???



  6. I was at a session this week when some of the musicians played Jinky Wells' Harvest Home. Having been brought up reading the dots, I have tried since to locate the music, but all I can find is the Irish Harvest Home, a different tune altogether. Any suggestions, please?



    Hmm .... that would be me playing I guess


    I play by ear as you know and can't do the dots at all but the following abc was dotted out by a friend and based on how I remember the tune from the playing of Jim Harding, about 30 odd years ago.


    Don't know where Jim's original source material came from, and sadly he died a few years back, so I can't ask him now.


    Hope you can make sense of it .... it is a cracking tune



    T:Jinky Wells 'Harvest Home'

    N:As remembered from the playing of Jim Harding in about 1980.

    N:Where Jim got this tune I know not, but he always referred to it as Jinky Wells' Harvest Home






    |G2BB A2GG|F2G2A2AA|A2c2B2A2|GFGA B3A|


    B B2d2g3|g g2d2e3-|e e3f g2a2| (3fgf d2d4|

    Bc d2g4|g2f2e2e4|A3B c2d2| (3(cdc) B2B4|

    G2BB B2dd|d2c2A4|F2AA c2ee|e2d2B4|

    G2BB d2gg|g2d2e2ge|d2B2c2A2|G2B2G4|]



    Dave P

  7. Eh Up Alan,


    I put the pans back in the box whenever possible and bolt up.


    When I'm working on the bellows and the pans and ends will be off for some time, they are clamped up and the whole kit and kaboodle put in a sealed poly bag in a cool bottom drawer.


    when a pan has to be on the bench, I keep it off the impervious worktop surface by standing it on a low cylinder cut from a sturdy cardboard roll. This helps keep the humidity the same on both sides of the pan. Do remember to keep them out of the sun or they can curl up like crisps in a very short time.


    The action board/endframe assemblies are just as liable to warp so look after them as well.


    A lot of pans already have a degree of warp in them so when I start work on a box, I always put the pan flat on the bench and give it the 'rock test' If there is any rock I shave a sliver of wood till it just fits under the 'gap'. This way I can check as I go on, whether any further movement is taking place. Just occasionaly there is, and I have to put the job aside to a drier and/or cooler day.


    looking forward to you playing Springtime in Battersea on it next time at Bradfield :lol:


    be good and be lucky



  8. Much the same with 'C/G' Jeffries


    I'll hazard a wild guess that perhaps a third of such instruments today, when closely inspected, were originally Bb/F


    (I can hear the rustle of screwdrivers whipping off endplates from here :lol: )





    Interesting comment by Chris on ebay about conversion to G/D was that introduced by the D/G melodeon phenomenon oin the 50s onwards for morris and trad music?


    He says he knows of very few originally tuned D/Gs


    Who did the original conversions and from which keys?

  9. The air hole in the board has a donut of wood around it to decrease the diameter compared to the other buttons, but this seems to be making the air pressure disproportionately high when I give it a good squeeze and the note bends out of tune like an asthmatic cow. Would I be damaging the box irreperably if I removed this donut?


    Well, apparently not.


    Being impatient, I just removed this and the drone key is now working fine - I'm now simply puzzled as to why it might have been installed in the first place.


    Of all the novelty buttons, bells, baby cries and squeakers, the asthmatic cow button is by far the rarest - and you have gone & wrecked it - Vandal!!


    Dave :lol:

  10. Lleanne,

    Please Google "saddle soap" and read the reasons NOT to use it. There are many. For example:




    To some reading this thread, Dave Elliott, Chris Ghent, Leo and I may seem like nay sayers, "Don't do this; Don't do that!" As repairers, builders and aficionados of concertinas we are simply trying to help you be good custodians of your instruments. We've seen the ill effects of neglect, accident and poorly thought out good intentions on our repair benches. With some care and thoughtfulness many of the vintage concertinas out there will make it to the next century and beyond.


    Some of the techniques and materials used by restorers of Victorian books may be compatible with bellows maintenance. But please remember your bellows are a combination of leather, card, linen and adhesive. Use of a conditioner should be considered very carefully. The amount should be the minimum. Application should be deliberate.


    Shoe creme or paste, used sparingly, remains the best over the counter bellows application.


    Keep those concertinas playing and off the repair bench.




    Couldn't agree more Greg


    I had my own disasters with both neatsfoot oils and saddle soap many, many years ago.


    If you are stuck with a tin of neatsfoot oil, Alan, either buy a pair of pit boots or swap your armchair for a saddle :lol:





  11. Hi Guys,


    I use either

    22 SWG = 0.711mm / 0.0280" (28 thou) or

    23 SWG = 0.609mm / 0.0240" (24 thou) for a lighter spring.

    Spring grade phosphor bronze wire.


    A piano or harpsichord specialist suppliers should be able to supply you in small quantities




    More questions (sorry)

    That .025 - is this a thickness in mm?

    I seem to need springs which are left handed, but which are wound up from left to right, as the right-to-left ones catch on the pivot post... may be easier to make them from scratch, rather than re-working bought ones.

    So, where would I get the phosphor bronze wire from?





    0.025" = approx 0.63mm as per my vernier caliper readout and my failing eye sight .



  12. Hi Dick,


    I remember Pete Dickey telling me that the band arose many many years ago from a regular music session at the .... wait for it.... 'Moorcock Inn' up in the wild lands of the Wear Valley.


    He did mention the Tina players name but my feeble brain has lost it.







    When I was browsing through YouTube this evening, I came across this video of the Moorcock Ceilidh Band & to my delight, it looks like the Concertina player, in this particular video is playing a Baritone.


    The Moorcock Ceilidh Band ~ Da Slockit Light


    Does anyone here know anything about this outfit?


    If so, who is the Concertina player?




  13. You hit the nail on the head Theo! ...... so time for the truth guys.


    The fact is, I was asked this by the Flute & Guitar player at a session last week.


    Of course I was almost 100% sure that ALL my reeds weren't going to go sharp or flat just because the pub was really warm, but I wanted to go back this week armed with some second opinions ... hence this thread.


    In my opinion, the most likely explanation was that in the heat, the Flute went flat & when the guy stuck on his Capo, his strings sharpened due to high action.

    Of course he has an expensive Louden Guitar, so he refuses to believe that his guitar could ever possibly be out of tune. :rolleyes:


    Here's another interesting fact though, we both have electronic tuners, different makes, but his 440 is different to my 440!

    I guess that goes to show you cannot rely on those instruments 100%!


    Thanks for your thoughts.





    Hi Dick,


    Just saw this thread and was beginning to get paranoid that your Lasher might have taken offence at the key change and spontaneousely retuned itself back to Ab/Eb :o





  14. Most distressing news. My condolences to his family, friends and his close team of colleagues at Buttonbox.


    While we never met, we corresponded on many issues regarding repairs and restoration am I shall miss his wise and cheerfully given advice.


    I am hopeful that his friends at Buttonbox will be able to carry forward Richards sterling work.


    Dave Prebble

  15. Interesting. This version:
    sounds to me the same as an O'Carolan planxty (help, please--I don't recall the name) that I used to play often on guitar.



    Couldn't get the link to work properly but sounds like Planxty Irwin to me


    Try searching under ' Josefin's Dopvals ' or Josefin's Waltz (Josefin's christening waltz)

    The tune was penned by a Swedish fellow called Roger Tallroth who played with the group Väsen.


    A beautiful waltz. Do resist the urge to speed it up. Played slowly, it is a haunting tune, and a Concertina & Cello combination really sounds special.





  16. I thought that I was on top of the game, I had seen it all; every variation in build, nigh-on all possible faults, and concertina GBH (grevious bodily harm) that could be infliced in the instrument but NO!


    I have a Lachenel 188,000 series Anglo 30k mahogany ended, dead plain and basic for servicing.


    But, and what do I find? brass reed tongues, whoopy-do you may think


    BUT, all the reed frames are steel, and original with nice hard stamped note values, and all fit perfectly into what appear to be the original reed pan machined slots.


    Has anyone come accross this before, I haven't. A failed experiment perhaps? an enhancement that did not enhance?


    comments anyone?





    Hi Dave,


    I've seen a couple over the years.


    The last one was similar vintage but a 20 key. Not too impressed with the quality of the reeds I remember. Perhaps a short lived experiment on Lachenal's part ??




    Dave P

  17. If you are looking for a perfect companion for the Westmoreland waltz, try the Sommervals






    X: 1

    T: Sommarvals

    M: 3/4

    L: 1/8

    R: waltz

    K: Gmaj

    |:d2c2|B3A G2|A4F2|G6|E3FE2|D2G2A2|c4B2|B2A2G2|A2d3c|

    B3A G2|A4F2|G6|E3FE2|D2E2G2|G4F2|G6|G2:|




    Recorded by Frifot (Per Gudmundson, Ale Moller, Lena Willemark) on the album Jarven. Also recorded by Old Swan Band and Andrew & Margaret Watchorn

  18. Hi Ptarmi,


    The deep sense of shame and guilt I now must bear, is only eased a little by Amitriptylene and the ministrations of skilled psychotherapists. I am trying to redress the balance but know that I am doomed to pass my days repenting my sins and serving out a lifetime of penance rebuilding concertinas from bags of scrap.




    ps .... it is April the first isn't it ??? .... Nurse, Nurse, .... is it time for my pills yet ???


    Hey Dave,


    From what I've seen, you've already more than made up for your past sins! :)


    But hey, what the heck .... we all needed a hobby! :lol:


    Anyway, who amongst us could not be shamed, by someone producing a YouTube of some very embarrassing moment from our teens? 5.gif


    And if this particular memory of yours is but a substance or alcohol induced phantasy, hey, don't worry, it could be worse, you could be imagining yourself doing something REALLY REALLY outrageous ......... like voting TORY! :blink: :wacko:






    .... bags of scrap


    :unsure: :blink:


    Hey Dave, I know the Royal Mail aren't perfect, but I hope that's not how a certain Ab/Eb Lachenal arrived at your door? :huh:



    Fear not old chap.


    It arrived in one piece with strains of 'Onward Christian Soldiers', eminating from the parcel.


    be in touch soon



  19. ....... It's an interesting thought, isn't it ... I wonder where they all are now. ....... How many were just dumped or burned! :( ...





    Eh Up Dick,


    Glad to say I cannot recall personally ever having burned a concertina, though my playing has left scorch marks on a few B)


    I do look back with embarrassment on the wanton destruction I took part in in the sixties. At most village fetes around Sussex, there would be a competition for the adults to smash up pianos, by any means, into lumps small enough to pass through a toilet seat.

    The accompanying event for juniors was to smash up a concertina into pieces that would fit through an inch & a quarter napkin ring. I took part in this event more times than I now care to remember, and always recall just how tough Jeffries reed pans were to break up! ..... by contrast, Edeophones were a cinch :lol:


    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa :ph34r:




    Dave P


    Hi Dave,


    I can understand the smashing up of Pianos, especially given that it's so hard to get rid of an old one, or even a half decent one, these days.

    Nobody wants them.

    However, sad to hear about the Tina smashing.


    Now if it were Piano Accordions, I could get into that, big time! :lol:





    Hi Ptarmi,


    The deep sense of shame and guilt I now must bear, is only eased a little by Amitriptylene and the ministrations of skilled psychotherapists. I am trying to redress the balance but know that I am doomed to pass my days repenting my sins and serving out a lifetime of penance rebuilding concertinas from bags of scrap.




    ps .... it is April the first isn't it ??? .... Nurse, Nurse, .... is it time for my pills yet ???

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