A friend has been searching for one of the legendary Wheatstone English concertinas commissioned by Harry Boyd who ran a music shop in Newgate St, Newcastle at the turn of the 19th century. Last year he finally found one, which had originally belonged to Tom Prince a renowned player from Consett, Co Durham.
I’ve been asked to refurbish the concertina. As found it has new bellows, and all the notes play, but it is somewhat sad a scruffy looking with improvised thumb straps, end bolts adapted from a different instrument, and the ebony end frames surrounding the fretwork are badly worn, and many have been replaced with non matching timber. Its going to need the usual replacement of pads and valves, at least six new end bolts, new straps, cleaning and polishing of the metalwork and tuning. But the major task is to replace the moulded ebony rail round the ends. I did consider trying to repair what is there, but there is really very little of the original left and its going to be a better end result to replace rather than repair.