Our February Meeting

We had a change of meetings for the start of 2018. Last month we had just practice nights. Now we are all ready for our Concert Night this Wednesday!  The last meeting was well attended, with lots of activity around the room all night. Accordions were played throughout the evening, tips given, minor repairs performed, items bought and sold and  we put the world to rights while drinking coffee or other beverages. The club is quite a sociable place and certainly somewhere that newcomers can feel welcome. If you know of anyone that might like to join us at then please bring them along to future nights.


Smallwood Vintage Rally

26th, 27th & 28th May taking place in Sandbach near Love Lane Farm, Betchton. There will be trade and autojumble stands, a craft marquee, children’s amusements, arena events, vintage classic and modern vehicle exhibits including: commercials, cars, military, motorbikes, fire engines, a great selection of steam engines and a great display of tractors.

tractor pulling will be held over the whole weekend, including night time pulling. This year there will also be displays by The Monster Trucks the Grim Reaper and Big Pete they’ll be performing Sunday and Monday. There is also nightly beer tent entertainment from 4pm . visit the website to see a list of other things going on over the weekend. Tickets cost £7.50  for adults and under 15s free. Weekend camping for the general public is also available at £50 per pitch for two adults children are free. Visit smallwoodvintagerally.co.uk or call 07717 457715 / 07977 533771.


Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker

For over 50 years Hack Green a vast underground complex, remained secret, hidden on the outskirts of a sleepy Cheshire town. Declassified in 1993 the 35,000 square foot underground bunker would have been the centre of regional government had nuclear war broken out. Hack Green was on of 21 fixed radar stations in the country and of only 12 fully equipped with searchlights and fighter aircraft control.

The Bunker is now open as a visitor attraction displaying vast amounts of equipment including the radio transmitter used by Margaret thatcher to communicate the message to sink the Argentine  General Belgrano in the Falkland’s war.   The cost of visiting the bunker is £9.25 for Adults, £6 for children.

We visited this weekend and found that it took us about two hours go to round and examine the exhibits. There is only a small number of stairs down to the lower floor, which makes it easy for anyone to walk round. Opening times can be found on the website at www.hackgreen.co.uk or by calling 01270 629219.


Chipping Steam Fair

The next chipping steam fair is from the 26th – 28th May 2018

This is always a grand day out. As well as the usual Steam Engines, traction engines, Station engines, military and heavy machinery the are also Birds of prey demonstration & flights (Saturday), Batala band (Sunday), Dog & duck herding (Monday), Digger play pen, Steam engine evening procession through the village, Food hall, Live music and dancing into the night, the Spitfire, Arena trophy presentation, Air cadets and marching band. Admission times: 10am  to 5pm

Admission prices: Adults £9, Children over 12 & Senior citizens £8, Children under 12 FREE. www.chippingsteamfair.com


Wirral Accordion Club

This club is on every Tuesday at The Place In The Park, 109 Liscard Road, Wallasey CH44 9AE. The night starts at 7pm.


This Wednesday

This Wednesday is a Local Players night concert. Please all bring along your accordions, your enthusiasm and of course yourselves! Don’t forget to write your name down on the list of players as you come in the door. Its been a couple of months since we had a concert on stage so I am particularly looking forward to this one.

The doors open on Wednesday night at 7.30pm.  Please bring along your friends and anyone who might be interested in attending. If you see someone you don’t know then please say hello and make them welcome to the club.  If you see someone in the street you don’t know, please bring them along to the club!  See you there…

David Batty


How It’s Made

Ambulances/Dining Room Furniture/Diatonic Accordions and Acrylic Awards. In this 30 minute program more items are put under the microscope as we find out how they are made. The programme is on 27th March on Quest channel, at 9am.


Wyre Club

The next meeting of the Wyre Club is on Wednesday 28th March at The North Euston Hotel on the Esplanade at Fleetwood, FY7 6BN. Further details tel. 01253 883681.


New Musical Express to go online only

New Musical Express shortened to NME will no longer be a printed magazine as they look to focus on their online offering. In 2015 NME ceased to be a paid for magazine after it’s circulation dropped to 15,000. The move to a free to read, ad funded magazine, increased it’s circulation to 300,000. The UK group managing director said “We have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”

The history of how the New Musical Express was born is very relevant to the accordion. Lets start at the beginning with the Accordion Times, accordion times was first published in 1935 while the UK was in an Accordion boom, by the mid 40’s the Accordion interest was declining, which forced Accordion Times to merge with a brand new black and white tabloid called Musical Express, this new publication was launched on the 4th October 1946.

In 1952, the Musical Express was in deep trouble and was haemorrhaging money, the paper was bought by music promoter Maurice Kinn, who then Re-launched the paper with the new name of New Musical Express on 7th March 1952 NME started off in Newspaper format and then in the 80’s it  moved over to magazine format. I think It’s fair to say the Accordion was the basis for what is now one of the biggest music magazines in the UK, although I don’t think you’ll find much about the accordion in the magazine nowadays.


Telephone Preference Service

After a discussion about cold callers at the last club night, I was telling some members about the Telephone Preference Service(TPS). They had not heard of it, so I said I would write about it in here so everyone can learn about it, and sign up.

TPS is funded by the direct marketing industry and does not receive money from the government.

TPS is a central opt out registry where anyone can register their landline and mobile phone numbers to show that they do not want to receive unsolicited sale and marketing telephone calls. It is a legal requirement that companies do not call numbers registered on the TPS.

It’s free to register and it takes about 28 days for the registration to become effective.  If you want to register your phone number with the TPS you can do so online at www.tpsonline.org.uk


If you are having mobile phone trouble, the TPS have also brought out an application for mobile phones to screen incoming calls to identify malicious or annoying callers before you answer, it also makes it a quicker process to report nuisance callers directly to TPS. The mobile phone application has a two tiered price system, There is a Free service with which you can lookup and report numbers, receive incoming Nuisance & Scam Call Alerts, Register for TPS and file TPS complaints.  They also do a  99p a month service, which gives you all the free features plus divert nuisance calls to voicemail, create custom block and approve caller lists and it has a great call filtering customisation. If you are interested in downloading the mobile phone application visit www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/tps_protect.html  in a browser on your mobile phone and follow the links on that page to the relevant application marketplace for your mobile phone.

The free features of the application is what most people would need.


Chester Accordion Club

Chester Accordion Club’s next meeting is on Tuesday 10th April 2:15pm start at The Groves Club, Chester Road (A5032), Whitby, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. Telephone Barry Graham on 01978 760065.

UK Accordion Championships

The NAO UK Accordion Championships will be held on the 27th – 29th April at The Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool. There will be 2 full days of competitions as well as a national composers competition and international sections.   You can attend the hotel and listen to the competitions free of charge. If you would like to stay overnight at the hotel a 3 night stay is £135 per adult this is a special rate for the NAO for more information and to see prices for 2 night stays etc visit www.accordions.com/nao



This is off topic but we thought there may be some of you who may be interested in something that can save you money and open up a world of reading from a choice of thousands of magazines, for little outlay.  If you normally buy Motor Cycle News, Anglers Mail, TV Times, Knitting Magazines or almost any magazine you find in a newsagent (and a whole lot more) then you might find Readly is perfect for you.  Readly is a monthly subscription based service that costs £7.99 a month. This gets you access to read from a choice of 2,600 magazine titles, some magazines also have back catalogues too so you have access to 67,600 magazines in total. These magazine not only cover the UK but cover other countries so you can access magazines from France for example. You can filter the magazines based on their category, Country, and Language.

Readly has 35 categories ranging from Boating, fishing, Crafting, Celeb mags, TV guides etc. You can browse their range of magazine on the website. You can read the magazines on a laptop or on a desktop computer, you can also read them on a phone or a tablet. The subscription allows you to share your account with family members, and read on 5 different devices at the same time. You can set up a profile for each member of the family so you keep your tastes in magazines separate.

If this service is something that may be of interested to you, you can have a 2 week free trial, just be aware that you do have to put in payment details to have the free trial so remember to cancel just before your 2 weeks are up if you decide this magazine service is not for you. Its saved us a fortune and opened up a world of magazines we would not have normally subscribed to. For two weeks free… Visit… http://bit.ly/2FKEOvM


Young girl plays for cows

A video has appeared online of a girl from Cork, Ireland sat on a small stool in front of a gate playing to what seems to be an empty field, as she’s playing you can see in the distance that a herd of cows are running up the field to see what the noise is, by the time she’s finished playing the cows are stood watching the girl play her concertina.  If you’re interested in seeing the video visit www.irishpost.co.uk/life-style/video-young-irish-girl-playing-music-cows-just-adorable-151161


Chorley Live

Chorley Live is back to take over Chorley Town Centre with over 30 venues featuring performers on the evenings of Friday 5 and Saturday 6 October. Now in its sixth year, running the event in conjunction with the Creative Network, we are expecting to attract up to 13,000 people this year. Wristbands cost £5 and they get you into every venue over both nights. You will not be able to gain entry to any of the venues without a wristband.  They are on sale at all of the venues (except the Town Hall) in advance. They will be available from the council’s Union Street offices in the run up to the event.  Keep an eye on www.chorleylive.com for act that will be performing.



The Repair Shop

BBC Programme The Repair Shop is back for another series, this 30 minute is billed as “An antidote to throwaway culture, The Repair Shop shines a light on the wonderful treasures to be found in homes across the country.” There have already been 5 programmes aired of this new series, in them they restored paintings, a violin, a vase, a stuffed toy sheep, a 100 year old clock, a radio, a music box damaged in the blitz, a camera that survived WWI and more.  In the last series they repaired an accordion. There are 15 episodes in the series which air each night Monday to Friday at 6:30pm on BBC Two. Previous episode can be watched online on the BBC IPlayer.

If you have something that you’d like to be repaired on the show you can apply at