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Praise for a new concertina

GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh 24 Jul 01 - 08:01 AM
Noreen 24 Jul 01 - 08:29 AM
pavane 24 Jul 01 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh 24 Jul 01 - 10:07 AM
DebC 24 Jul 01 - 10:12 AM
pavane 24 Jul 01 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh 24 Jul 01 - 11:28 AM
Ralphie 24 Jul 01 - 07:28 PM
wes.w 25 Jul 01 - 09:07 AM
jmdornan 25 Jul 01 - 09:45 AM
GeorgeH 25 Jul 01 - 10:01 AM
Lin in Kansas 25 Jul 01 - 01:41 PM
Jock Morris 25 Jul 01 - 07:14 PM
Lin in Kansas 26 Jul 01 - 02:22 AM
English Jon 26 Jul 01 - 07:19 AM
pavane 26 Jul 01 - 08:05 AM
Ralphie 26 Jul 01 - 08:17 AM
English Jon 26 Jul 01 - 08:49 AM
wes.w 26 Jul 01 - 09:05 AM
jmdornan 26 Jul 01 - 10:46 AM
Lin in Kansas 26 Jul 01 - 02:52 PM
jmdornan 26 Jul 01 - 04:01 PM
Lin in Kansas 26 Jul 01 - 06:27 PM
dbranno 26 Jul 01 - 07:55 PM
Musicman 27 Jul 01 - 08:00 AM
wes.w 27 Jul 01 - 08:18 AM
GeorgeH 27 Jul 01 - 08:29 AM
wes.w 27 Jul 01 - 09:12 AM
GeorgeH 27 Jul 01 - 11:07 AM
wes.w 27 Jul 01 - 12:29 PM
GeorgeH 27 Jul 01 - 12:37 PM
Musicman 27 Jul 01 - 06:48 PM
Musicman 27 Jul 01 - 07:28 PM
Charley Noble 28 Jul 01 - 02:36 PM
Musicman 30 Jul 01 - 01:39 AM
GeorgeH 30 Jul 01 - 06:01 AM
wes.w 30 Jul 01 - 09:11 AM
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Subject: Praise for a new concertina
From: GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 08:01 AM

Took delivery of my new concertina yesterday, a Marcus Music anglo in A/D tuning, and I am well impressed! The craftsmanship that has gone into making this instrument is absolutely stunning. I'd been very happy with my A.C. Norman anglo up till now, but it pales beside Marcus' instrument.

I'd have no hesitation in recommending any anglo players looking for a new instrument to go take a look at a Marcus Music instrument. For the price there's nothing better out there.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 08:29 AM

How did I know this was going to be your thread, Scott?!

So glad you're pleased with it- as I said, I had a play of a Marcus Music Anglo at the Music Room in Cleckheaton recently, and was very impressed with the feel and the tone- and the price! If the moths hadn't flown out of my wallet I would have taken it home with me.

No connection with the company here either-just think good work should be publicised.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: pavane
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 09:12 AM

I know Marcus music, have been to their shop several times, but didn't know they were into MAKING concertinas - how long have they been doing it? I always promised myself a good one when I can afford it, to replace my old Lachenal, maybe a Jeffries, but never seem to have the funds.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 10:07 AM

Don't know when they started, but I did read a review of their instruments dated 1999 (See www.concertina.net). My box carries the number 199 and they quoted 4 weeks for delivery (though delivered in 2!), so I'd guess they've been making concertinas for a good few years now.

A Marcus box will be a lot cheaper than a Jeffries; infact you could probably buy three for the price of a Jeffries!

Scott


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: DebC
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 10:12 AM

Hey Scott! I used to live in Edinburgh in 1997. Had a session at Bell's on Monday nights.

I too just took posession of a concertina, but it's not new. It's an 1870 Wheatstone English 48-key. I love it! Now I just have to learn to play it.

Debra (who has mastered a Cmaj and D maj scale ond one tune)


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: pavane
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 10:53 AM

Yes, I checked Marcus Music web site, and it says 1982. If they are really good, then maybe I will go for it. What kind of action does it have? The Jeffries I tried was really good - how do the Marcus ones compare? At least I can get down there to try one fairly easily.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 11:28 AM

I'd say the action is quite similar to a Jeffries; quite short button travel, meaning you should be able to play fairly fast tunes. Shorter travel than both my Lachenals and my Norman. Definitely worth taking a trip down to try one.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Ralphie
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 07:28 PM

Jock
Congratulations...!
Six months ago, I commissioned Colin Dipper to make me a McCann Duet......It will appear on my 50th birthday (March 20004!)
Enjoy your box.....Have never played a Marcus myself, but, I do understand the feelings that you have....Let's meet up and play some tunes sometime
Regards Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: wes.w
Date: 25 Jul 01 - 09:07 AM

Look Ralphie, its no good trying it on. No one is going to send you a 50th birthday card and that's final!
I may be confused (usually am), but I thought I read somewhere that the concertinas were made by Marcus Jnr. Marcus Snr. has been around for years.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: jmdornan
Date: 25 Jul 01 - 09:45 AM

YES another Conertina player!!!!!!! though I play a 56 key english :) IT's nice to know there are others out there with the obsession. Jill


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: GeorgeH
Date: 25 Jul 01 - 10:01 AM

Ralphie, you look like having a long wait for Tina . . (how many zeros are there in 2004??)

G.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 25 Jul 01 - 01:41 PM

I'm having a lot of fun with my 48-key English, but am wondering: are there any exercises, or any way (in addition to practice, practice, practice) to strengthen one's little fingers? Mine ache like crazy after I've played awhile, from holding up the weight of the box, I guess. Am I doing something wrong? I've got the thumb straps as tight as they will go (I have little thumbs!), and have tried resting one side of the 'tina on my leg, but the little fingers still hurt like the dickens! Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Lin


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Jock Morris
Date: 25 Jul 01 - 07:14 PM

Lin,

I've seen some Wheatstone English concertinas with wrist straps as well as thumb straps. Those should make it easier on the little fingers. The straps were definitely fitted by Wheatstone, not just someone's home made effort.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 02:22 AM

Thanks, Scott. I'd have to send it back to The Button Box to have wrist straps put on, I'm afraid--there's no one around here that repairs or builds concertinas.

Guess I'll just have to suffer and hope it gets better with practice, huh?

Lin


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: English Jon
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 07:19 AM

Ohhhh. I've seen the one I want. And it's only 800 quid. Please Mr Bank manager.... What do you mean "piss off?" - well that's not very nice, is it?

Doh.

EJ (lusting after a vickers/lachenal 48 key with ebony ends.)


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 08:05 AM

Don't know if anyone is interested, but there is a baritone Lachenal concertina (D/G) in the www.ebay.co.uk auction at the moment, as well as a couple of chromatic (B/C, C/C#) accordions/melodeons.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Ralphie
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 08:17 AM

George H.......20004....Yes!
That's how long it takes for Mr D to make a 'tina!
Wes W.....wouldn't open a card from you even if you sent one....LOL!
Off to Womad now....talk again soon...
And, for all UK readers....Check out Radio 3 on the 11th August.....La Bottine Souriante in Concert....Awesome!!
See Ya Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: English Jon
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 08:49 AM

La Bottine. Very cool. What time Ralphie?

EJ


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: wes.w
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 09:05 AM

Its a challenge EJ, 'Should you choose to accept...' etc. Try the Beeb Web site?

Vickers (JJ) was a dealer, by the way, so you'll see his name on lots of makes, often stamped on the inside.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: jmdornan
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 10:46 AM

to Lin in Kansas : Sorry it took so long to answer, and the person who did is correct in the Wrist straps. you can also use a sax cord for around your neck. I have opted for this due to 8 extra low notes i have. I found the wrist straps to be a bit restricive for me. I also found now that I 've played for a while I don't need it as much. you can get a stress ball to help strenthen your hands and fingers, and there are guitar finger excersiers too.

there are some great article on this subject at :

http://www.concertina.net/ http://www.concertinaconnection.com/

this sounds soo cliche but stick to it and it does get better. feel free to e-mail with anyother questions. It's nice to others who share the same frustrations. When i began i would lose feeling in my thumbs. Jill


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 02:52 PM

Jill-

Thanks! I never thought about a neck strap (doh!)--sounds like that might really help. I too think I'd find wrist straps too confining because of the way the buttons are arranged.

I've got a stress ball stuck away in a drawer somewhere; will try that also.

And thanks too for the URL; I glanced at that site when I was looking for a concertina dealer, but didn't really delve into it much--lots of good stuff there I missed first time thru!

Your suggestions much appreciated. Don't the little beasts make great noises, though?

Lin


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: jmdornan
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 04:01 PM

...and if you get really frustrated.. you can make obscene phone calls with the air button and the bellows :)

I found with the lower notes that it made a big difference and I'll still use a neck strap if i need to use my pinkies.. the victorian age had some amazing 14 note chords :( that you need the pinkies for, and i feel better having the support.

It's not learning an instrument, the concertina is an obsession i find... GOod luck Jill


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 06:27 PM

LOL! I'll have to try that on Hubby!

Lord a'mercy--14 note chords???!!!! I'm still working on (very) simple melody lines! Sheesh! (And speaking of which, better go practice some more...)

Again, thanks for your comments; much appreciated.

Lin


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: dbranno
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 07:55 PM

Hi to all you concertina persons My old Wheatstone English 48 which I've had since '68 recently got new bellows and lovely new nickel silver ends c/o Ian Simpson, who has made several fine anglos here in Oz, and I'm in love! I only had to wait 2 years for it!!!!! Lin - Wrist straps can be v.useful if you play standing up I had a gig shantying for 8 days straight slinging a 56 key aeola recently! Impossible without the straps, even with strong pinkies. Do what you have to, la musique is the thing. cheers to all Davo


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Musicman
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 08:00 AM

oh wow.. more concertina efficionatos (sp?)

I am currently playing a wheatstone 48 c. 1890's that has come down through the family since the early 1900's.. sweet instrument.. love the sound and love playing the instrument.,
I just recently purchases a Lachenal Duet from a friend c. 1879, again another sweet instrument.... the first problem was to figure out what fingering pattern it used....3-4 different patterns for lachenal! Found out it's the crane system, and have been plugging away ever since. Even had two new cases made for them (one had case one didn't)
no wrist straps on either instrument, although i've seen them, but the duet has sort of a strap over the back of the hand.....it helps...... I have a friend who has wrist straps on his 48 wheatstone....

anyway.. love the instruments... just wish there were more players in the area..... only two on the wheatstone that i know of and one other duet player (different fingering!)

anyway.. keep on playing....

musicman


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: wes.w
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 08:18 AM

Interesting, MusicMan;
According to most articles, the Crane Duet system wasn't invented until 1896. The other main Duet system, MacCann, was only a bit earlier - 1884. Could your date be wrong? Where did it come from? I'm very keen on getting dates for concertinas!
Squeezingly... wes


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: GeorgeH
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 08:29 AM

A bit of help, EJ . . The La Bottine concert was being recorded live last night, for Radio 3's Late Junction programme. I'm sure the Radio 3 area of the BEEB's web site will give you the broadcast date - I'm afraid I can't rmember when it is . .

This seems a good time to relate how Ralphie and I became aquainted . . Many years ago (more than 22, 'cause we had no kids at this point) my wife, Chris, acquired a 'baby' McCann duet 'tina (can't recall how many keys). She'd practiced it for about 6 months, and felt she was just starting to get somewhere. There she was, sat on a wall at our local Folk Festival (Bracknell, UK), tuning away. Ralphie walks past, stopa, looks. "Hey, I've got one of those - I'll just go and get it from the car!" Five minutes later Ralph re-appears with his slightly larger McCann (57 key?) - and proceeds to play Chris off the planet, in the nicest possible way! They stayed playing together for quite a while, and we've been friends ever since. Chris has since bought a McCann of similar size to Ralph's, which is the one she plays almost all the time. (She also has a beautiful large McCann, wonderfully reconditioned by Harry Crabb, but she finds that too heavy for regular use.)

As for Musicman's comments about fingering systems . . it's interesting that the Crane and McCann systems look pretty well identical . . . Tim Laycot has a Wheatstone 'tina which looks virtually identical to Chris's. The serial numbers of the two instruments are very close, too. However Tim's is a Crane whereas Chris's is (as mentioned) a McCann. (Fortunately Chris and Tim have rather different sized hands - that fooled the joker who tried swapping their instruments round when they were playing in the same band . . . )

Happy sqeezing . .

G


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: wes.w
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 09:12 AM

George,
I've been told off regularly recently, for spelling MacCann the other way. Beware, lest they be a'comen after you too! And just for the search engine can we have Tim Laycock, although I'm sure we all know Dorset's fine (perhaps only?) Crane Duet player.

Perhaps I'll have to start a PCC (politically correct concertinas) thread next :) - could you describe the Hayden system as 'new labour' as it plays the same in almost any key?
w.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: GeorgeH
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 11:07 AM

Typo, pure typo (in Tim's - as for Tina, McCann's always been the spelling I've used; I'll have to check my Springtime in Battersea album over the weekend, if I remember!).

Love the New Labour comment . . except I thought Haydens were GOOD!

Now - originally Cranes were the mainstay of the Sally Army - but in my lifetime I've never seen a Salvationist playing a concertina. Has anyone documented their "fall from grace" within that organisation?

"Do you save fallen women?"

"Yes."

"Then save me one for Friday, will you?"

G.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: wes.w
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 12:29 PM

George (and anybody not already totally bored by this Nerdity)
It was the spelling I always used until recently, but 'better researched' friends tell me it should be MacCann or even better Maccann, and the spelling we've all used for years can probably be blamed on Neil Wayne articles. So don't trust his notes for Tommy Williams's LP either! Neil has been nicknamed 'Typhoid McCann' by a certain person over this.

Hayden's are more than good - they're the work of a genius. Mr. Hayden will be demonstrating a new Russian(?) built version at Sidmouth, so look out for it. Or, even better, hear him play it! For those of you a little lost by all this, the Hayden system is a NEW (~1978) duet system that lets you play in key easily. If you learn a tune in one key, you can play it in other keys just by using a different starting button, as the fingering pattern is exactly the same. So gone forever can be the days when those 'clever' players say in sessions - "But we only ever play that in Eb minor - can't you manage that?"

I've got vague memories of Sally Army concertinas, but those are only early 1950s as a very small boy. There was one article in Neil's Free Reed mags of the 1970s about one the final bands to close down. Bristol maybe? PM me if you want a copy. Something about women in uniform maybe?

w.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: GeorgeH
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 12:37 PM

Neil Wayne is called various things by various people . . (but perhaps I'd better stop that line of discussion at that point . . )

Thanks for the info. on Maccaan . . I defer to your knowledge.

Certainly I've heards somewhere that the Cranes were preferred by the SA - it may even be in the interviews with Tommy Williams on "Springtime in Battersea".

Women in uniform . . well, another time, another thread, maybe?

G.


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Musicman
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 06:48 PM

hi there...

my information re: dating the lachenal came from this page of Don Nichols... : Click here

There was also a page describing the crane system which i can't seem to access right now.... He does have quite an extensive page on concertina's.... and a listing of serial #'s and dates for Wheatstone, and formulas for Lachenal's for dating the instruments.. worth checking out.

RE: the SA and the concertina.. my wheatstone is actually an old SA instrument... my grandfather was SA, and so was his family before.....(Mine too for a while.) I could possibly find out more about that aspect if you were interested.... (may anyway.....)

musicman


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Musicman
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 07:28 PM

...actually, i forgot to mention before that I actually have two concertina tutors from the Salvations Army, one dated 1905, the other 1924. They both have tune arrangement for the concertina bands.

one of them on the back has pricing for some of the instruments ranging from 6pounds, 15 shillings, to 22p, 10s, , with cases....

They also mention a Truimph Duet Concertina....

Mm


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 02:36 PM

Sigh. I should first mention that Marcus builds a fine concertina, and he was kind and thoughtful enough to fix one of my sticky reeds when I tracked him down at a festival in Wales a couple of years ago, but then I thought I was also arranging to purchase two of his concertinas, sent a letter back several weeks later as a follow-up and have heard nothing. I don't want to pester the man but I think I'm involved in out-of-sight is out-of-mind.

Still plugging along on my Anglo Bastaries...:-((


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: Musicman
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 01:39 AM

ok.. i have some information regarding the use of the concertina in the Salvation Army....

this is quoted from an email recieved from my uncle who is a salvation army officer and family history is in the salvation army.

"Concertinas, being compact and much lighter than accordians were in very wide us in the Army from very early years. Even in the missions with the Indians of Northern B.C., they were the instruments of choice. Grandpa Cruse (my great-grandfather) was a featured soloist on the instrument and Dad (my grandfather)was quite proficient as well. "(this is the instrument i now have).

"Colonel John Wells who was on missionary service in China was an noted composer of both music and song. He travelled around the rural areas of China on a bicycle with his concertina strapped on the back. Many of his published compositions he never heard performed, except on his concertina, until he returned to Canada after WWII. I'm sure he used it extensively while in a Japanise internment camp."

"The most well know maker was Wheatstone of England. There are others that I can't call to mind. By the way the instrument is still in fairly wide use in many Army locations around the world."

If I get some more information, i'll post it here as well....

musicman


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: GeorgeH
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 06:01 AM

Many thanks for this . . and also for the Don Nichols link . . apart from needing my stronger reading glasses to be able to read his page it looked fascinating and hugely informative . .

Regarding the SA angle . . As noted earlier, my wife's been playing MacCann duets for about 25 years now. Early on we were doing a fair bit of finding out about 'tinas, and found a number of references to the use of Duets (esp. Cranes) by the SA.

Some years later I found myself working with a guy, rather younger then myself, who was a SA bandsman - as was his father and fiancee (now wife - OK, perhaps that should be bandswoman . . ). I asked him about the use of the 'tina and he said he'd never heard of their being used.

Regards

George


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Subject: RE: Praise for a new concertina
From: wes.w
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 09:11 AM

Musicman - The article you mention was based on 'current info' about fifteen years ago. There are a few recent updates to those formulae in this dating article. I was REALLY hoping you'd found a prototype!
You'll find lots of info around that site ( an article of Brian Hayden and Duets should be up soon) and also at The Concertina FAQ.
The Triumph and the Crane are the same system, Triumph being the SA name for the Crane.
w.


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