THE Garioch Heritage Society held their annual Social Evening for members and friends at the Acorn Centre, Inverurie on Wednesday (March 13).
Chairman Geoffrey Gill welcomed members and gave his monthly report on the progress of the Society’s new Heritage Centre at Harlaw Road. At the moment the approach roads and car parks are being kerbed and tarred, and gas and water services completed.
Geoff then introduced the speaker for the evening, and “English” musical genius, Norman English, who now stays near Oldmeldrum, and whose virtuosity on the piano accordion is legendary.
Norman began his musical career in Weston-super-Mare and and has travelled all over Europe in his musical journey. His subject was “The Impact of Music on My Life Through the Decades”. His first instrument was a concertina which was gifted to him as a child, he learned to play it before moving “up-market” to the accordion. Such was his success that in 1962 he won the “Ken Bailey Cup” at Burnham-on-Sea, and in 1981 and again in 2005 he won two awards from the “Guinness Book of Records” for endurance playing. He has appeared on programmes with Frankie Vaughan, Cleo Lane, Mrs Millsand Ken Harris amongst others and was resident musician at hotels in Weston and Blackpool. He came to the North-east to manage the Accordion Department at Bruce Millers in Aberdeen, and married and now lives in a cottage outside Oldmeldrum. Norman punctuated his talk with a large variety of music from symphonies to jazz and his repertoire on the accordion illustrated the diversity of the instrument which did apparently “do everything but sing”.
Norman was thanked for his talk and musical interludes by Thora Yule.