Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding

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The Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding - August Report


The Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding are delighted by the responses to their August performances. The month began with a concert for the residents of Beech Lodge, near Holbeach. The enthusiasm, and the dancing, of the audience were equally uplifting for the orchestra, and the gig ended with smiles and exhaustion all round! Two very different performances followed in Boston. First came Burton Corner W.I.  and their

celebration evening to mark the centenary of the Women's Institute. A fabulous buffet was equalled, or even surpassed, by the generosity of the members' donations to our local charity collection which totalled over £200. Thanks again! A few days later the orchestra gave a free outdoor concert in Boston market place to anyone who cared to listen; we were once again delighted by the very kind donations, totalling £100 which

accompanied the warm audience support. The spectators included a group of touring Dutch cyclists whom we almost managed to convince that Johann Cruyff had composed Waltzing Matilda. The orchestra closed the month's activities with a singalong party for members to mark our

seventh anniversary. It featured 'The Uke Factor', with members taking turns to entertain! September, as with every other month of the year, will be busy, beginning with a floating singalong on the River Witham aboard the Boston Belle. This will be followed, on the 12th, by a concert

at Benington Church, as part of the Lincolnshire Heritage Week-end. A week later, we will be raising funds for the United Reformed Church in Spalding. Our final gig of September will be for residents of Swallows Court, Spalding. The outstanding support and generosity we receive from the people of this area is very humbling, and every member of the orchestra is grateful for such kindness. Very much appreciated!

John Baguley, Press Officer, Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding



September was a busy month for the Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding, commencing with a social evening and river cruise on The Boston Belle. This was followed by a visit to a new venue for us at the Benington Trust Heritage Weekend fundraiser. We were on more familiar ground for our third gig of the month which was held at the Spalding United Reform Church. The church has splendid acoustics, which was the main reason we used it as a sound studio when we recorded our second CD. The church also provides very enthusiastic audiences for our live performances, as was proved by this month's gig. Our final September gig was for the lovely, lively residents of Swallows Court on Pinchbeck Road, Spalding.


October is going to be even busier. On Friday, 2nd October we were delighted to entertain a sell-out crowd at the Bourne Abbey hall, where we sang and played all evening, interrupted only by a delicious buffet. The concert was a fund-raiser for the Bourne branch of the NSPCC, and by the evening's end a total of £930 had been collected. A great effort for a great cause! Then, in rapid succession, the Orchestra will play for the Paston and Gunthorpe Community Centre anniversary celebration in Peterborough (Oct.7th); the Gosberton Women's Institute (Oct. 13th); the Cowbit Friendship Group (Oct. 21st); a restoration fund concert for Pinchbeck Parish Church (Oct.24th); and the Deeping Friendship Club, Market Deeping (Oct.29th). Just to keep us busy, we shall be having our usual weekly rehearsal every Thursday, and, on October 10th, an all-day ukulele workshop (with a few guest members from Oakham and Peterborough ukulele groups), led by Ken Middleton.



As any member of the Ukulele Orchestra will tell you, one of the first things they learn after joining us is that every gig is different! October proves the point. The month began with a packed audience at a fundraiser in Bourne for the local branch of the NSPCC. This raised over £900 for the charity. Following hard upon this was a lunchtime concert for members of the Paston and Gunthorpe Friendship Lunch group; at this performance a 93 year-old lady in the audience apologised for not dancing (as she had done last year) "because I'm feeling a bit chesty". Glastonbury, eat your heart out! The next outing was to a very select group of ladies at Gosberton W.I. where the audience numbers were equal to the number of ukulele players; the singing was lovely, as indeed was another new experience for our group - the vegetable auction which closed the meeting. A number of the orchestra members left the building with cauliflowers, cabbages or potatoes which they had bid for successfully! In mid-month, Cowbit Ladies Club, (which included several gentlemen, who apparently had been invited), were terrific in their response to our performance and joined in very enthusiastically - and amusingly! Next on the list was St Mary's Parish Church in Pinchbeck. Refurbishing their heating system will not come cheap, so we were delighted when they informed us that our concert raised £680  to save parishioners from suffering frost bite during winter church services! Having thus performed in a large church, with wide aisles, beautiful stone pillars and a very high ceiling, our final performance of October was in the lounge of a bungalow in Market Deeping for the Deeping Friendship Club; if anyone ever goes there, just ask the members what they now know about ukuleles, the Hawaiian language and Isla St Clair. You'll never get away!! Thanks again to all those lovely, generous people of the local area who support our efforts with such kindness, generosity and enthusiasm. Busy November beckons, followed by an even busier December (at least 10 gigs!) when the Christmas selection will doubtless be in evidence.


John Baguley, Press Officer, The Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding.



March was a particularly  busy month for the Orchestra. In addition to our weekly rehearsals, we have entertained the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners in Peterborough, residents of Tanglewood Nursing Home in Spalding, and the Spalding Local History Group. This latter gig consisted of selections from our usual repertoire with an illustrated talk about the history of the ukulele, and encouraged History Group members to "Have a go". Brave volunteer audience members mastered one chord, which was enough to accompany a stunning version of "Row, row, row your boat"! In addition to these performances the Orchestra spent the whole day of Saturday, 12th March recording 14 songs for our third CD, entitled "A uke a day keeps the doctor away". These will now be on sale at all future performances, with all proceeds going into the kitty for later donation to local charities and good causes. April has also kept us busy, with concerts for the Holbeach Pot Luck Social Club, and  for residents of Holbeach Hospital. Also in April was a fund raising tea party for St. Michael's Church, Frampton, and an afternoon's entertainment for the recently-formed Welcome Club in Market Deeping.  In the next few weeks we shall be arranging distribution of several hundred pounds, from audience donations to the Orchestra (we do not charge a fee to perform), to each of the following local good causes:

1. The Dementia Café, Spalding,

2. Spalding Hospice Foundation, supporting the Tulip Suite, Johnson Hospital,

3. Willow Tree Fen, at Pode Hole, wildlife and habitat conservation project, and

4. Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Spalding section.


As the year progresses we shall, with the wonderful support of those who come to see us, be looking to distribute further amounts to other local causes. Thank you to everyone for your generosity.  We have at least twenty gigs booked in from now until the end of July, culminating in a Sunday afternoon free concert in the beautiful grounds of Ayscoughfee Gardens at 2p.m. on Sunday, 24th July.  We look forward to seeing many of you there, as long as you bring the sunshine with you!

John Baguley, Press Officer, The Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding

Newsletter update August/Sept 2016


Since our very well-supported gig in Ayscoughfee Gardens at the end of July, the Ukulele Orchestra have maintained a busy and varied schedule. In addition to groups of members busking for charities in Peterborough and Boston, we have also had members doing outreach support for a recently-formed ukulele group in Stamford. We were also delighted to play at a lovely wedding celebration in Boston, on

the last Friday in July.

During August, the orchestra celebrated its eighth birthday. Since our inaugural meeting, in 2008, when 18 absolute novices turned up in response to Will Dunlop's advert in the Spalding Guardian (with a total of 11 ukuleles between them!), the Orchestra has grown to 60 members. We now have a repertoire of at least 200 songs, and play 60 to 70 gigs each year. Our first gig was at Long Sutton Parish Church Harvest Supper (September, 2008), when we played the only 6 songs we had tried to learn before the supper, and then played them again after the meal because we did not know any more. Our motto should have been Practice Makes Average! Also during August, despite holiday commitments, we have played for the Breathe Easy Asthma Support Group in Peterborough, and for residents of the Beech Lodge Nursing Home in Holbeach. September promises to be extremely busy. We return to Ayscoughfee Gardens on Sunday, September 4th, 2p.m. start, for our final appearance there this year. Also during September we shall make our presence felt at Boston Blind Club: Swallow Court, Spalding; Surfleet Church Harvest Concert; and at the Salvation Army Citadel, Peterborough for a concert in aid of local charities. The Salvation Army concert is in a beautiful  large venue, which has room for all 60 members of the orchestra on the stage. Tickets for this concert are on sale, with all details on our website at www.ukuleleorchestraofspalding.co.uk or you can log on to our Facebook page. As if that was not exciting enough for the orchestra, on the second Saturday in September we will be playing at a very special wedding, when two of our members tie the knot. If music be the food of love.....buy yourself a ukulele!  

Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding report: Autumn 2016


Autumn has been another busy season for the Ukulele Orchestra of Spalding, but hopefully we have enough energy left to complete our packed programme of performances before the Christmas break.

September saw us performing at Ayscoughfee Gardens in Spalding; the Boston Blind Club (where the audience included 91 year-old Alice, who knew George Formby personally!); at the wedding of Kevin and Victoria, two of our members!; in Peterborough at the Salvation Army Hall; at Swallows Court in Spalding; and finally at a fund-raising evening for Surfleet church.

October has been just as busy, beginning in Bourne in aid of the local branch of the NSPCC. Other gigs followed hard upon at North Bretton Friendship Club, Peterborough; then Hovenden House at Fleet; Holbeach Civic Society then hosted us at the parish church;

back to Spalding for the next performance for the lovely ladies of the Tollgate W.I.; our annual visit to Moulton Chapel for their Harvest supper was next, and was followed two days later by a restoration fund concert for St. Andrew's Church in Peterborough.

And so to November. An afternoon singalong for the residents of Holbeach Hospital began the month, quickly followed by a gig

at Skirbeck Court in Boston. Saturday, 12th November was a lovely evening for the Orchestra, as we shared a concert with the splendid

ladies of Handful of Harmonies; the joint concert was in aid of the Marie Curie charity, and raised a conservative amount of at least £1,600. To finish the month's activities the Orchestra has two more gigs to go. Saturday, 19th sees us at Pinchbeck Baptist Church to raise funds for the RBL Poppy Appeal; the month's activities end at Pinchbeck Village Hall playing for Spalding Blind Club (and their fantastic guide dogs who sleep through every song!). Hopefully we shall have enough energy left to complete all our engagements for a busy December before we take a couple of weeks off over Christmas.

Thanks to everyone who has attended any of our performances and has been so supportive of our efforts; your kindness, hospitality and generosity has been wonderful. Please keep up the good work!