Melodeons In Wensleydale took place over a weekend in April or early May in 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023 and 2024 at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes, Yorkshire.

Following the death of Bob Ellis in January 2024 it ran for one more year at Hawes, run by Brian Read, Sheila Read, Pete Ward and Claire Abbott. Steve Dumpleton had also been involved in the 2018 and 2019 events, he had also been involved in the initial ideas (and he created the split melodeon image above!).

After the 2024 event, this email was sent out to all in the emailing list:

On behalf of the recent ‘Melodeons in Wensleydale’ organising team, we’d like to thank you for supporting this event over the years. We wonder, when Bob Ellis started it in 2018, did he expect it to be such a success, or to have such a loyal following? We hope this year he would have been happy with the way it went. Certainly the preliminary organisation – securing the venue, booking tutors, and giving guidelines – was all his until last October when he knew he would be unable to complete this years event and he asked us to step in and run this year’s Melodeons in Wensleydale on his behalf. Bob had already approached and discussed with Pete and Claire to see if they would be interested in running a similar event in future years.  They decided to accept Bob’s proposition and a Melodeon weekend will continue in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Claire and Pete run ‘Bellows and Buttons’, and in this name have organised events in Stillington, North Yorkshire, in 2021, and a tuition weekend in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, in 2023, after the closure of the Witney Supersqueeze.  Both events have had great feedback. After a discussion with the Dales Countryside Museum managers, it became clear that, from the perspective of both organisations, the time has now come to move away from the museum as the main venue.  With no other suitable venue in Hawes, Claire and Pete decided to move the weekend to Settle, North Yorkshire, where there is excellent accommodation, a direct rail link, and a beautiful Victorian Theatre for the Tutors Concert. Arrangements are well underway for ‘Melodeons in Ribblesdale’, 25th – 27th April 2025, and in hand for 2026 too, with tutors and venues already being booked. Under GDPR regulations, the Melodeons in Wensleydale mailing list cannot be directly used by Bellows and Buttons, it needs to establish its own. Many of you signed up in Hawes, but anyone else wishing to receive information should email claire@bellowsandbuttons.co.uk, or use the contact page on https://www.bellowsandbuttons.co.uk/contact.cfm to request entry into the mailing list. We look forward to hearing from you, with continued enthusiasm for melodeon weekends together. In the meantime, this is the final email you will receive from the Melodeons in Wensleydale team. We wish you all the best.Brian, Sheila, Claire and Pete.

If there are any questions, then please email me (Brian Read) brianr@bjsystems.co.uk