ukulele marathon at St Mary’s Hall


Christopher James Stone

Singing praises of ukulele marathon

I first started drinking in earnest in 1972. I was living in Burton-on-Trent at the time with my aunt and uncle, Else and George, working as a dustman. It was thirsty work, and Burton was exactly the right place to learn the delicate etiquette of beer consumption.

George and I used to go to his local pub and drink Marston’s Pedigree, where he would philosophise expansively in his warm, melodic Staffordshire accent. The pub was called the Star and Garter, and upstairs there was a function room in which they used to hold a sing-along at weekends. I was a young hippy at the time, with shoulder length hair and a taste for Jimi Hendrix, but found myself happily at home joining in with Daisy Daisy and all the other sing-along classics. It’s a lost art-form.

You very rarely get to hear sing-songs in pubs these days, unless it’s a few drunken revellers bawling over the juke box, something that is not to everyone’s taste. I can’t think of the last time I was in a room full of people raising our voices in unison to a song we all knew and loved. There used to be a sing-along in the British Legion at one time, but it got closed down due to complaints from the neighbours. How sad.

The good news is that the third annual UKATHON event is about to take place at St Mary’s Hall in Whitstable on May 27th, where there will be singing along galore.

For those of you not in the know: a “UKATHON” is a ukulele marathon. Ukulele groups from the entire region will be descending on Whitstable for a night of mad ukulele strumming and hearty chorusing to a variety of well-known songs. Groups include: the Bay City Ukers, the Fezuleles, the Up The Creek Ukuleles and the Sad Old Pluckers, to name but a few. Songs include Bye Bye Love, Bad Moon Rising, Sloop John B, Those Were The Days, Blowin’ in the Wind, Delilah, Folsom Prison Blues and the Banana Boat Song.

Tickets £5 from Harbour Books, all proceeds to Médecins Sans Frontières.

How can you possibly resist?



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From The Whitstable Gazette 04/05/17

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