[78-L] Little Dolcoppice Records

Graham Newton gn at audio-restoration.com.invalid
Wed Sep 15 09:53:57 PDT 2021

On 9/14/2021 6:51 PM, Roy Gould wrote:

> Back in 1951 my parents got married and had their honeymoon on the Isle of Wight.
> While they were there, a recording company called Little Dolcoppice if Whitwell IoW came round and invited holidaymakers to make their own records. Mum and Dad decided to make 3 records.
> Here’s the interesting bit. the records are an aluminium disc, 2 of them about 6” diameter, the other 8” diameter. Recorded on what appears to be shellac and at 78rpm. Unfortunately over the years the records had been played on wind-up gramophones with a tracking weight of about 3 tons so they got rather worn and scratched. the 8” record suffered so much that the shellac has fallen off now, I’m left with the bare disc. 

> Has anyone heard of this recording company or the process they would have used for recording?

Hello Roy...

During the time of home record making it was not uncommon for someone to buy a 
recording machine for a business to make recordings for people for their own 
purposes such as them playing music or to send voice records to relatives.  It 
sounds like the "Little Dolcoppice" was the name of the cottage that the person 
offering the record making service lived in!

Your description reveals that the discs were aluminum based and lacquer coated.
Various manufacturers offered these in a variety of sizes and quality, 
depending on the length of the recording you wanted to make on one side.  (Over 
years, the lacquer often dried out and shrunk thus separating from the aluminum 
base and literally falling off in pieces!)

The recording machine would have cut the grooves into the lacquer, resulting in 
a record that could be played.

Because the lacquer was soft, it could only withstand a limited number of plays 
and this was dependent on what they were played on.  The best record players of 
the day might achieve 20 or 30 plays before the discs became unusable.

Wind-up gramophones were the worst possible with tracking pressures measured in 
ounces and using steel needles!  Only two or three plays might be obtained 
before stripping the grooves and the lacquer from the disc along with the 

... Graham Newton

Audio Restoration by Graham Newton, http://www.audio-restoration.com
World class professional services applied to tape or phonograph records for
consumers and re-releases, featuring CEDAR's CAMBRIDGE processes.

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