Sunday, 26 February 2012

Accordions for Islay Children Appeal V: 'Twitter brings new boxes to Islay kids'

Here's the most exciting chapter in the Accordions for Islay Children Appeal story  so far.

The five accordions raised by the Twitter appeal arrived in Islay last week, and we're delighted to have received these photos of the island children playing them - which brought a tear to the eye (sentimental old things that we are)!

And then, this morning, a copy of The Oban Times arrived in the post, sent to us by Christine MacIntyre - instigator of the Twitter Appeal - with the following article on page 8:

Twitter brings new boxes to Islay kids

Islay children have Twitter thank for five new accordions winging their way to the island on the back on an internet appeal.
The boxes come in time for Feis Ile’s 65 kids to get their hands on them at a practice session last Wednesday.
With no money to buy instruments, Feisan nan Gaidheal Development Officer Christine Macintyre posted this Tweet on January 19: ‘Urgent: does anyone have any old accordions, smallish, they don’t want. Kids in Islay desperately need six. DM me with info. Thanks’  Christine said the tweet was more in hope than expectation, but within hours the baton had been picked up by her Twitter followers.
‘Armin, who does the Islay blog, re-tweeted it and later on so did Mike Russell, MSP. People just tweeted it round their contacts and it grew and grew.’
It wasn’t long before the accordion offers started to come in and within a week five instruments had been donated. Three were from within Argyll and one was from Glasgow, but it was the origin of the fifth that really raised eyebrows. Black Diamond Accordions are based on Mersea – the easternmost island in the United Kingdom, lying just off the coast of Essex.
Co-owner of the firm, Juliet Doyle, explained how Christine’s appeal had captured her attention: ‘I was just looking on Twitter at anything to do with accordions. When I came across Christine’s message I retweeted it. Then I suddenly thought we had this warehouse of unloved accordions.’
Soon a new Black Diamond box was sent on a long journey by road and sea to join the others converging on Islay.
Juliet confirmed that she and her partner Greg Dunn hope to visit Feis Ile later in the spring.
A delighted Christine said the sixth accordion could be on its way, as she has been in touch with another music company.
And the number could be doubled if Feisan nan Gaidheal can find the money to take advantage of an excellent discount offered on six second-hand accordions by another company, this time in Thurso.
* * *

Congratulations to Christine for a great job well done. We're hoping we might be able to meet up with her when we go to Scotland for the National Fiddle And Accordion Festival in Falkirk next week. And then we'll be taking a serious look at our diaries to see when we can fit in a visit to Islay!

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