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Mike Jones

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Posts posted by Mike Jones

  1. Geoffrey: - thank you for that information. I have taken Alex's earlier advice and ordered a  9BA and a 10BA set of taps with drills and some cheese headed screws/Bolts to fit.

    Richard was kind enough to let me have some old shoes and I've recovered a few screws/bolts from those and another member of the forum did likewise.


    I now have enough reed screws/bolts for my purposes and a means of replacing missing or broken screws/bolts for the future, so, thank you everyone who helped, supported and informed me. 


    I think that can end my quest.



  2. Hello Richard,

    Thanks for the offer. If you are sure they are no good to you I'll gladly have them. I'll send you a personal message with my address etc.


    David is a good friend of mine but I'm reluctant to approach him as he is quite generous and last year let me have, for free , several of the very low notes I needed to make up a G/D set I was assembling for a change of key for an old 20k Lachenal and I don't want to compromise that friendship. He has also tuned reeds and effected repairs for me in the past, as well as other concertina related benefits.


    Many Thanks



  3. Over the years I have accumulated a few reeds with one broken screw of the two that hold the tongue in place. Often I have been able to remove the broken screw stub and use an unbroken screw from another reed to make a complete reed again. I now have several Lachenal reed shoes with no screws and one Wheatstone shoe with no screws. I my experience, Lachenal and Wheatstone reed screws are not interchangeable, nor are they with Jones reed screws, I can't comment on the others makers products.


    Does anyone have some spare/old/surplus Lachenal and Wheatstone reed screws or old ruined broken reeds that are no longer fit for purpose they can let me have so I can make up the bits I have left into full reeds? I need at least six Lachenal and two Wheatstone reed screws

    If so, please message me and we can come to some arrangement.


    If anyone is interested, I have used a M1.2 drill to drill out broken studs and then use an M1.4 followed by an M1.6 and finally an M1.8 tap to restore the original hole size. Lachenal reed screws are near as damn it M1.8 and screw into the holes with no trouble and fit well and tightly.


    Happy Squeezing





  4. For what its worth,


    I currently have five 20k instruments and another three two row instruments (22k and 24k Lachenal's) (plus a few others).


    From the point of view of playabilty and quality of tone, timbre and sheer volume plus lightness my favourite is a 20k wooden ended Crabb in C/G made in 1936  of laminated wood as a copy of an earlier Lachenal, but with rivetted action and aluminium framed reeds with steel tongues. This is my main squeeze for Morris in the key of G. It is also the cheapest 20k box I have ever bought and took very little restoration.


    My next favourite was a brass reeded early Jones 20k mahogany ended in C/G, also with rivetted action and lovely  sonorous low notes. That is now sold.


    I have one Rosewood ended 20k Lachenal tuned to A/E that has been restored from a broken wreck, and another 22k Lachenal Rosewood in D/A. Internally the action on both of these was/is the same as the Mahogany ended ones, with a bent brass staple as the pivot point, not the best means of achieving a smooth action. They are both OK but nothing special, certainly not better than my other basic 20k Lachenal boxes in G/D and Bb/F or the ones mentioned elsewhere here.  As supposedly the quality end of the Lachenal production of 20k instruments I think their performance could be viewed as disappointing although I do enjoy playing them.


    Possibly the best 20k Lachenal I have is a brass reeded one i made up for my grandson to learn on. This started off as a purchase of a cheap concertina just for the reeds, as this had a mixture of brass and steel reeds, (The steel reeds now reside in a 24k Lachenal). It was in better condition than I thought and needed minimal repairs to get it air tight and playing, plus some tuning and I made up a full set of brass reeds from my spares. its from about 1879 and has a nicer smoother action than most of the 20k instruments (although still brass staples) I have had and sounds quite good too.


    So, from my point of view, playability and similar qualities outweigh the aesthetic or build qualities of the "more desirable" instruments and the relatively low cost of a basic Lachenal or similar make them good value purchases. I've tried some other 20k instruments e.g Wheatstone Anglos from their "best period" and although they were very nice, I think I would rather stay with what I have.


    PS. I also have five East German made 20k instruments but the less said about them the better.



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  5. Hi Ben,


    Playing with others also helps you improve so if you can find someone locally to help you or join a group of like minded individuals you should make good progress. There is also the following amongst other local resources to explore.


    The East Anglia Traditional Music Trust has restarted their annual melodeon/ concertina /free reed tutor days but you have missed this years event. They used to run evening sessions around Bury St. Edmunds for beginners and improvers at other times particularly during the winter so contacting EATMT or looking at their website may help.


    There is an On-line folk magazine for Suffolk called Mardles that lists folk clubs etc. where you will find other players, Morris sides and similar who also may have concertina players.


    Regionally there is SqueezEast Concertinas, to which I belong but based around Norwich, where we play music in parts e.g. scored for orchestra or other groups which also includes a strong element of folk based music, plus we also sometimes have provison for tutoring. Several of us play for the Morris as well or in ceilidh bands.


    Tutoring is also available on-line for most genres of music including concertinas

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  6. Ah, my mistake, reference to Morris not necessarily concertinas.


    Try dancing/playing at Whittlesey Straw Bear  for Plough Monday in the snow, No-one will be warm then, or on St Stephens day for the Morris and Mummers play. The Turkish Knight in light trousers and a waistcoat certainly feels the cold, especially when lying on the ground after being slain and before he is resurrected by the Quack Doctor.


    As for Rules: The only spare set of bells or baldric for the man who has forgotten his belongs to and is worn by the musician.



  7. Purchased another cheap 20k Mahogany  Lachenal Anglo the other day, number 50418. It has an impressed mark on the RHS for F Wilkes? F Wilson? F Wicks? possibly somewhere around the Nottingham area? Anyone come across this dealer or a dealer of a similar spelling. The impressed mark is only legible for the F, W and k letters so I'm not holding out much hope. A very quick internet search didn't come up with anything like the names I've summised.


    The reed pans are stamped M Howson's, Steel Reeds, 43 Goose Gate Nottingham.  I see from the same bit of research, Howson's were in business in the late 19th into the early 20th century so presumably some repairs or changes were done to the instrument between those dates (there are some references on the Horniman's website for M Howson) I suspect that the reeds were retuned from C/G to Bb/F about that time and/or possibly changed from Brass to Steel. Certainly the reeds look to be very clean, are all Lachenal from what I can tell, marked as the C/G sequence and appear to be untouched since. Large lumps of Solder were added to the lower notes to enable them to sound at the correct pitch.


    I've now converted it to Brass reeds and the Steel ones are either being re-tongued or used in another Lachenal I own, a 24k C/G which could become my outdoor wet weather morris box.


    Thanks for any information



  8. Ah, but I hadn't been drinking. I'm diabetic so avoid alcohol in the main, rationing myself to one pint per day, and I was sitting amomg the audience and playing, not with the heavy drinkers, but the mums and children. I had my Marcus Hybrid there as well and that was unaffected.


    The point I was trying to make was that something,  presumably a liquid and most likely beer, had somehow got on to a reed and crystalised out and was not easily detectable. Anyhow all is well with it now and there have been no repeats in subsequent Morris outings.


    David Barnert: I'm not aware of the laws you mention but I have three of my own

    1. a reed will always warble or go out of tune at the most noticeable moment in a tune

    2. a spring will always break just after you have reasssembled the concertina.

    3. The broken spring will be of the side/handed that you don't have in your emergency repair kit.





  9. I've been away for the May weekend playing and dancing with Kemp's Men in Shropshire on our spring tour. Because I have  recently damaged a tendon in my right wrist and hand and I can't easily play on that side as a result, I've been playing melody on the left with the odd note from the right , so no chords, but not a problem when playing with three Melodeons as you can't hear concertina chords anyway. On Saturday evening I noticed the C5 on the G row of my 40k C/G Crabb was a bit flat. When I had time I took it out but there was nothing to see , put it back in and all was OK for a couple of tunes and the same thing happened again so I put it away.

    On the Sunday we scrambled to the top of Clee Hill for a couple of dances into the mist and murk, as you do (we had one of our biggest human audiences of the weekend while dancing at the top), and it was OK if slightly variable in pitch and tone. Later in Stourport the reed went flat again so I had to use my G\D concertina for the rest of the day,  playing an octave lower.

    Investigating it this morning  now I'm back home, I found the reed varied between 518 and 528Hz, so praying there was something I could do, the instrument was again dismantled. In the bright light under a lamp I noticed there was a very slight sugary deposit on one side towards the root of the tongue. This I managed to clean off the aluminium shoe, the reed top and bottom and slide a 2thou feeler gauge up and down the sides of the tongue and reassemble the box. The reed now sounded at 521Hz and warbled even though it was tight at the end of the slot. A second cleaning and the addition of thin paper down the side of the reed slot now appears to have restored the tuning to 523.6Hz, which is good enough for Morris.

    I think what happened is that someone spilt some beer close to my box on the Saturday evening and a drop got under the pad and on to the reed. As the weather was quite warm the drop dried and formed a clear syrupy crust on the reed tongue and shoe that caused the reed to flatten. This I was not able to see as the light was really bad. On the Sunday it was very damp on top of Clee Hill and the syrup thinned, resulting in some variation to the sound . Later, as the day warmed, the crust formed again and so the reed flattened again. I have no idea why or how, after I cleaned it, the reed became loose in its slot to cause the warble but hopefully all is now well.

    Had I been playing using both hands I don't know if I would have noticed the change in pitch etc for that C. if it had been used within a chord so perhaps the injury had some unforseen benefit.

    I've not had this happen before after xxxx years in the Morris to any other of the various boxes I've used and all have been subject to various minor skirmishes with errant or feral beer even sitting in a pool of the stuff on one occasion, a quick wipe with some absorbent cloth and all was well on that occasion.



  10. Have you considered hiring a concertina? There are a number of concertina clubs in the UK several of which do hire out instruments to starters (you would have to join but it is quite cheap) and several that provide instruction usually by way of the internet e.g. via Zoom, West Country Concertina Players (WCCP) is one that does both. This way distance is no object and you get to try an instrument for a while before you make an informed decision.

  11. Hi John Sylte,


    The 26k Lachenal is no longer available but the other two are.

    If you will send me a personal message with your email address I will send photos of the other two.  I'm unable to post photos to this forum as I've used my memory space allocation.




  12. Hi David,

    I have a 30k Jones Anglo tuned A/E probably from the very last few weeks of the companies existence (No. 28064). It is "Verdi" tuned to A=432 Hz and although I have no proof, I am assuming this was because it was an orchestral instrument for a particular piece or part of an arrangement or  as a remote possibility, for e.g. a Salvation Army band specialising in community singing. I'm leaving this as it is because I really like the sound and sonority of it and I play it at home for my own pleasure.

    I also have an A/E (now all tuned A=440Hz), 20k Lachenal that was originally a C/G instrument but has been re-tuned at some time, probably in the 1890's  (it was made in approx 1885}. I've resisted doing anything about changing the tuning of this as the reeds are now so mangled. Its quite fun (as the Anglo is a transposing instrument) to play well known tunes usually originally in the keys of C or G just to see what they sound like and to assess if its worth changing the key signature and writing a new arrangement for the new key.

    Lastly, its just possible someone may want an A/E instrument in order to get a full set of all possible tuning options. I had this ambition once only lacking a B/F* and C/C*. Eventually I came to the conclusion it was a pointless exercise and also, under pressure from my wife, am trying to downsize my collection of over 30 instruments to more manageable levels

    Apart from the above purposes I can't see any other reasons for having something in A/E.


  13. It's happened to me and my Anglo, especially in cold weather. I think that part of the problem is that different metals expand and contract at different rates. It seems to be occuring after several minutes of playing  outside , once the cold air has had time to circulate within the bellows and thus chill the reeds.  Now, when playing outside in Winter I wear a voluminous coat and tuck the concertina inside between tunes, a bit of body heat seems to help and more recently the only issue has been a few reeds "tinkling" as the clearance between the side of the reed, and the shoe decreases and the odd reed sounding a bit flat.


  14. On 11/6/2021 at 4:01 AM, Cousins said:

    Hi there,

    Would you ship to Canada? I'm interested in the 30 key Anglo Lachenal you have. Is it still available? Could you send a video of it being played?


    Hi Scott,

    55341 is still available and sending it to Canada is not impossible. I don't have any video or sound files. I do have some photos I can send but my memory/storage allowance for this site seems to be full so if you can send me your email address or a PM, i'll forward those on to you and see what I can do here about recording something audible.



  15. I have been instructed by my other half to cull my collection of Concertinas so she has somewhere to store the (new) Christmas decorations, thus the following are now for sale. Offers close to the asking price may be considered. If you send me a message of interest I can provide pictures and more information. They are all in playing/working order (I just don't play them much any more) and come in boxes (some of which may be original/contemporaneous) or gig bags.

    Lachenal Anglo: 30k C/G; No 55341 (matching numbers) Ends: Mahogany: Bellows: Black, 5 fold, leather: Reeds: Brass in brass shoes. £600

    Lachenal Anglo: 24k C/G; No 167878 (matching numbers) Ends: Mahogany Bellows: Black, 5 fold, leather, Reeds: Brass in brass shoes. Tuning on accidental buttons: A4/G4 reversal and G*/Bb on left and C*/Eb, A5/G5 reversal on right. £350

    Lachenal Anglo, 26k C/G: No 18868. Bellows: Leather, 5 fold green: Ends: solid Rosewood, end key holes bushed with original black felt. Buttons: Bone with black stained accidentals. Reeds: Brass shoes with steel tongues in 30 key reed pan. £600

    Lachenal Anglo 22k D/A: No 40338 (matching numbers) Bellows: Leather, 5 fold dark green: Ends: solid Rosewood: Buttons: Bone: Reeds: Brass shoes with steel tongues. £450

    Lachenal 46k Maccann Duet : No 3359 (matching numbers): Ends: Rosewood: Bellows: Black, 6 fold, leather : Reeds: Brass in brass shoes: £600

    The following concertinas are owned by SqueezEast Concertinas, (SE) also need to go, they are surplus to requirements. They have been marked with SE reference numbers using correction fluid which can easily be removed and the boxes/bags have SE labels riveted on. Likewise, these are removable.

    Scholer Anglo 20k: D/A: No leaks, One button head has been replaced otherwise original. It was fettled and tuned by A C Norman in 2009 and sounds better than most concertinas of this type and is in excellent condition. The action is probably the best I have tried for this make and type of concertina. Comes in a red 7” record case suitably blocked to prevent damage. £150

    Rosetti Rambler De Luxe Anglo 20k: F/C: A 20K double reeded concertina which would benefit from a little work as some of the reeds “tinkle” and others are slow to sound unless played with emphasis. Overall it is in good order with no significant faults and very fancy looking. It comes in an old but serviceable gig bag with working Zip. £120

    Rigoletto Anglo 20K: F/C: Although a relatively cheap German made concertina with definite signs of use it plays well, has no leaks and is in pretty good tune. Includes refurbished and refitted hexagonal box with side handle. The inside C row plays an octave higher than a standard C/G: £140.

    Mike (currently in remission from CAD)

    Suitable donations to site made after sale

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  16. Stephen,

    Thanks for that information. I have read your paper, but it was some time ago, and it had gone from my memory. Perhaps the concertinas that were made as a result of the donation were given numbers outside the routine and general ID allocation by Crabb. This might account for why Geoffrey has listed them as "unallocated" in his dating sheet.

    I'm interested in knowing the ID number of the instrument being sold by Squeezebox Marketplace. Also, I was talking with Dave Robertson today and he thinks he knows where there is another and who owns it.



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