AFTER being at the helm of the Langholm Accordion and Fiddle Club for 30 years, chairman Adam Grant has stepped down.
At the club’s final get-together this season Adam retired from his roles as chairman and MC, a position he had held for years 28 and a fantastic achievement.
When he began his tenure, the club met in the Crown Hotel and in the next three decades it moved to different venues, including the Eskdale, and is now in the Social Club.
The club meets monthly from September to April. Up until last year it was held on the third Wednesday of the month but changed to the last Sunday to boost attendances.
In 30 years Adam missed only three meetings after he had his heart operation in 2017.
Iain Anderson said: “He was always very welcoming to visitors, along with regular attendees, and keen in his role to encourage the younger players. He saw a number of players come through and go on to form and play in different broadcasting bands.
“The new committee speak for everyone, who has attended the club, in thanking Adam for everything he has done over the years and wish him well for the future.
“With his wife Mabel still on the committee and his genuine love of Scottish music, Adam will surely continue to attend most meetings.”
Gavin Piper was the guest performer that night, writes Iain Bell.
The dexterous playing of his pearlescent Bugari button box raised eyebrows and elated grins from even the best of the other musicians present.
Fiddler Roddy Matthews’ face was an absolute picture to watch as he had a wee listen to Gavin’s tunes, including Jacqueline Waltz, Glencoe Village Hall and even Your Cheating Heart in the style of honky tonk piano rocker Gerry Lee Lewis.
We were blessed with supporting musicians aplenty and grateful thanks are extended to all who gave us a tune.
It was joy to see Neil MacMillan land on the way back from a gig in Yorkshire and he delighted with swinging west coast-style marches, made even better by the two fiddles of Carol Dobson and June Meikle.
Norman Swainson entertained with traditional waltzes These Are My Mountains and Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond.
Langholm’s evergreen Iain Anderson performed some crackin’ 6/8 pipe marches with tremendous lift.
Fiddler Ian Woods played Swedish dance tunes and Jimmy Gladstone played a few 4/4 marches and a waltz or two on his Crucianelli.
One of my favourite tunes The Boys Of The Marie L was the choice of Newby Park of Carlisle.
Band leader Roger Dobson on Shand Morino and daughter Carol on fiddle played 4/4 marches in classic style. I asked Carol what brand of fiddle she played. Apparently, it’s a “Havna clue”.
Noted box player Allan Smith sported a T-shirt complete with logo Nivver underestimate an auld man wi’ an accordion.
We didn’t and he impressed with lively 2/4 marches such as The Braes of Castle Grant. Murdo McCrae played the gaelic waltz Sunset o’er Sunart, the beautiful loch near Strontian, Ardgour.
With dad’s Hohner Gola, recently ‘breathed on’ by John Douglas tuning, Eric Goodfellow gave some steamin’ hot jigs and Waltz for Sarah.
He was backed by Neil MacMillan, June Meikle, Keith Lauder and Iain Anderson who, with drummer Robert Willens and bass stalwart Iain Wilson of Crawford, gave wonderful accompaniment all afternoon.
The end of the season brings committee changes. Bon Accords’ Deryn and Robin Waitt have stood down. We thank them for their work and wish them well.
The club’s open day is on June 16 from 1pm to 5pm. All welcome.