Ukulele club celebrates 10th anniversary

From left: Paul Swift, Stephen Corless, Enid Corless and Paul Roberts at the 10th anniversary party
From left: Paul Swift, Stephen Corless, Enid Corless and Paul Roberts at the 10th anniversary party

A popular Wigan music group has had strumthing to celebrate this week.

Wigan Ukulele Club gathered for a special event reflecting on a decade of popularising the small four-stringed instruments.

Since starting out with 14 players at The Railway in Pemberton the club has grown significantly and now has morer than 90 people taking part in its packed calendar of more than 50 concerts a year.

While the instrument may be most popularly associated with legendary Wigan-born entertainer George Formby (below) Wigan Ukulele Club also enjoys performing songs by acts ranging from rock bands Status Quo and Creedence Clearwater Revival to old rock ‘n’ roll anthems.

The group held its birthday party at its regular venue Wigan Cricket Club with a number of founder members and other VIPs all invited.

Founder Stephen Corless, who is now the club’s honorary president, said: “Membership has grown and grown and I think it’s because we’re so friendly and make sure we get to know people.

“The ukulele has become more popular too because it’s so easy to play. I’ve been learning piano for 18 months and have barely scratched the surface, but you can play the ukelele in three months.

“We always include George Formby in our sets but we play many different types of music. People think it will be an evening of George Formby and then we come out and do Bad Moon Rising, Delilah and stuff like Rock Around The Clock.”

For more pictures see next week’s Wigan Observer.