Thanks to Rob for sharing his photos.
Rob accompanied John Meredith on collecting trips from 1983 until Merro retired in 1994. Rob is still collecting
Willis collection in National Library Oral History collection.
The Rob Willis Collection is one of the largest oral history collections in Australia. He has recorded over 900 individuals in all states of Australia, as well as folk groups, singing groups, bands and choirs. To date, the collection totals 856 hours of playing time. (As the page is undated, the total will be greater today.)
Camping near Mt Hope NSW on a field trip with Rob (Rob Willis photo)
John at Gunnedah with a Stanley concertina with Chinese bellows grafted on which formerly belonged to Ken Bennett. (Rob Willis photo)
Merro playing Pop Craythorne’s accordion (Rob Willis photo)
Image taken in Holbrook Museum of John playing ‘Pop Craythorn’s Accordion’ similar to one that John played in early days.
Pop was a local musician who had a large impact on Merro’s music as he let him play the extras at dances and sit in with him when he was a kid. Meredith played this accordion on numerous occasions at dances. (email from Rob Willis, 9/04/13)
Merro with the original Lagerphone made by his brother Claude (Rob Willis photo)
Our tent on one of the early field trips, 1987 (Rob Willis photo)
Merro & Rob with their travelling accordions (Rob Willis photo using self-timer)
The two accordions that Merro and I are playing are our ‘travelling’ accordions that we took on many field trips. Busilachio in the key of C. Both were obtained from people we recorded – mine from Jack Smith of Forbes (grey) his (red) from Ollie Moore of Swan Hill. I still have mine with the original case and a Holbrook sticker pasted on it. (email from Rob Willis, 9/04/13)