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Any Advice For A First Time Attendee At Noel Hill's Concertina Sch


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I bit the bullet, and decided to sign up to attend Noel Hill's concertina school in Ireland in March this year.


Has anyone who's been before got any advice? Both about the classes, and about travel/accommodation - it seems like rather a remote place to get to! (not to mention a cold one!)

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I attended the first couple of years Noel started holding these special classes in Ireland, but that's been over ten years ago now. I used to maintain a website that detailed my experiences but I finally dropped it because I figured it had become too outdated. I'm under the impression that Noel has a class coordinator located in Ireland, likely it's the person that handled your registration. I suggest you contact them and request insights.


Specifically ask about how to get from your point of entry to where the Noel Hill group will be meeting, and about getting to your exit point at the conclusion. There may or may not be some sort of group transportation available for a fee, and if not, you do have other options including taxi service although it can be expensive. If you are thinking of bus transportation, look carefully at the times and days of service. Also inquire about meals and what to expect on that front.


As to the classes, bring an Anglo Concertina tuned to C/G, something to take notes with, an easy to use recording device (many use phones these days), batteries and/or a charger that will work on the Irish electric system (including a suitable plug for the wall outlets there). Headphones/earphones are a plus if you have them. Warm clothing is also advised and I suggest you ask for perspective regarding the availability of cash dispensing machines and how much cash to carry. If you want to have mobile phone service, ask for insights on that front too.


Really, I would expect that some sort of welcome and orientation Information pack/email will eventually be made available to everyone planning to attend, but there's nothing wrong with asking about it now.


You may also find it insightful to use Google "Street View" to check out the area where you'll be staying. If the classes are still held in Ballyvaughn I've just verified that street views of that area are available and it will give you a good notion as to the look and feel of the place.


I expect you'll have a wonderful time.

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Many thanks Bruce, I hadn't even considered the different plug issue, and bringing a recording device sounds like an excellent idea.


I've now lengthened my checklist significantly (I just need to sort out the important things like travel and accommodation now).


Thanks again!

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My understanding is that the mains plug/sockets in Ireland are the same as those in use in the UK.


Best to get this confirmed by someone who knows from experience.


I don't know about Eire vs. UK, but I've encountered unexpected surprises elsewhere. E.g., most Danish or Swedish 2-prong plugs will fit sockets in both countries, but their corresponding 3-"prong" versions are completely incompatible.

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It's been too long for me to recall the details of the outlet plug shape. I remember the bathrooms of the places I stayed had low current 110 volt "shaver only" outlets where I could plug in the charger for the minidisc recorder I used in those days. Those special outlets were the same plug configuration as US outlets.


I also had taken along a travel kit of assorted electrical outlet adapter plugs, and one of those fit the Irish wall outlets. Had to be careful with those as they did nothing to convert the voltage they tapped into and my notes from ten years ago indicate that Ireland had 220 to 240 volts at the outlet - and I assume that hasn't changed. I could successfully use the plug adapters with my computer's power supply though because it was one of those that could be used for a range of 110 volts to 260 volts, 50/60 cycles. I see some of the phone chargers sold these days are also rated for a similar voltage range.


(Edited to update voltages from my recently located notes)

Edited by Bruce McCaskey
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