Jump to content

Mike Jones

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Mike Jones

  1. I am cursed with Type 2 Diabetes. I have almost no sensation in my feet (although that does not stop me Morris dancing) and the sensation is declining in my fingers (but it does not prevent me from playing my various concertinas).

    The Diabetes is controlled by Metformin that boosts the performance of what Insulin i do make. Recently it was discovered that Metformin is antagonistic to Vitamin B12. my most recent diabetic screening showed I was seriously B12 deficient. I had a course of B12 injections and changed my diet to improve my B12 intake earlier this year and the symptoms in my fingers have eased and my feet don't ache/hurt so much at night. I'm due for screening again soon. Apparently many people are Vitamin B12 deficient and don't know it. B12 deficiency has a number of negative  effects on mood too.

    A number of years ago I came of my bicycle and broke my left scaphoid bone. That was probably not as bad as Carpal Tunnel (CTS) although it took a long time to heal and soon after I had a bout of CTS, although I was doing a lot of left handed mouse work at the time, and had to rest/take it easy for a couple of months. Rest is always a good way to make musculoskeletal disorders better.

  2. I thought I had nineteen but I counted them this morning and I have 23. of these, nine are destined for the grandchildren, to give them a head start if they want to start playing and to enable them to chose which system they prefer. They will each get an English, a 30k Anglo and a Crane Duet. Of the current total 23, four are English and three are Crane Duets the rest are Anglos. This grand total of 23 includes two Anglos which are out on loan at the moment. I have owned at least 38 concertinas in all, so far, and tried countless more. Four of these 38 were purchased for spare parts.


    Of those I have tried, several standout as excellent, including a 30k Crabb (see below) several Jeffries in various tunings, a lovely Dipper and a very fast Wolverton that was one of the first batch Jake M-M made.


    I had an ambition to collect at least one Anglo concertina of every tuning but gave that up some years ago, even so I have several Anglo concertinas in different tunings.


    From memory the best Anglo I ever tried (to my mind) was a 30k John Crabb that a friend bought but was not sure about, so I borrowed it for a session. A beautiful box. Currently I play a 20k C/G Crabb mainly for Morris as it is so light, fast and loud enough, with a Marcus G/D 31k for Morris tunes in D. I play any of the following in the SqueezEast Concertina Band and our local French dance group , a 30k Wheatstone Baritone Anglo, a 40k C/G Crabb  or a 30k C/G Rosewood Lachenal. For fun at home I play a 20k G/D Lachenal made of spare parts I had lying around or a 20k Bb/F Lachenal as they are both relatively quiet but of delightful tone.


    My first concertina was a 30k C/G Hohner Anglo closely followed by a 30k G/D Gremlin Anglo. The Hohner I sold as soon as could buy a decent 30k C/G Lachenal (which I still have) and the Gremlin I gave to another player for parts to keep his Gremlin playing (bits kept breaking inside and it was out of tune so no great loss)


    The majority of my C/G Anglos are also used for concertina beginner workshops, although I have done less of these recently,  and most Anglos I have sold have gone to other players who also do workshops.


    I really have too many concertinas but they each have a different attributes, type of reeds, tuning, etc. and a some need a bit more work, but all , bar two 20k East German semi minatures, are in playable condition. My wife does  not understand the fascination and thinks I'm obsessed.

  3. John Sylte: I'll send some photos to you in a personal message.


    Mike Acott: I think Paul McA was confused as I recieved an email from him. Paul and I have corresponded before just as COVID took over, about  him purchasing a concertina from me but nothing eventually came of it.


    MIke Jones

  4. George Jones 30 button Anglo, Number 28064


    Purchased in 2018 as a project and eventually to be a backup for my main squeeze. As no tuning was given I assumed it was a C/G. This was wrong, its A/E where A:432


    Stamped inside on both reed pans “George Jones, Maker, Commercial Rd E”. Very late period model. Reeds seem untouched and very robust. No box on purchase. Arrived in an old shoe box. Played, did not appear to leak, several reeds were not sounding properly and one not sounding on RHS. Needed tuning, replacement valves, pads, dampers, bellows patches, etc, and cleaning. LHS end damaged and needed new woods inserting.


    Given the tuning, I have contemplated, since purchase, of retuning it to G/D or Aflat/Eflat but I already have two other anglos in G/D and another A/E and as it sounds so good I am reluctant to do any more work. I think it best it goes to a player who wants/needs an A/E as really I have very little use for such an instrument in this tuning. I have also been told I have too many concertinas and must get rid of a few. As if 24 was too many!



    Number: 28064 (highest number Jones I have been able to identify)

    Ends: Rosewood

    Tuning: A/E old pitch A=432

    Buttons: bone, domed tops

    Bellows: 6 fold black leather, Cross and dot end papers (stained and dirty)

    Date: early 20th Century, 1905? (George Jones retired in 1899 and left the firm to his sons, the company closed in 1905.


    Work Done:

    1. Two new bushes replaced in RHS button x-holes and one damper on LHS,

    2. Debris stuck in valves and reeds removed from LHS so reeds now sound and valve removed on high RHS reed and it now sounds.

    3. Hand straps replaced.

    4. Leather treated and polished, rechecked the tuning, definitely A432.

    5. Lovely tone and low LHS notes vibrate on RHS. Still to do:

    6. Pads and valves replaced and a small bellows internal repair patch, plus external bellows patches on some corners and general cleaning.

    7. Replacement case/box purchased with working lock and key

    8. David Elliott appraised this instrument for me in 2019 just before COVID hit, he thinks it is OK. Good action and sound. The brass shoes are marked for a C/G but with broad reeds designed and fitted for old pitch A/E, thus lots of solder on the lower reeds.


    Other then the above I have done minimal work to this concertina but still enjoy playing it once in a while as a contrast to tunes in C/G/D. Mellow and low, easy action, can play quietly, Playing notes loudly below C3 causes other notes on both sides to vibrate in sympathy. Lovely!


    I'm asking £750 for it, which I regard as well below its true value but will also allow the new owner to have some work done if they wish and still keep it relatively inexpensive to buy and own. Uk buyers only please, I don't want to be bothered with UK customs, form filling or any other bureaucracy.


    I have some photographs but as they exceed 3.5Mb each, are too large to download to C.net even compressed. So, if you are interested, send me a PM with your email address and I'll undertake to send the photos to you.

  5. Join the West Country Concertina Players (WCCP) for £10pa, it is worth every penny. They are very helpful and will have members who can answer all and more of your questions and they also provide teaching and learning opportunities for all types of Concertina. I expect they will have some members close to you as well.


    They have a website and facebook pages so won't be far away.

  6. Hi Alex,

    Chris Flint produced a concertina timeline that includes some information about Jones concertinas. I have just found it again at https://www.scatesconcertinas.com/pdf/Concertina Timeline open office.pdf.

    I made up a short spreadsheet for Jones concertinas using what information about individual instruments I've been able to find on the Internet as well., it may be helpful.

    I possess number 28064 a 30k Anglo with steel reeds,  tuned A/E  where A= 432 and I believe its original tuning. As I've been unable to find another Jones with a higher number as yet, it has been tentatively identified as constructed in 1905. I also have number 1632, a 20k brass reeded instrument very similar to C333 and C332 which are in the Concertina Museum.

    Like everyone else, I have not been able to find anyone collecting Jones concertina numbers and info. Perhaps it is time for someone to volunteer to take on the work.




    Jones timeline.xls

  7. 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.



  8. 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



  9. 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





  10. 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.



    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  11. 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

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  12. 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.



  13. 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



  14. 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.





  • Create New...