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Wheatstone anglo special

Steve Gardham

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To my shame I'm new here and have been playing anglo for 40+ years.

I have Wheatstone 28930 which for the first time, thanks to help from GavDav, I have investigated online. It is a 61-key anglo special made in 1921. What I'd like to know is, is it unique and were there ever any larger anglos ever made. I've seen some similar ones on eBay, but never quite this many keys.


I've converted some of the rows so I have as well as the usual CG a D and an A row


I also have a 30-key CG Lachenal bass anglo, and a miniature 12-key anglo, rosewood MB in DG.




Steve Gardham

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Well, welcome aboard! What part of the world to you hail from? What sorts of music do you enjoy playing on all those unique concertinas? Do tell.




I suspect this is the former - or perhaps still is - 'Steve Gardham of Hull' of Neil Wayne's Concertina Newsletter days, Ken. Welcome back Steve!!

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You have a good memory, Ken. Yes, I'm still in Hull where anglo, nay tina, players are like rocking-horse s--t. Off hand the only other anglomaniacs in Hull currently are Geoff Lawes accompanying singing and Joe Richardson of Selby who has just started at Uni here who plays in sessions. There are others in Beverley just to the north of here. Then just to the west of Hull you have Martin Bull and his dad Frank. Martin plays his dad's rather smart GGD octagonal Wheatstone.


I played in a ceilidh band for many years and have been accompanying traditional song for 40+ years. You can hear both Geoff and me accompanying our singing at www.yorkshirefolksong.net Click on tracks Wreck of the Industry, Hedon Road Gaol, My Sky Sailor, The Bonnie Scotch Lad, the Trip and probably others on there. Nothing fancy but pleasant I hope. My Wheatstone I take with me all over. The bass and mini I only take to workshops and use in schools to entertain the little blighters. I like playing Trumpet Hornpipe on the bass with that low run down of basically fart noises on the B music. The GD mini is surprisingly versatile with an octaves on each side in each key. I can easily play for instance Carolan's Concerto and most of the 2 octave hornpipes.


Gav, how are your 3 keys arranged on the box, something like an ADG melodeon? I used to have a gorgeous ADG Guerrini with 5 couplers and the bass notes were out of this world but I couldn't handle its weight for long sessions so I traded it in for a DG Baffetti and learned to play in A on it.


Mike, you can't be far from Gav. How many buttons on your Jones? What keys? I've never seen a Jones with anything more than a basic 30 key.

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I have two normal rows plus accidentals as per a normal Wheatstone G/D, then the lowest note of the right hand D row gives pushed A/Pulled B which gives you a/B/Csharp/D/E/Fsharp on the D row then I have Gsharp/Gsharp, a/a on the inside fourth/drone/duet row. This makes playing in A just (well, almost) like playing G across the rows in the right hand but across a row. It is weird but it works. Haven't figured the rest of the layout out yet, but have written it out as per Mr. Kirkpatrick's sagely instruction. All good fun. Steve - I just edited this and there should be an attached layout. If anyone else can spot any additional logic to this layout I'd love to hear from people! - layout amended and moved to a new thread. thnx.

Edited by gavdav
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Mike, you can't be far from Gav. How many buttons on your Jones? What keys? I've never seen a Jones with anything more than a basic 30 key.



Hi Steve


I saw Gav at Grenoside at the Sword Dance on Boxing Day he was dancing not playing.


My Jones is a C/G Anglo with 42 buttons. Serial No 16,366. metal ends, bone buttons 6 fold bellows


I got it in 2007 from David Robertson of Norwich ( he posts on conc.net) David had done a great refurb. on it


Most of the extra buttons are on the accidental row and mainly same note push/pull. Also extra buttons at either end of C and G rows



I've got a copy of the 23 June 1884 application for a patent for 'Improvements in Anglo-German Concertinas' It shows the buttons as laid out on mine.


"To enable the performer to play music in every key on an Anglo German concertina which cannot be done with such an instrument as heretofore usually constructed"

It's obvious that the 20 button was the basis and the other notes addedfor chromatic playing . I haven't got tunes in every key out of it needless to say . Maybe George Smith Jones did, I don't know how good he was!



By the way can anyone comment on the Serial No. Would it be a cumulative number that covered all Jones models to the tim eit was made after 1884? I know the firm went bust about 1905 after he passed it on to his sons.

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Unfortunately I don't think I kept a copy of the original layout of the beast. I must have made one out at some point and it may be gathering dust in a corner somewhere. If I find it I'll post it. What I can remember is it had a regular 30 key Wheatstone layout in the middle with lots of extra notes which only seemed to me to be random. I know it could be considered a waste but I only used it at the time in G and C as I had an AD Wheatstone Mayfair as well, which is why I converted some of the extra rows to D and A.


I'm not very technically minded and I don't have much in the way of musical knowledge but the layout is in my primitive notation:-



B2 D1 F#1 Eb1 Bb1 Eb2

A2 C#1 E1 A2 G#1 F3


G3 B2 D1 F1 A1 Bb2 E2

C2 G2 C1 E1 G1 Bb2 Bb3


D2 F#1 A1 C E F2 C2

B2 D1 G1 B1 D Bb1 F2


C#2 E2 G2 B2 D2 F3

B3 D2 F#2 A2 F2 A3


Eb1 G2

Eb1 G#3



C1 G1 C# Eb G Bb F+1 F1

Eb1 G#1 Eb E1 G# C#+1 F#+1 F1


C#1 E1 G1 B1 D F A B Eb+1

D1 F#1 A1 C E G C+1 E+1 G#


G#1 B1 D F# A C+1 E+1 F#+1

A1 C# E G B D+1 G+1 F#


C G1 C#+1 G#+1 A+1 Bb+1 D+1 G+1

C1 F1 F+1 D+1 A C+2 B+1 Bb+1


If you can interpret this you will see where the CG rows are and the 'A' row LH is right down the bottom of the outer row, RH top 3 buttons on the second row from the handle. D row is LH bottom 4 buttons on the near row and RH top 3 buttons on the third row from the handle. This has the advantage of utilising top end buttons from the C and G rows.


Photos, I will have a go at, but meanwhile I can be seen and heard playing it on our Yorkshire Garland website www.yorkshirefolksong.net and on our Myspace site. Just Google Yorkshire Garland. From our website there is a link to a Yorkshire Post video where I can be seen playing the beast accompanying 'Three Score and Ten'.


Happy New Year,

Steve G

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how wide is it across the flats? I'd love to see photos also. If you are not adverse to opening it up a pic of the reedpan would be fascinating! The reeds must be stacked two deep inside. And if I'm not pushing my luck, a photo of the action would be better than beachfront scenery!


Edited to add, what does it weigh..?






Edited by Chris Ghent
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Hi Chris,

8 inches across flats, 5 pounds exactly on my bathroom scales and the pans are normal radial. It doesn't seem heavy to me but I have the bass to compare it with. Will take pics of pan, action and ends ASAP. Bellows are 7-fold and starting to show a bit of wear now. It also could do with some new straps. I made the current ones myself. I fancy a pair of those big padded chemnitzer things.




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Great stuff Steve - forgotten how big that thing is - the two left hand thumb keys seems like an eminently sensible idea which you would think might have cropped up on more smaller instruments. Looking at those pics makes my 46 key seem positively dainty!



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Hi Gav,

I'm just wondering now if the way I play Athole Highlanders and Cock of the North in A on my GD Baffetti bears any relationship to the way you play in A on your anglo. I couldn't explain how I do it. My fingers can't talk and they haven't figured out how to translate what they do on musical keyboards to what they do on computer keyboards.



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