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Concertina found in Brighton UK all the way from California, 1990


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Hi,

I love collecting old instruments, which I then actively use in my music. I was lucky enough to come across an Anglo concertina in a local flea market a couple of years ago. All the keys worked, and sounded almost perfectly in tune. It cost 35 pounds. It has no indication of brand. I recently opened it to let it air a bit and inspect the reeds (one had dropped a little due to some tarnishing), and I found this written in pencil inside:

"Repaired by P.A. Groff, Berkeley CA July 1990"
 

I was curious if I could locate P.A. Groff, and so I found this forum where presumably with the same P.A. Groff as a member. I thought it would be cool to show it and I would love to get some idea of the possible origins of the concertina, just for my curiosity.

 

Cheers,

-Dino

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Hi Dino Dini.

 

Paul Groff here. I started playing the concertina in 1985, when I was living in Wales for a year of my grad school. When I went back to the US (Berkeley California) I met a lot of other concertina players in the area and was convinced to started repairing concertinas, to the best of my ability and to fill the need.  At that time there was no internet and there were few repair resources, and the accordion shops were often expensive if they would even work on conceertinas.

 

I don't remember your concertina specifically but I did minor repairs on many of that type - inexpensive instruments made in Italy and with various labels including Bastari, Stagi, Silvagni, etc. I would have written my name inside not to brag about any magical repair accomplishment but to document that I'd worked on it so that I could verify at a later date if it was still under my 1 year repair warranty and thus eligible for free touch up work. For instruments in that range of price/quality it usually made sense to me to "get them working" cheaply for local owners, with the promise that I would also take care of any further problems arising in the next year. Sometimes a year of playing on an instrument like that was enough to convince a beginner to invest in a better quality instrument. 

 

As a personal note, in July 1990 I probably could only have worked for an hour a day at most on that instrument because I was down with systemic lyme disease for most of that year. I wasn't playing at that point or able to do much other work.  Fortunately I recovered fully. :)

 

Thanks for posting the photo and I hope you have a lot of fun with that concertina!

Best,

 

PG

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Maybe the player moved to Brighton from CA thinking it was the closest thing in the UK😆

 

When I was living in Bournemouth I found out that the Arts college in Bournemouth was advertised as the California of the UK to prospective students in China ... they got that a bit wrong somehow. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi Paul,

Its nice to hear the story of how you got started! I also enjoy collecting older instruments and found a German concertina down in Florida last week. I heard from a different forum that you were also here down south at some point, and may be the only concertina repairmen south of Tennessee! Are you still repairing?

I’d post pictures of what I have but I think pictures need a URL. 

I believe I have a 1920s Wooden Otto Georgi from Germany, and it’s fairly out of tune. 
Thank you for any information. 
 

Best, 

Olivia 

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Olivia, 

 

You are misinformed. There is at least one concertina repairman south of Tennessee and he is quite well-known. He is Bob Tedrow at Homewood Musical Instrument Co and he even has his own line of concertina models ranging from Anglo, to English, to Duet. Good man to know!

 

Ross SCHLABACH

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On 7/6/2021 at 4:35 PM, Liv said:

I’d post pictures of what I have but I think pictures need a URL.

 

You can post any picture here that you have on your computer in jpeg format. While composing a post, note the verbiage in the bottom left corner that says “Drag files here to attach, or choose files...” You can attach any kind of file, but jpegs will be visible in the post. Others (pdf, for instance) would need to be downloaded and opened by the person reading the post before they can be seen.

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Liv et al.,

 

It is worth adding that the impression that pictures need a URL comes from the reality that we can only afford to offer a meager space for image attachments to each of thousands of users. A handful of images typically hits this limit. Then a user writes to the Admin asking "why can't I attach files?" 😎 [aside: Wow we have an absurd number of emojis now.] To forestall one such question, I'll add that it is great if you eventually explore ways to use a third-party site for images you wish to share here, then you do use a URL to attach them here, and there is no limit.

 

Have fun with the concertina.

 

Ken

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Also, typical modern phone or camera pictures are very high resolution resulting in massive image files that can easily consume your allocation with a single picture.  In reality a much reduced image (there are lots of image processing utilities that can shrink an image for you) will suffice.  I usually shrink to something like 640x480.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Ken_Coles said:

we can only afford to offer a meager space for image attachments

 

9 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Also, typical modern phone or camera pictures are very high resolution resulting in massive image files that can easily consume your allocation with a single picture.

 

All true, but this was Dino’s first post, so there would have been plenty of room allocated.

Edited by David Barnert
Spelling (sorry, Dino)
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On 7/6/2021 at 4:35 PM, Liv said:

Hi Paul,

Its nice to hear the story of how you got started! I also enjoy collecting older instruments and found a German concertina down in Florida last week. I heard from a different forum that you were also here down south at some point, and may be the only concertina repairmen south of Tennessee! Are you still repairing?

I’d post pictures of what I have but I think pictures need a URL. 

I believe I have a 1920s Wooden Otto Georgi from Germany, and it’s fairly out of tune. 
Thank you for any information. 
 

Best, 

Olivia 

Hi Olivia,  I'm pretty busy with my current work as biology lecturer the past 20 years.  Ross has a great tip for you with Bob Tedrow. Have fun with your concertina! 
PG

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