The ICA History Archive

This archive contains documents relating to the Association.

The ICA was founded about June 1952. The Association had grown out of “The New British Concertina Movement” promoted by the magazine “World Accordion Review”, which contained a section on the Concertina edited by Kenneth Chidley, a director of the firm of Wheatstone. Desmond Hart, the editor of the magazine, was the prime mover in the formation of the ICA, and served as its “Presiding Genius” until 1955, becoming the first Honourary Member of the Association.

The first issue of the ICA Newsletter was a single sheet “News-Sheet” dated August 1952 which mainly reported good wishes from supporters. It was sent from 3 Ives St., Chelsea; Wheatstone’s manufacturing premises at the time. It also included an application for membership, a circular about the ICA, and a letter and a “Folk Dance” Catalogue from Wheatstone publicising their Concertinas.

Newsletter No. 2 was published in October 1952. Enclosed with it was a report of the Inaugural Meeting of the I.C.A. which took place on Saturday 27th September 1952, with 50 members present. The association was then 3 months old and had 134 members. Mr. L. J. Silvester was the General Secretary.

The ICA became more organised from 1955, with the election of Officers, including our longtime President, Father Kenneth Loveless M.B.E. (1911-1995), who retired in 1994 and was replaced by Alistair Anderson, who played a major part in the revival of the instrument from the late 1960s. Also in 1955, Henry “Harry” Crabb, the well known concertina maker and teacher, became Treasurer for the ICA, and in 2003 we were pleased to elect his son Geoffrey, with his wealth of knowledge of the instrument and its players, as an Honorary Member.

Many more members of the Association, past and present, are worthy of mention. This section of the Archive, and the Newsletter section, attempts to locate, preserve and maintain this information for the future. A parallel ICA project for a Sound Archive, still in formation, attempts to locate and preserve performances by many of these players.

Minutes or Summaries of Annual General Meetings of the Association

HA001 : 1980
HA002 : 1981
HA003 : 1982
HA004 : 1983
HA005 : 1984
HA006 : 1985
HA007 : 1986
HA008 : 1987
HA009 : 1988
HA010 : 1989
HA011 : 1990
HA012 : 1991-February
HA013 : 1991-October
HA014 : 1993
ICA mid 1950s
An early ICA meeting in London (1953 or ’55).
Photo courtesy Geoffrey Crabb.


HA015 : October 1991


HA016 : Flyer circa 1984


HA020 : 1975 Festival, 26th April, Music Pieces
HA017 : 18th Festival October 1983 Programme
HA018 : 19th Festival April 1985 Programme


HA019 : The ICA Directory, 1957.

Father Ken
Former President Father Kenneth Loveless.
Photo courtesy Dave Turner.