THEY met through their love of the ukulele and they formed a group based on their passion for local history.
Tim Cooke and Les Hilton are Chonkinfeckle and between them are keeping Wigan’s heritage alive by singing about it!
After joining the Wigan Ukulele Club, Tim and Les struck up a friendship when they realised they shared a few interests, the history of Wigan, the ukulele and Fred Dibnah.
The duo have recently recorded a track called “I’m From Wigan Me” complete with a scenic video.
Featuring lines such as “I got chucked out of the swimming baths, the attendant screamed in rage, I said all the kids are peeing in the water, he said you were on top stage”, the song has become a favourite among many on websites such as Facebook and Youtube.
Tim, 41 said: “We’re like a comedy folk group who help you escape from the modern madness.
“We just love the history of Wigan and Les is a prolific songwriter, everything he writes has a local angle.”
The light-hearted video shows the pair on a gloomy Sunday morning singing in different locations of the borough including Trencherfield Mill, Wigan Pier and the Wiend.
Tim, who is from Pemberton, added: “We put a storyboard together for the video and decided to go around all the great places in Wigan such as Wigan Pier and the Wiend and filmed ourselves singing there.”
Tim is new to the ukulele world. After his wife bought him one as a birthday present last August, he has been playing ever since, while Les, 50, has been thrashing out tunes on the instrument for a couple of years.
Les, who is from Goose Green, said: “I used to play in a lot of bands but then stopped when I became a taxi driver. I found sitting in taxis a little boring during the day and noticed a sign in the window of a pound shop that said ‘children’s guitars’.
“I had a look and found that they were actually ukuleles so I bought one and started playing it when I had no customers in the car. And with being a taxi driver, I get many stories so I started writing lots of different songs.”
The name, Chonkinfeckle derives from old Lancashire talk. Tim added: “Where Les used to work, he said everybody always used to say “how are you feckling” and people would reply, “I’m chonkin”, so we thought we would call ourselves that with being such proud Wigan men.”
The duo have also recorded a four track album about their hero Fred Dibnah. All funds raised from the CD will go to the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre.
Chonkinfeckle can be contacted through MySpace and Facebook.
See www.wigantoday.net for a link to the video.