George Karklins was the inspiration behind the formation of our club, so it is necessary to start with George.
George Karklins was from Latvia, but he settled in England at the end of the Second World War. He lived for the accordion and played and entertained in numerous venues throughout North Staffordshire and the surrounding area. George’s accordion made him many friends including Brian Shufflebotham, who he met while he was playing at the Abbey Green Inn in Leek, Aubrey Lowndes, who he met while he was playing at a club in Hanley and Mike Richards, who contacted him for accordion lessons.
Aubrey, Brian, George and Mike became good friends with a common interest in the accordion and this interest led them to Club Accord (a Birmingham based accordion club). Club Accord had some exceptional accordion players and as a follow-up to our monthly visits Brian Shufflebotham organised two very successful concerts in Leek. These were called the ‘Leek Night Out’ and Club Accord players, as well as local talent, provided the accordion entertainment.
Eventually Aubrey, Brian, George and Mike decided to start their own accordion club. George's local was the Crown and Anchor in Newcastle and it was here on Monday 28th January 1985 that about 50 accordion enthusiasts from North Staffordshire and the surrounding area met for the first time. At our first meeting Brian established a mailing list and at our second meeting (this took place on Monday 25th February) the following steering committee was established:
Mike Richards - Chairman Brian Shufflebotham - Secretary Aubrey Lowndes - Treasurer George Karklins Joy Kibble
The North Staffs Accordion Club is now a major part of so many lives