This year’s Swaledale Squeeze promises to be as good as ever – a convivial weekend of concertina playing, meeting friends, a concert, a ceilidh, sessions, Black Sheep bitter, walks, the comfort of Grinton Lodge and fantastic scenery – what more could one want!! As usual, everything will be centred on Grinton Lodge (a former shooting lodge), now a Youth Hostel, based just outside Reeth, in the picturesque setting of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales. The venue is excellent for our purposes and we are made to feel very welcome. All accommodation is in bunk rooms (bedding provided) and meals are included for those in bunks (with or without the Friday evening meal which will be served at 7.30pm). Campervans and tents are also welcome but, because the dining room is relatively small, campers are asked to use the self-catering kitchen. There are also many B&Bs in the area if you would like more comfort/privacy – please let me know if you’d like a list. You are welcome to bring your own alcohol to the ceilidh but not to consume at Grinton Lodge.
Friday consists of an optional walk in the afternoon, a meal at 7.30 pm and informal sessions in the evening (including Foss’ ‘Dotty Session’ – using dots!) – a chance to unwind after your journey, play a few tunes and meet friends old and new. I will also put on a couple of kegs of Black Sheep! There will be workshops on Saturday and Sunday, a mini-concert on Saturday featuring Pauline de Snoo & friends, a ceilidh on the Saturday evening, featuring ‘spots’ from participants, and a farewell concert on Sunday afternoon, including tutors’ ‘spots’. The ceilidh & concert will be held at Reeth Memorial Hall. Families & friends are welcome too – they may enjoy the area’s many craft shops, tearooms and outstanding walks and are welcome to bring other musical instruments for joining in sessions or the ceilidh band.
Our guest Anglo Tutor this year is Mícheál ÓRaghallaighfrom Ireland: “Trouble Free Basics”, “Ornamentation and Variations” and “The Distinctive South Meath Style”. This is one of Mícheál’s first visits to England – we are extremely fortunate that he is joining us – as Harry says “Some of the best Irish traditional music just bursts out of Mícheál ÓRaghallaigh. He has outstanding, controlled technique on the concertina and he plays with a punch and drive that few can achieve. What puts his music at the top is that he can combine both of these factors with an expressive and original sensitivity that brings out the depth of feeling that this music is really about.” Mícheál will also be performing in concert at Otley Courthouse on the Sunday evening – we’re hoping many of you will be able to join us there on your way home. We’re also welcoming back Sandra Kerr (English): “New Tunes for Old”, “Gentle Tunes for Delicate Heads!” and “Song and Tune Accompaniment”; Paul McCann (Duet): “Helping Duet Players Expand their Playing x 2”, “Making Tunes Your Own”; plus our regular team: Harry Scurfield (Anglo): “Accompanying a Voice or Other Instruments”, “Give us a Squeeze!” and “More Unusual Recordings”; Pauline de Snoo (English): “Reading Rhythms esp 3/4 & 6/8”, “Song Accompan-iment” and “Victorian Chordal Playing”; Paul Walker (E & A): “Free MOT for your Concertina Playing”, “A Rose is a Rose by Any Other Name” and “The Best Way to Teach the English Concertina”; Dave Ball: Part Playing and Carolyn Wade: Concertina Band, plus Dave Elliott’s “Concertina Clinic” on Saturday & Chris Algar’s “Concertina Emporium” on Sunday.
Jane Edwards, “Turning Tide”, 1 Coast, Poolewe, Achnasheen, Ross-shire, IV22 2LR