Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding

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The mantra of The Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding is "Every gig is different!" This certainly proved to be the case in July when we played at a fund-raiser in Norfolk for the Feline Care Cat Rescue. We were joined on stage by two patrons of the charity, who just happened to be rock icon Rick Wakeman and actor Ian "Don't tell them your name, Pike!" Lavender. After some very brief tuition (although Rick didn't need it), the pair then became temporary members of the orchestra and performed a stirring rendition of Blue Suede Shoes with us. Naturally, both gentlemen were devastated to be told that at the moment we have no membership spaces available, but we could add them to the waiting list!

Other gigs in July were performed in Boston, for the Boston Blind Club and the residents of Mayfield House; at Gosberton Risegate Summer Fete; in Sutton Bridge, with the Constitutional Lunch Club; in Sutterton, for an 80th birthday party, and for the Market Deeping Young at Heart Club's summer tea party. In addition, some members continued to do outreach work to encourage primary school youngsters to enjoy the ukulele at Monkshouse and Ayscoughfee Primary Schools, both in Spalding.

In August, despite holiday/family commitments, we are due to play for the residents of Beech Lodge, Holbeach; a Women's Institute 100th (national) Anniversary Party in Boston; and a free concert to raise funds for local charities in Boston Market Place. Thus far in 2015 the Ukulele Orchestra have performed for 40 different groups/organisations; by the year's end, this figure will be 60. If you had said that to the 18 complete novices who turned up to the inaugural meeting of "anyone interested in learning to play the ukulele" organised by Will Dunlop in August 2008, then you would have been ridiculed. We are all indebted to Will, for planting the little ukulele acorn which continues to grow!  

John Baguley, Press Officer, The Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding



If the sun shines on the righteous, then the good folk of Spalding who attended the free concert in Ayscoughfee Gardens on the last Sunday in June must all have been close to sainthood! Until an hour before the Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding were due to begin their performance the Spalding skies were leaden, and had emptied themselves of bucketloads of rain during the morning. But, as the first member of the public arrived, garden chair in hand, the clouds began to disperse......never to return! By concert's end, at 4.15p.m., the Orchestra, and seemingly most of the audience, were happy to have shared an afternoon of relaxation and fun. Thanks to all who attended for your kind support and generosity. The charity collection was £220. The Ayscoughfee gig completed our June performances which consisted of playing for the Alzheimer's Support Club, Crowland; the Johnson Hospital League of Friends Fete, Spalding; the Dementia Support Group, Holbeach; the Arts and Crafts Festival, Wyberton; and the Residents' Singalong at Holbeach Hospital.

July promises to be equally busy. This month begins with a visit to Boston to play a joint performance for the residents of Mayfield House and the Boston Blind Club. This is followed by an afternoon at the Gosberton Risegate Fete. Next in line will be the Senior Lunch Club in Sutton Bridge, which is rapidly followed by an afternoon of fun at the St. Norbert's School Fete in Spalding. The month's activities will finish with an appearance for the Young at Heart Club in Market Deeping. In addition, a small number of orchestra members will be continuing to do  outreach work at Ayscoughfee and Monkshouse primary schools, both of which are in Spalding.