Hendred Ukulele Group (HUG) meets to practice every Wednesday at The Silver Band practice hall in Wantage. The group has a varied repertoire from Christmas carols to George Formby and constantly add to the collection. The group is a mix of all standards with some people playing chords, while others play melodies or bass. As well as ukuleles and bass, we have a banjo ukulele, a mandolin and even a kazoo. Everyone sings and some harmonise. Members come from all walks of life including policemen, businessmen, nurses, artists, disc jockeys, housewives, carers and a website developer.
Hendred Ukulele Group (HUG) has found that playing and singing together lifts the spirits and brings great pleasure not just to its members, but to wherever they are invited (including care homes, a donkey sanctuary, churches bazaars, fetes and Wantage marketplace).
Hendred Ukulele Group (HUG) was started by Derek Witts in Autumn 2014 to help him adjust his leisure time in retirement to more productive activities in the village of East Hendred in Oxfordshire. Learning the Ukulele was a challenge as he could not play at all. Throughout 2014, he had asked a musician friend, Howard Hill, to teach him how to play the ukulele, but each time Howard declined due to numerous other musical commitments. So, after a number of phone calls to other groups he met Trefor who has, in his own words “played the Ukulele all his life and would love to help”. The first meeting was attended by Veroni Gilbert, Nan Hill and three other beginners and then grew like topsy! Trefor now leads the group – doing a fine job – and more recently, after just one taster session, Howard enjoyed it so much that he joined as a member.
Photos by Lynn Christer and David White
Website by Howard Hill