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Shacklton's Ship found


wunks
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4 hours ago, Robin Harrison said:

A  link from the past...

 

And in that thread it is explained that the concertina player (and therefore likely the concertina as well) was discharged from the Endurance in Argentina, before the trip to Antarctica. The ’tina never made it that far south. Also, as it was months between the time the ship was abandoned and when it sank, it is unlikely there were any musical instruments or other items of value on board when it went down.

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The instrument most commonly associated with the Shackleton survival epic is the Windsor 5-string zither-banjo belonging to the expedition's meteorologist, Leonard Hussey. When everyone was limited to 2 pounds of personal belongings for the trek across the ice to the open sea, Shackleton ordered Hussey to bring his banjo (weighing 12 pounds) with him, calling it "vital mental medicine." I have one of the same model - and believe me, it is heavy!

There's a nice write-up here.

Cheers,

John

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4 hours ago, David Barnert said:

 

And in that thread it is explained that the concertina player (and therefore likely the concertina as well) was discharged from the Endurance in Argentina, before the trip to Antarctica. The ’tina never made it that far south. Also, as it was months between the time the ship was abandoned and when it sank, it is unlikely there were any musical instruments or other items of value on board when it went down.

If he was playing concertina in the confined space of a ship I suspect that he was asked to leave!!

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What an unusual and unexpected topic link on here; I would never have thought of myself! Yes, it is amazing how well [preserved] that  ship appears to be!

Is there suggestion a concertina is on board somewhere? If so the leather bellows may have long since dissolved; at least I believe?  I wonder how it would sound under water ?

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In the book 'South', which tells the story of the expedition, the word concertina apears twice, neither related to the instrument. Theyrefer to the ship being trapped in the ice. The first reads "The whole of the after part of the ship had been creushed concertina fashion. The second instance reads "The ship's stern is now more or less soft bed, formed of recently frozen ice of about one foot in thickness. I thank God that we have been spared through this fearfull nightmare. I shall never forget the concertina motionsof the ship during yesterday's and Wednesday's fore and aft nips."

 

Thanks to Kindle search facilities.

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1 hour ago, arkwright said:

Or recordings of (zither) banjoist playing pieces that he might have played?

Here you go - Olly Oakley was very popular in the 1910s and '20s, and he played the zither-banjo.

(On the linked page, select a tune title, then click on the mp3 link on the right of the resulting page.)

Enjoy!

John

Edited by Anglo-Irishman
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On 3/10/2022 at 8:20 PM, arkwright said:

I wonder if any recordings exist of Hussey playing the zither banjo after they were back in England.  

 

I don't know of any sound recordings of Leonard Hussey, but there is a 15 second film clip of him playing his banjo (at 0.44 to 0.59) here:

 

 

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On 3/14/2022 at 10:06 PM, Stephen Chambers said:

film clip of him playing his banjo

Stephen,

Thanks for the link! I can see that the banjo is definitely a Windsor zither-banjo like mine - not the top model, but one of the better ones. A well-made and serviceable instrument!

However, I very much doubt whether it's Hussey's playing that you can hear. The notes don't match the hand positions. And anyway, they didn't have films with sound-track back then, did they? I assume the film clip was dubbed over, but at least the music seems about right for the period - the kind of "old plantation-y" number that the black-face minstrels would have played back then. Could be from an old, remastered shellack record, or played by a modern banjoist from sheet music of back then.

Cheers,

John

 

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On 3/18/2022 at 8:16 PM, Anglo-Irishman said:

Stephen,

Thanks for the link! I can see that the banjo is definitely a Windsor zither-banjo like mine - not the top model, but one of the better ones. A well-made and serviceable instrument!

 

It's a Windsor "Popular" No.5 zither banjo and, though nevertheless described as "a very good professional instrument", it was their cheapest model with the rounded shoulders where the neck meets the body. I have one of their catalogues, from c.1931, in which the price is given as £8  8  0 - which is slightly less than the price of Lachenal's most-basic 48-key "Popular" English concertina, or their 36-key rosewood-ended Anglo, at the time.

 

Quote

However, I very much doubt whether it's Hussey's playing that you can hear.

 

Like I said, "I don't know of any sound recordings of Leonard Hussey"...

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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