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Max Houliston

Max deserves a special place amongst our recipients since he was the founder, in 1965, of the very first Accordion & Fiddle Club at his licensed premises The Hole in the Wa’ in Dumfries. Max himself is a fine accordionist and his band broadcasts were noted not just for the lift and swing of their Scottish music but for the innovative band arrangements of non-Scottish pieces such as “Cavatina”, “Miss Melanie”, “Washington Post” and the “Doctor Finlay’s Casebook” theme. Taught accordion initially by Alex Carter of Dumfries then, after his National Service in The Royal Signals, by Ron Hodgson of Carlisle, Max and his band did their first broadcast in 1963 – the same year that he took the lease on the The Hole in the Wa’. Aware that Concert Parties were dying out and that young players were not getting the opportunity to play in front of a live audience Max came up with the idea of an Accordion & Fiddle Club. After about six meetings a “guest artiste” was added and the formula was complete.