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OldDog

Dickenson-Whatstone

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Hi,

 

In 1974 or 75, Steve Dickenson bought the remains of Wheatstone and has been making works of art since then. That was close to 35 years ago. By now he is no longer a young man. Is his a one-man operation, or are there apprentices working for him? Is there anyone waiting in the wings to take over and keep the Wheatstone name alive when Steve finally decides to pack it in?

 

I could never afford even a used one of his instruments, but I can dream.

 

Regards,

Paul N.

 

p.s.

I can spell, but I can't type. I know that it is WHEATSTONE, not Whatstone.

Edited by OldDog

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I spoke to Steve several months ago on the phone. The good news is that he is 57 years old. I also thought that he may be much older. The bad news is that my order for a 40 button anglo is at the bottom of a list of 70 other requests/orders for new concertinas. He advised me that he builds at present approximately 12 concertinas per year....all individually handmade. Translation....a long wait for me. It seems that Steve does repairs too.

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Is his a one-man operation, or are there apprentices working for him? Is there anyone waiting in the wings to take over and keep the Wheatstone name alive when Steve finally decides to pack it in?

 

As Dick has pointed out the answers to your questions are sadly yes, no and no. I would be incredibly sad to see Wheatstone disappear forever but who's to pick up the mantle? :(

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Is his a one-man operation, or are there apprentices working for him? Is there anyone waiting in the wings to take over and keep the Wheatstone name alive when Steve finally decides to pack it in?

 

As Dick has pointed out the answers to your questions are sadly yes, no and no. I would be incredibly sad to see Wheatstone disappear forever but who's to pick up the mantle? :(

 

I wonder if it is worth his accepting an apprentice because it might be more trouble than it's worth; financially I mean. Sadly I'm somewhat too old, not to mention cackhanded (am I allowed to say that now?)

 

Ian

Edited by Hereward

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I wonder if it is worth his accepting an apprentice because it might be more trouble than it's worth; financially I mean.

I had talked to SD about it many years ago and he said that the primary reason was that the laws were incredibly strict about workplace safety when you had an employee and that he couldn't afford to bring his shop up to code. Another aspect was on the record-keeping and taxes end. He's a great craftsperson and artist - and NOT a bean-pusher!

 

-- Rich --

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One maker (who may wish to chime in himself) told me he has hired helpers over the years but they never stay around when they learn that the trade will take a long time to learn, is painstaking, and doesn't pay all that well. I can appreciate these points. Maybe, like Steve himself, a suitable heir just happens along when you need them. Let's hope so.

 

Ken

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