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  1. Steve Dickinson learned about concertina making by going into the Boosey & Hawkes factory on a Saturday morning (in the early 1970s) to help Sid Watkins, the last of the old Wheatstone concertina craftsmen. But he was astonished to turn up as usual, one Saturday morning in 1974, to find everything thrown out in a skip, and to hear that Sid had died that week - so he then set about rescuing the old Wheatstone firm and eventually took it over. Sid Watkins is the man to be seen grinding strips of reed steel at the beginning of the Concertina Factory British Pathé newsreel. This BBC report on the history and construction of concertinas, from the East Anglian Film Archive, has been posted on "the other channel" (melodeon.net) today, so (obviously) I thought people here would like to know about it too: Spectrum - Out Of Town - Squeezebox: Concertinas,1985 Thornham Magna, Suffolk "Opening with [Dick Miles] and concertina quartet performing Mexborough Memories - a ballad about the Mexborough English Prize Concertina Band from Yorkshire - the film moves to the Suffolk workshop of Steve Dickinson, who makes concertinas under the Wheatstone & Co. brand. Construction methods including hand-sawn patterning and reed placement are shown, before Dickinson explains the operation of this unique instrument and its use to perform brass band and parlour music. The segment concludes with a parlour performance by Dickinson's own concertina quartet." I used to visit Steve when his workshop was at Thornham Magna, and Dick Miles used to live at my house...
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