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Alan Day

Rock Chidley- The Black Sheep?

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I was talking to a good friend at the George on Monday and she tells me that she has an English concertina manufactured by

Rock Chidley No 1379

135 High Holborn London

 

She then went on to tell me that Rock Chidley was a Nephew of Wheatstone pinched the tools from his uncle to set up his own concertina manufacturing business at the above address.This information I am told came via an old article

by Niel Wayne ,possibly in Free Reed magazine.

 

I promised that I would ask you all if her instrument is rare/valuable and if the history aspect was true.

Al

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She ... went on to tell me that Rock Chidley was a Nephew of Wheatstone

Loosely speaking this is correct, but they were only related by marriage.

 

pinched the tools from his uncle to set up his own concertina manufacturing business ... This information I am told came via an old article by Niel Wayne ,possibly in Free Reed magazine.

I think somebody may be confusing him with "concertina folklore" about Louis Lachenal here ? Rock Chidley was a "finisher" for Wheatstone's, who set up his own business when Louis Lachenal started to "mass produce" concertinas for that firm.

 

I promised that I would ask you all if her instrument is rare/valuable

There are many Rock Chidley concertinas in circulation, is there anything unusual about it ?

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She ... went on to tell me that Rock Chidley was a Nephew of Wheatstone

Loosely speaking this is correct, but they were only related by marriage.

 

Al,

You'll find the relationship explained in a diagram in the Wheatstone And Chidley Family Trees thread in this forum.

 

As Stephen says, the "stolen tools" legend related to Lachenal, and did appear in one of the articles in Free Reed. You'll see how it could have come about when Stephen's article on Lachenal for PICA is published.

 

Rock Chidley concertinas were made roughly 1850-1867 and they reflect the concertina technology available at that time. 135 High Holborn London was the address of Rock's parents, which he continued to use for his business.

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